I was talking to my friend last week about the new generation of consoles, he told me there was an MMO anounced for PS4. At first I thought "how weird, consoles mostly don't handle MMOs very well." He told me it would be have totally epic battle, up to 40 vs 40.
My reaction was: "40 vs 40 is epic? Are you $*%# kiding me?"
The fact is that it is rare for any game nowadays to be a huge experience, even an old game like WoW fries your video board when there are a hundred players at screen. I do remember the golden days of Ragnarok Online War of Emperium (a guild vs guild war for castles), those were massive events that literally hundreds of people would participate at the same time, here is a video of a particularly massive fight:
Ragnarok graphics were a mix of 3D scenarios and sprite characters that actually looked pretty cool. It also makes the game scale incredibly well, even by the hardware of the time. The network consuption was a bit problematic (people would lag badly sometimes), but I do believe nowadays this can be handled (Heck, I played at a 128kbps connection those times and lag wasn't common).
Which brings me to my point, do you think that people would still be willing to play an sprite based game or just 3D games have any chances to be popular?