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History of massively multiplayer online games

Posted about a month ago by Lamonica humphrey

For the first time, a graphic virtual world was created by Mazewar in 1974. For the first time, players from all over the world could play with each other in a virtual setting, similar to modern Top 200 lineage servers. The first adventure game that was widely used was created in 1975 and was called Adventure. MUD, a game that is multi-user in the MACRO-10 language, was a network created by an Essex University student and became popular worldwide. In 1987, it was suggested that virtual games can be more than just adventure, instead, the games could be relaxing. Avalon: The Legend Lives was a bar-setting virtual game as it included a large variety of creative aspects of warfare and the players could have total control of their characters and their skills and behaviour. A lot of famous people designers, like Mark Jacobs and Raph Koster, started off as developers of MUD games.


PLATO is a system that is an educational computer-based system that was getting popular meanwhile MUD was as well. By 1974, Spasim and Talkomatic became examples of PLATO based games. Avatar was another early implementation of the PLATO system that was opened in 1979.

Early commercial development

Island of Kesmai was the 1rst commercial MMORPG and became available in 1985. Lucafilm’s Habitat was an award-winning role-playing game as it was very innovative and one of the best creations of large-scale virtual communities. Neverwinter Nights was the first graphical MMORPG and cost 6 USD to play per hour. In 1986, Air Warrior, a multi-player game, was created. In this game, players could operate their own virtual planes.

Commercial MMORPGs on the Internet

Legends of the Future Past became the first commercial MMORPG to transition to the Internet. Meridian 59 was also one of the firstly implemented Internet MMORPGs and one of the most memorable as the players got to play the game through the perspective and point of view of the characters. Other popular games that were launched during this time period include Tibia, Ultima Online, and The Fourth Coming. The Fourth Coming was released in France and became very influential as it caused the popularity of MMORPGs to increase all over Europe. Unfortunately, this game does not have many users right now. Commercial online gaming was also extremely popular in South Korea with games such as Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds, Lineage, and many others. Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds still has more than 1000 users today. Tibia is a game that is free of charge but still was quite slow to become popular amongst gamers. However, right now it still has over half a million users online.

Second generation MMORPGs

In 2001, gamers began playing MMORPGs on home consoles more, rather than PCs. Additionally, in 2001, Jumpgate was released, which was the first 3-Dimensional scientific-fiction spaceship MMORPG. A Korean Ragnarok Online was extremely successful in Asia, with over 25 million subscribers. The 2000s saw the release of many iconic games, such as Earth & Beyond, Eve Online, and many others. In 2003, Disney came up with its first MMORPG, which was Toontown Online. This game was aimed at entertaining families with young children. Furthermore, Club Penguin, a game that is still played by many people, was also developed at that time. In 2002, Final Fantasy XI became the 1rst game to allow users that use different platforms to play together. In 2003, Lineage II became  popular in Asia and even won the Presidential Award.

Current-generation MMORPGs

Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft and Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest II are the most up-to-date generation of implementation of MMORPG. At first, Sony was the leader of the market. However, World of Warcraft took over very quickly as it is now one of the most widely played games. The world’s biggest free MMORPG is RuneScape and it has the most similar number of subscribers to World of Warcraft. Exceptional use of graphics is one of the biggest factors that modern games try to provide to their users, and one of the first examples of that is The Lord of The Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.