MMORPG, as defined by Wikipedia; “MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) is a genre of online computer role-playing games (RPGs) in which a large number of players interact with one another in a virtual world. As in all RPGs, players assume the role of a fictional character (most commonly in a fantasy setting) and take control over many of that character’s actions. MMORPGs are distinguished from single-player or small multi-player RPGs by the number of players, and by the game’s persistent world, usually hosted by the game’s publisher, which continues to exist and evolve while the player is away from the game.
MMORPGs are very popular throughout the world, with combined global memberships in subscription and non-subscription games exceeding 15 million as of 2006. Overall, revenues for MMORPGs exceeded half a billion dollars in 2005 and are expected to reach over a billion dollars by 2009.” (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
If there ever were something that has truly become a unique innovation in videogames, it would be online gaming and its ability to provide for multiplayer games. Now, multiplayer online gaming is not something that is new as it has been around for eight years having debuted with DOOM in 1998. Multiplayer online gaming, however, was not instantaneously popular across the whole spectrum of PC gamers. It took a while for the ball to get rolling, but when it finally did start to gain momentum that the following that developed has seemingly exceeded even the most optimistic expectations of the early days.
Defining Multiplayer Online Gaming
For those not familiar with the term, multiplayer online gaming involves several players can participate in an online game at the same time. They can work as a team facing the computer or they can play against each other. It has been said that multiplayer games of this nature were the first shift from computer games where a human faces an artificial intelligence to where humans play against other humans. In a way, this phase that online games have entered seems to be a return to the past in terms of delivering the same purpose of games of old.
The Old Days
Parker Brothers did not make a mint selling all those board games because the games were fascinating to play. (Most of the games were extremely simple minded, but benefited from excellent marketing campaigns) Part of the reason families and individuals loved to play these games was because they were social events where people could get together and have a lot of fun interacting. Yes, there were competitive people who took playing the board games too serious at times, but generally people liked to spend time together and have a blast with these classic games.
When videogames became more and more popular, the games took a protracted approach to developing one player games. This ended up killing off a great deal of the benefits of social interaction. With the advent of multiplayer online gaming, video and computer games have joined the realm of social interaction filling the seeming void formerly held by board games. (Board games, however, are still popular and sell strong)
Multiplayer PC games serve and excellent purpose of increasing the social lines of communication between people all across the globe and will probably continue to expand in volume and popularity.