Online gaming seems like such a normal thing nowadays. From apps to RPGs to simulations, millions of people play online games via the internet. But there used to be a time where online games weren’t as prevalent or popular as they are today. In this article, you’ll learn about the history of online gaming, as well as a few fun facts about it.
A multi-user dungeon (MUD) was created by Roy Trubshaw where people can visit a series of locations to chat with others. A man named Richard Bartle took interest in the project, and he later turned it into a combat system. Together, they connected the MUD in the UK with a network called ARPANET in the US, to create an international multi-player game.
Two men named Kelton Flinn and John Taylor created a new game. It was called Dungeons of Kesmai and it could support up to six players. It is more packed with action than Trubshaw and Bartle’s MUD.
A reinvention of Dungeons of Kesmai was released and hosted by CompuServe. It was called Islands of Kesmai and it cost $12 per hour per player to join.
Another game was released by Lucasfilm. Creators Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar introduced Habitat, a multi-player adventure game. However, it only ran on beta in the US because servers couldn’t handle it at the time.
The first play by email game on a commercial server was released. It was created by Jessica Mulligan and it was called Rim Worlds War.
Club Caribe, which was sort of a sequel of Lucasfilm’s Habitat, was released on QuantumLink.
Another MUD was created by James Aspnes. He called it TinyMUD and he described it as a “compact multiplayer adventure game”.
Neverwinter Nights, which was based on the board game Dungeons & Dragons, was released on America Online. The Sierra Network also introduced chess, checkers and other parlor games online.
A first-person shooting game called Wolfenstein 3D (not actually 3D) was released by Id Software.
The online game Doom was released and became an instant hit, garnering a huge fan base at the time.
Id Software introduced a new game to the market called Quake. It was three-dimensional and supported multi-players. A few months later, an add-on to the game called Team Fortress was released.
Meridian 59 from Archetype Interactive (later on sold to 3DO who published it) was the first highly graphical multiplayer game in the world. It could host 35 players at once.
Origin developed and released Ultima Online, an online game that reached 200,000 subscribers at its peak.
Korean company NCSoft released Lineage, one of the first and the world’s most popular MMORPGs. It earned four million subscribers.
Tribes introduced the online-only first-person action game that they called Starsiege. It had a team/multi-player mode and customizable characters.
Sierra also released Half-Life during this year.
EverQuest from Sony was released and it was the first fully three-dimensional MMORPG. Meanwhile, the first beta of Counter-Strike, one of the most popular online games in the world, was released by creators Minh Le and Jess Cliffe.
2000 – present
Online games continue to increase in popularity. Nowadays, there are also online casinos such as NetBet, a sports betting website.
So this has been a short history of online gaming. Did you learn new facts about the classic online games you may have once played? With the fast development of technology, it’s great to remember the classics to see how far online gaming has improved.