History of online games. The first MMORPG

History of online games and first MMORPG

Online games are a popular way to spend your free time. Their popularity has increased dramatically with the advent of high-speed Internet and modern graphics technologies that allow them to achieve mind-boggling beauty (although very rarely used, due to outdated and limited resources of most users).

The first network shooter

The first network shooter was developed by John Daleske in 1973 under the first system for e-learning “PLATO” and received a rather significant name – “Empire.” In total, the game was four races, and the main task facing each player was to conquer the galaxy, consisting of 25 planets. And, of course, it was possible to do it only by defeating all their opponents.

Empire 1973

It was simple in appearance, but quite complex strategy in the style of a shooter with support for up to eight participants at most. Speaking of complexity, I’m not thinking of intricate possibilities in the game, but of complexity in management: all teams were entered by players using the keyboard (and that’s even though it’s a shooter!), the direction of the shot was set in degrees, and if you think that everything was happening slowly – you are deeply mistaken: in battles, an experienced player carried out 20 clicks per second, and only because the PLATO system could not process more than 20 times.

However, Empire was not a full-fledged online game, in the modern concept of the word, because in those not so far away, but infinitely distant from us, times and the Internet has not yet been.

The first online game

Since the Internet was a vast local network at that time, existing mainly only at strategically important sites and institutions that were engaged in its development network for these very objects, it is not surprising that the first network games we owe American students.

In 1975, Will Crowther created the first text game built on the rules of the very first and most popular universe of Dungeons & Dragons (which is also alive in current projects, the latest of which is Neverwinter Online).

Inspired by this, MIT students in 1977 create their version of the game and give it the name “Zork,” which, when transferred to FORTRAN, was changed to “Dungeon.”

In 1979, European students Richard Bartle and Roy Trab Shaw created a multiplayer version of the game and named it Multi-User Dungeon, creating the world’s first online game in the multiplayer world (MUD) genre. This genre can be rightly considered the ancestor of MMORPG, because it is MMORPG, but only in text form. When transferred to FORTRAN, it was called “Dungeon.”

In 1980 two classmates, John Taylor and Kelton Flynn, developed “Dungeons of Kesmai.” It was a similar game, but with a great future. Up to six people could play it at a time.

In 1985, when the first PC appeared, and the TCP\IP protocol was developed, John and Kelton decided to go further. They founded their own company and released an extended commercial version called “Dungeons of Kesmai, Island of Kesmai,” creating a new era in the world industry and earning the title of creator of the world’s first commercial online game.

But the technology did not stand still, as well as competitors of the new company. In the same year, the Island of Kesmai has a serious competitor from “Lucasfilm Games” – an online game “Habitat” with full graphics and a user-friendly graphical interface.

Habitat 1985

In 1988, Club Caribe was created. It was the world’s first game with a subscription fee, which was $ 12 per hour (and you complain that you have to pay). Besides, at the same time, it was not much different from “Habitat.”

In the same year, a protocol of modern Internet chat rooms was developed, which later, of course, had a significant impact on the industry of online games.

In the 1990s, with the advent of modern Internet – WWW – began to develop rapidly and online games. Now that there are a browser and a graphical interface of operating systems, everyone can use the Internet – thousands of people have joined the community of gamers, and dozens of new gaming projects that are released on the market every month began to fight for them. This process is still going on today.

Neverwinter Nights

In 1991, the first graphical online role-playing game – “Neverwinter Nights” – appeared. The game screen is divided into two parts: text and graphics.

Ultima Online

In 1997 thee first server of “Ultima Online” was launched, the first successful online game. Its creator, Richard Garriott, to whom we should be grateful for the term “MMORPG,” and Ultima Online is considered the first MMORPG globally.


In 1998 appeared the first online game with 3-D graphics called “Everquest.” After which the real 3-D MMORPG boom started.

A lot of water has passed since then, and all this time the technology has improved, which eventually led to a split gaming industry into two segments: classic client and new browser, but it’s not those online games, thanks to which, at one time, the word “browser” became abusive.