when you look back at this past year you saw som MMOs come into this world just to struggle or die. some say its because of poor quality but i would say its also based on the shape of the market and i would say we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in 2008.
if you compare an mmo with a single player game for console or pc you see that the mmo title is loaded with ambition from both developers and gamers. while the single player game has to sell ok on release the mmo is supposed to make money years and years after its release. while youd buy a single player game, play it a while and then buy the next, the mmo is supposed to keep you entertained for 100 of thousends of hours. because the player forges a bond between himselve and the mmo game "investing" into his character and the community the mayority of the players wont as easily try out new mmos like they would with single player games. while the console/pc gamer cant wait till the next game is released the mmo gamer rather waits for updates/patches of the game he plays.
in 2009 we have a ton of new mmos hitting the market, maybe more then ever in the history of mmos. each company expecting to get a million or so players for their game.
i would predict that this is not going to happen and that in 2009 a lot of these game will fail under the pressure devs and players expectations
in 2009 12milion people will still play wow and stick to their game because thats where their friends are and they feel they have "invested" to much into wow to change game
in 2009 hardly any of the mmos will bring in a big chunk of new players because their is no radical new concept that brings non gamers, women and old people into playing mmos
in 2009 all these new mmos competing for basicly the same ammount of players (maybe even less if the financial crisis hits hard) yet i doubt that their studios and investors would be happy with just an ongoing player base of around 100k players.