(for grade)

MMOs or Massively Multiplayer Online games have been around since the early 80s. They defenitely were not backed by the ever growing support for graphics that we are accustomed to today, but they had a lot of similarities.

One of the earliest MMO's was Island of Kesmai. This game was primarily a chat room with a small map. The map was made out of just ascii character with a legend giving a description of what each character represented. Games today, if not free to play, only run about $15/month. Island of Kesmai however was a crazy $12/hour through CompuServe. Like today's games, it included a pretty indepth character creation for a strictly text-based game. There were multiple classes, origins, genders, and so on.

Most people consider Ultima Onlineto be a driving force for the modern day MMO. Ultima Online was released in 1997 and was the first game of it's type to reach the 100,000 subscriber mark. The game does have it's dedicated fans. It can still be played today, it may have a differnt look though, considering they've upgraded the graphics engine. Because Ultima Online was one of the first of it's kind, it had no shortage of problems. Both technical and legal. One aspect that can make or break an MMO is the economy. Not our economy but the economy of the game. Players learned early on how to mass duplicate items and money. This process, known as "duping", destroys the economy and power balance for players whom actually abide but the ToS (terms of service).

One of the most widely played games today is World of Warcraft. Even as the number of paid subscriptions is falling, as of September 2013, the number is still around 7.6 million. There are those who argue that a lot of players have multiple accounts, that is still a huge number. At $15/month, you can see just how big the MMO Market is. The number rises and falls with the release of new game content, what they refer to as "Expansion Packs". The lore of WoW is it's backbone. It has even given birth to series of novels. With each expansion, the developers increase the depth of the WoW story. Most recently, they have discovered a long lost race of Panda from island of Pandaria. The expansion was released in September of 2012, and the number of subscribers jumped to over 10 million. Here, a little over a year later, that amount has dropped by about 4 million.

World of Warcraft isn't the only MMO currently on the market. Obviously, there's Final Fantasy XIV. A few of the other top played games are; Star Wars the Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, and Lord of Rings.

Some of the most anticipated MMOs are;

WildstarThe Elder Scrolls Online