MMORPG is the abbreviated form for “massively multiplayer online role playing game.” The most popular MMORPG of all time is World of Warcraft.
MMORPG is a type of game where thousands or millions of players play together at the same time. It is a type of multiplayer online game, and is distinguished from the rest by having a strong storyline and a character-based system (as opposed to simple point-and-shoot games).
In MMORPGs, players enter an online virtual world, first choosing a character (which is symbolized by an avatar) and then interacting with others. Most of the games have some kind of combat system, where they fight monsters to gain experience in order to level up and increase character statistics, or get treasure. Some games have specific quests and rare items which must be collected.
To enter this world, players must use the server, which is usually managed by the game publishers. The server must be powerful, as some games have millions of subscribers, with thousands online at a given time. MMORPGs are particularly popular in the United States, South Korea and Taiwan.
The first MMORPG was called Meridian 59, which was introduced to the public in 1996. However, the first highly successful MMORPG was Ultima Online, released a year later. Both games had a subscription system where members had to pay an amount every month. Other games that had a cult following were EverQuest and Asheron’s Call. As of 2009, the most widely played MMORPG of all time is World of Warcraft.
MMORPGs popularity hit a temporary plateau in 2001, but there was a large enough following for software developers to continue to produce new game titles, and expansion packs for existing games. These expansion packs either introduce new playing areas, quests or character add-ons.
A new peak in MMORPG's was reached with the mainstream success of World of Warcraft.