Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) have been around for decades, providing players with immersive worlds to explore, engaging gameplay, and social interactions with other players. While there have been many popular MMOs released since the turn of the millennium, some of the biggest selling games in the genre were released before the year 2000. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of these games and explore what made them so successful.
Ultima Online (1997)
Ultima Online, released in 1997, is widely regarded as one of the first true MMOs. Developed by Origin Systems and published by Electronic Arts, Ultima Online allowed players to create their own characters and explore the vast, open world of Britannia. The game featured a variety of gameplay elements, including combat, crafting, and player housing, and it quickly became a massive success.
One of the key factors in Ultima Online’s success was its open-ended gameplay. Players could choose to follow any path they wanted, from becoming a skilled craftsman to embarking on epic quests. Additionally, the game’s persistent world meant that players could interact with each other in real-time, forming alliances, waging wars, and even committing crimes.
Released in 1999, EverQuest was another groundbreaking MMO that helped to popularize the genre. Developed by Sony Online Entertainment (now Daybreak Game Company), EverQuest allowed players to create their own characters and explore the world of Norrath. The game featured a deep storyline, challenging gameplay, and a vibrant community of players.
One of the reasons that EverQuest was so successful was its emphasis on social interaction. Players were encouraged to team up with others to complete quests and battle powerful monsters, and the game’s guild system allowed players to form long-lasting bonds with one another. Additionally, the game’s regular updates and expansions kept players engaged and coming back for more.
Asheron’s Call (1999)
Developed by Turbine Entertainment and released in 1999, Asheron’s Call was another early MMO that helped to popularize the genre. The game allowed players to explore the world of Dereth, battling powerful monsters and uncovering the game’s deep lore. Additionally, Asheron’s Call featured a unique magic system that allowed players to customize their spells and abilities.
One of the things that set Asheron’s Call apart from other MMOs of the time was its dynamic world. The game featured regular events and storylines that would change the game’s world and the behaviour of its inhabitants. This helped to create a sense of excitement and unpredictability and kept players engaged and coming back for more.
In conclusion, while there have been many successful MMOs released since the turn of the millennium, some of the genre’s biggest-selling games were released before the year 2000. Games like Ultima Online, EverQuest, and Asheron’s Call helped to popularize the MMO genre and paved the way for many of the games we enjoy today. These games remain popular among players to this day, and their legacy continues to be felt in the MMOs that we play today.