Whether you've played one of the many games with the tag, know someone who does, or simply heard of it... the three letters that every gamer knows is: MMO

Whether you’ve played one of the many games with the tag, know someone who does, or simply heard of it… the three letters that every gamer knows is: MMO

Ultima Online screenshot

Ultima Online (UO) set the standard for the industry back in 1997 with the release of the first (successful) massively multiplayer online role playing game, or MMORPG for short. It attained over 100,000 subscribers who paid a monthly fee to play the game with thousands of people all over the world. I even had two characters on the Baja server: Obsolete and Xerxes. =)

An MMORPG is a unique gaming experience in and of itself. Sure, you’re still sitting at your computer clicking away, killing monsters, and completing quests, but in an MMO you can do it with new people from around the globe. I have made a good amount of friends through my interactions with people on MMO’s, and it’s starting to be a growing trend.

UO has since lost much of its fan base to newer MMO’s, but the game is still up and running to this date. Perhaps the best thing UO has done for the gaming community is to spawn different ideas about new MMO’s to create.  From 2000 – 2010 we’ve seen our share of both ridiculous and awesome MMORPG’s such as:

  • Everquest
  • Aion
  • Dark Age of Camelot
  • World of Warcraft
  • Final Fantasy XI
  • Lineage
  • City of Heroes / Villains
  • Warhammer: Age of Reckoning
  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
  • Dungeon Runners
  • Star Wars Galaxies
  • Asheron’s Call
  • Guild Wars
  • Anarchy Online

This list is in NO specific order and very small compared to the entire list of MMO’s that have been released this past decade. Although one name does shine through, a bit brighter than the rest…World of Warcraft.

Blizzard Entertainment, who were best known for their hits Warcraft and Starcraft RTS (Real Time Strategy) games, decided to join the MMORPG world with a fantasy universe based around their game franchise Warcraft which first debuted in 1994. World of Warcraft (WoW) was first released in November of 2004 (of course I was deployed at the time…) with high anticipation. Since then it has steadily climbed the ladder of fortune and set the utmost standards for the genre of MMORPG’s. With currently over 11.5 million

subscribers as reported in Dec of 2008, WoW is easily the best selling MMORPG ever. To put into terms how much money Blizzard rakes in with this endless gold mine, keep in mind a monthly subscription is $15.

11,500,000 x $15 = $172,500,000

That’s one hundred seventy-two million, five hundred thousands dollars… A MONTH!

City of Heroes screenshot

Say what you want about the game, that’s an impressive haul every month, and that player statistic was from 2008. I’m sure that number has gotten even higher.

All the math and numbers aside, one thing is clear. MMORPG’s took their ground in the beginning of the last decade and are here to stay. Some games have come and gone while some are still growing stronger with every subscription. And I will tell you, just like I tell everyone else… don’t knock it until you try it. Games like World of Warcraft usually have free subscription trials to run their game. The best thing about games like WoW is that you don’t need a super gaming computer to play, which is good, because then my mother-in-law wouldn’t be able to play WoW. And yes, you read that right… my mother-in-law plays a human rogue on WoW. =)

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Brian is a retired member of the US Army, a full time student for Graphic Design, a non profit volunteer for Veteran Training, a mentor for disabled veterans in STRIDE Adaptive Sports and one hell of a geek. He plays a lot of video games, mostly on the PC, and enjoys movies, table top gaming, lego building and just going out and having a good time.

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