MMO – A SHORT HISTORY

If you are an MMO gamer that has occasionally pondered about the history of online games and where they first originated, then we invite you to take a few minutes now and indulge yourself in this short history that we hope you will appreciate.

Perhaps one of the first questions one may ask regarding the history of MMO gaming is, “What was the very first online game ever created and put out?” The answer to this fair question may indeed be more surprising than expected. What many do not realize is that if they were to take a guess, they would not only suppose wrongly but would come to find out how far off their guess was and by how many years. It has been commonly misunderstood that games such as Ultima Online and Meridian59 which came out in the 1996-97 era are in fact not the first online MMO-type games ever put out.

In 1974 a company known as Mazewar had first launched a graphic virtual type of world which offered a first-person outlook of a labyrinth where wandering players could shoot at one another. It was in reality, the very first type of networked computer game that enabled gamers from separate computers to interact within a virtual-type location. This game was primarily played over a serial cable and then when one of the creators had begun to attend (MIT), they became more knowledgeable and were able to improve upon it so that it could be utilized across a predecessor to the internet – then known as, ARPAnet.

The first extensively played adventure game was called Adventure and was created by Will Crowther in 1975 on a DEC PDP-10 computer. Don Woods greatly expanded upon the game shortly afterward in 1976. Dungeons & Dragons was quite popular around this same time and was being used to stimulate features and references which were used in Adventure such as a computer operated dungeon master. This game then sparked the interest of other students at (MIT) who later created their own online game entitled Zork and then on and on the inspiration would continue while games and platforms would improve through trial and error.

When we fast-forward to the mid 1980s we will find that the very first commercial MMORPG named Island of Kesmai was designed by John Taylor and Kelton Finn. In 1985 the game was available to be played via the CompuServe online service for $12 per hour. Up to 100 players were capable of participating by this time.

The 1990s would see NSFNET restrictions sit back and allow traditional gaming companies and online services to begin implementing games on the internet. Legends of Future Past would become the first commercial text-based MMORPG to make such a changeover. The actual term, “MMORPG” was coined by Ultima Online’s creator Richard Garriott in 1997.

By the turn of the century, the so called, “Second Generation of MMORPGs” would see a very eager new market beginning to capitalize. The entire concept of MMORPGs would inspire new types of video game genres with Role Playing Games always leading the charge as far as commercial sales were concerned. As far as the newer generation of MMORPGs, such games as World of Warcraft and EverQuest II have literally taken off in gameplay, graphics and in popularity standards. In terms of MMO gaming in our current day stands, the rest of that is now all history.

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