Once upon a time, there was a little company known as Sierra Online who developed the first MMORPG. They planned to sell this software to gamers so that it would be possible to connect to each other over a network. In 1996, the Realm Online or known then as simply the Realm launched. Let’s remind you once again that the year was 1996 for you to understand what revolutionary this idea is: There were neither Google nor Amazon yet. Even making purchases over the Internet was not common.

The first games that evaluated this opportunity were known as Graphic MUDs. With their own software and graphics, companies like Sierra and Origin were able to usher in the MMO era of games. However, they had a problem: They had neither a game nor a platform to offer online games on a mass scale. For example, the Realm was and is one of the few games that keeps all the players on a single server.

At that same time, another industry bloomed as well. You can see many examples of modern day machines at http://automatenspielex.com/en/real-money-slots. In the same year, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was established. Kahnawake, a geographical region of the Indians of America and Canada, is an autonomous territory. So it was not subject to America’s laws. The license of this commission was more favorable than Antigua & Barbuda. For example, unlike the Caribbean islands, online servers did not have to be located in Kahnawake. In 1998, Automatenspielex recognized the importance of these machines.

One of the Fastest Growing Industries

The sector continued to develop rapidly. By the end of 2000, the size of the sector reached a much larger audience. The bulk of this Audience came from American and Korean players. In Europe, MMORPGs were still not very common. Eventually, this situation changed as World of Warcraft became a worldwide hit. During their reign as the top MMORPG, WoW’s total number of online players in the world reached over 12 million.

Today, online gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry and continues to evolve. The sector continues to grow and create new business opportunities. Analysts think the VR technology will be the future of online game industry. As a matter of fact, VR online games are expected to be a huge hit worldwide as soon as 2018.


  1. Nice to learn some history now and then. I would think players during that time would be weirded out in buying things for a game. Like, why would you buy something for a game? Lmao

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  2. Well MMORPG’s have gone a long way to the present day and many things have changed along the way.
    I wasn’t even born yet when the first MMORPG came out and my own personal interest towards MMORPG’s started when i found out about Runescape in 2008 when my buddies told me about it.

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  3. I think it’s difficult to determine what the first online game was, because we use “online” to mean something different today than what it may have originally meant, particularly to mean “connected to the Internet” in our modern sense rather than the general meaning which is “connected to a network or to another computer”.

    If using the latter definition, you can probably trace “online” games back to the 60s when the ARPANET was still around, maybe even as early as the 50s before computers supported time-sharing. Most of the games would have probably been Terminal-based games, mostly as text (probably categorized more as text-based adventure games where you play with a series of decisions, or a decision tree). This would have been before MUDs were around; still text-based, but not so much about dungeons. These “online” games around the 60s to the 80s would mostly be limited to the military or to academia, so not really adapted for modern use.

    The Internet would be the successor to the ARPANET, first originating in 1983, but the World Wide Web wouldn’t be around until almost another decade when computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee invents it in 1989. In the 1980s, you already have MUDs which carried over from the ARPANET and were quite popular, but you also had some more graphical-based games around which started to emerge around this period.

    And it’s hard to say what the first online game even was, or when it launched, because there’s not really much record on games connected to the history of networks. But most likely, it would have been some sort of text-based game created in universities. Would be hard to have a popular online game at that time though, because most people wouldn’t even own a computer; even Macintosh computers of the 80s were seen as a luxury product.

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