Shutting down MMO's

Usually MMO's aren't shut down within the first years. I was surprised to see news about Codemasters shutting down one of theirs. Its all due to license problems. But how shortsighted is this to license a MMO for just a short period of time? Some business guy didn't pay attention and mixed up retail games with MMO's.

Note: Ultima Online is still running after 12 years of operation, with profits I might say. Sometimes if a game shows its age (like Meridian did) it might get shut down, but a game only online for two years? (RF Online was launched november 2007)