The MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) market has been largely dominated by the game we all know and love; World of Warcraft. But with the glory days of Wow well and truly done with, let’s take a look at the earliest MMO’s to be released.
MMOs are Open World Games Online that allow for massive player bases on the same servers. Of course, so many MMO’s have come out over the years, so this post will only cover a handful.
Meridian 59 -
Arguably the first true MMO ever released. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t met with much popularity, but it was revolutionary in its own right. It launched as an early form in 1995 and was released commercially in 1996. The game itself boasted such features as; modifiable character stats and attributes, levelable professions, PvP (Person vs. Person) combat and even a loot system. The game is now available for free as an open-source project and is still run by the original developers.
Ultima Online -
Ultima Online was originally created, in part at least, as a social and economical experiment. The game was initially released in 1997 The game was a predecessor to a series of single player games. So the developers had to figure out a way to make each player feel like the center of attention and allow for big social interactions, at the same time. Since release the game has had 8 expansions released, and so has a multitude of features. These features include world PvP and PvE, world events, questing, levelable characters and much more.
Unlink M59, EverQuest was a remarkable success. The game massively surpassed uptake expectations when it was released, in 1999. It was the first commercially viable MMO to use a 3D engine. The game plays host to a huge pool of classes, all with defined roles. It has instance style encounters, as well as true leveling and talent systems. EverQuest is heralded as one of the first true MMORPGs, and is a game WoW took a lot of it’s influence from.
This had to be thrown in. RuneScape came out in 2001, but the RuneScape you see today is very different to it’s origin. The game runs in-browser, which seriously limits how detailed it can be. But, remarkably, RuneScape is still a success even today. Even with bad graphics and horrible controls, RuneScape has managed to sit atop its own thrown for over a decade. Although it doesn’t really have any unique features.
World of Warcraft -
And this brings us to 2004, the release of World of Warcraft. Every MMO player knows about WoW. The game holds the world record for total subscriptions. And the developers boast that in 2014 over 100 million user accounts had been created for it. The original game was fairly basic, but the formula Blizzard created with the game is responsible for it’s success.
So that’s a brief delve into the history of MMOs. Hopefully, I’ve inspired you to try some games you’d otherwise ignore. Look at them as artifacts; relics of a time gone by. Loads of MMOs came out between these games, and afterward. There’s even some in the pipeline today. If these sorts of games interest you, you can find plenty of them for free!