Successful shooty-guns MMO Global Agenda was a success because it was designed from the ground up to appeal to people too busy with family to maintain a World of Warcraft commitment.
Speaking to EDGE , executive producer Todd Harris said, "World Of Warcraft has set the standard in terms of what the market place and end gamers think of as MMOs. We think there can be a lot of different types of MMOGs that can be successful. I think small [developers] can do it if they're conservative with their projections and their costs."
MMOs can't afford to try to be a huge phenomenon anymore - there are just too many of them. As Jim Edge pointed out, you need look no further than recent MMO tragedy APB for an example of what can go wrong when you think too big. Oh, Jim Edge. You are as wise as your beard is long.
Incidentally, I had ten copies of Global Agenda. I was quite looking forward to playing ten characters at once and cackling, but I accidentally mailed them out to ten people who came up with lame uses for jetpacks instead. I'm clumsy like that.