As much as I hate to say it I purchased the sims 2 and need for speed underground 2. I didn't have any issues with hot pursuit 2, and I just enjoy torturing sims too much not to get Sims 2. That and I have faith in Maxis.
But unforently the days of small independant game companies is coming to an end. With EA, Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and Vivendi (not for long muhaahahaaa) gobbling up small companies it's just a matter of time.
Look at what happened to Gathering of Developers, they went belly up in 2 or 3 years.... and it's not surprising after their claim to fame was there e3 parties across the street.
In the latest Xbox Nation magazine they said the average game cost's 10 million to develope, and that's just the console market. While I certainly hope they don't completly sell out to EA ( or any major company for that matter) I can understand why they would consider it.