A HISTORY OF MASSIVE
ROLE PLAYING GAMES
By Sam Hayman
What is an MMORPG ?
MMORPGs are massive multiplayer video games that are in the role playing genre.
In these games you can design your own character to play as, the design isn’t just how the player
looks, what gender you want to be, or even what species you want to be.
You can also choose your characters statistics so you can make your starting character stronger,
faster, anything. In most of these games now you can give your character star signs which allow
different powers and abilities.
After you have created your unique
character your game begins you can go on
quests, roam a gigantic world seeing the
sites, you could go round killing creatures
and even other players.
These games do not have a se aim there is
no end the idea is to have fun going on
quests, roaming the world, and leveling up
so you can become the best, or at least
better than your friends.
The origin of MMORPGs is from the popular,
role playing board game genre and games
such as the 1970’s hit dungeons and dragons.
The dungeons & dragons game (as a
roleplaying game) is a fantasy game of your
imagination. It's part acting, part storytelling,
part social interaction, part war game, and part
dice rolling. You and your friends create
characters that develop and grow with each
adventure they complete. One player is the
Dungeon Master (DM). The DM controls the
monsters and enemies, narrates the action,
referees the game, and sets up the adventure.
Together, the Dungeon Master and the players
make the game come alive.
With the introduction of computer video
games in the early 90’s game developers
made video game versions of the board
RPGs evolved in the late 90’s when
computer technology improved the graphics,
motion, physics, and intelligence of video
games enabling you to see your character
and roam a world rather than read a
description of your character and story.
Online multiple-player video games
developed from these RPGs into so that you
could roam worlds with other people playing
online at the same time, this then develop
into MMORPGs which to this day is still one
of the most popular genre of gaming.
Never Winter Nights 1991
Ultima Online 1997
World of Warcraft 2001 - present day
Platforms with MMORPGs
Web based games
PC online games
Xbox one online (this has only been possible
recently with next generation technology)
PlayStation 4 online (this has only been possible
recently with next generation technology)
Smartphones (can be used to play augmented reality
role playing games)
The majority of popular MMORPGs are based on
traditional fantasy themes, often occurring in an in
game universe comparable to that of Dungeons &
Some employ hybrid themes that either merge or
substitute fantasy elements with those of science
fiction, sword and sorcery, or crime crime fiction.
Still other draw thematic material from comic books,
the occult and other genres. Often these elements
are developed using similar tasks and scenarios
involving quests, monsters, and loot.
History of games
The phrase MMORPG was first used by Richard Garriott the
creator of Ultima Online (1997) Ultima Online was one of the
first MMORPGs to be made.
The latest MMORPG is Elder Scrolls Online which was
released this year (2014)
Notable games in this genre would be;
○ Star Wars Old Republic
○ Elder Scrolls Online
○ World Of Warcraft
○ Lord Of The Rings Online
○ DC Universe Online
For a full historical list of MMORPGS go to this web address:
The biggest, most popular
World of warcraft was published in 2004
It was developed by Blizzard Entertainment.
It is only playable on PCs and Macs
World of warcraft is to this day the most popular MMORPG in the
It had many features that other MMORPGS had however it had
unique setting and features that made it a hit.
The number of subscriptions for W.O.W peeked in 2010 at 12
W.O.W has recently had a drop in subscribers and was last
reported to have 7.6 million subscribers.
Drop In MMORPG
MMORPGs have recently seen a large drop in
One major reason for the drop in MMORPG
popularity is the increasing popularity of the
multiplayer feature on first-person shooters such as;
Call Of Duty, Battlefeild, Halo and recently Titanfall.
Audiences like the first-person shooter multiplayers
so much that they don’t in fact play anything other
than the multiplayer.
○ Call Of Duty has had over 100 million players, that’s larger
then the entire population of Germany or the United
My First MMORPG Game
My first MMORPG was Runescape.
Runescape is a fantasy themed game that was all anyone would
talk about when I was in key stage 2 of primary school.
Is web based, it’s worldwide and full of people in every server.
Back at the start when I began playing it in 2004 the worlds
weren’t very busy but I recently went online to reminisce and the
servers were full you couldn’t see the ground there were so many
Runescape is apart a part of my local culture as the game was not
only big but it was create within my county (three years before
world of warcraft).