Massively multiplayer online game
A massively multiplayer online game (also called MMO and MMOG) is a multiplayer video game which is capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously. By necessity, they are played on the Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

, and usually feature at least one persistent world
Persistent world
A persistent world is a virtual world that continues to exist even after a user exits the world and that user-made changes to its state are, to some extent, permanent...

. They are, however, not necessarily games played on personal computer
Personal computer
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

s. Most of the newer game consoles, including the PSP
PlayStation Portable
The is a handheld game console manufactured and marketed by Sony Corporation Development of the console was announced during E3 2003, and it was unveiled on , 2004, at a Sony press conference before E3 2004...

, PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3
The is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

, Xbox 360
Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft and the successor to the Xbox. The Xbox 360 competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

, Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
The is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP...

 and Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...

 can access the Internet and may therefore run MMO games. Additionally, mobile devices and smartphones based on such operating systems as Android, iOS and Windows Phone
Windows Phone
Windows Phone is a mobile operating system developed by Microsoft, and is the successor to its Windows Mobile platform, although incompatible with it. Unlike its predecessor, it is primarily aimed at the consumer market rather than the enterprise market...

 are seeing an increase in the number of MMO games available.

MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a large scale, and sometimes to interact meaningfully with people around the world. They include a variety of gameplay types, representing many video game genres.


The most popular type of MMOG, and the sub-genre that pioneered the category, is the massively multiplayer online role playing game
Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

 (MMORPG), which descended from university mainframe computer
Mainframe computer
Mainframes are powerful computers used primarily by corporate and governmental organizations for critical applications, bulk data processing such as census, industry and consumer statistics, enterprise resource planning, and financial transaction processing.The term originally referred to the...

A MUD , pronounced , is a multiplayer real-time virtual world, with the term usually referring to text-based instances of these. MUDs combine elements of role-playing games, hack and slash, player versus player, interactive fiction, and online chat...

 and adventure games such as Rogue
Rogue (computer game)
Rogue is a dungeon crawling video game first developed by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman around 1980. It was a favorite on college Unix systems in the early to mid-1980s, in part due to the procedural generation of game content. Rogue popularized dungeon crawling as a video game trope, leading...

and Dungeon
Dungeon (computer game)
Dungeon was one of the earliest computer role-playing games, running on PDP-10 mainframe computers manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation.-History:...

on the PDP-10
The PDP-10 was a mainframe computer family manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation from the late 1960s on; the name stands for "Programmed Data Processor model 10". The first model was delivered in 1966...

. These games predate the commercial gaming industry and the Internet, but still featured persistent worlds and other elements of MMOGs still used today.

The first graphical MMOG, and a major milestone in the creation of the genre, was the multiplayer flight combat simulation game Air Warrior
Air Warrior
Air Warrior was an early multiplayer on-line air-combat simulator. A player is able to fly a simulated World War II aircraft, fighting with and against other players, each flying his own simulated aircraft. It was introduced in 1986 by Kelton Flinn and his company Kesmai. At this time the internet...

by Kesmai
Kesmai was a pioneering game developer and online game publisher, founded in 1981 by Kelton Flinn and John Taylor. The company was best known for the combat flight sim Air Warrior on the GEnie online service, one of the first graphical MMOGs, launched in 1987...

 on the GEnie
GEnie was an online service created by a General Electric business - GEIS that ran from 1985 through the end of 1999. In 1994, GEnie claimed around 350,000 users. Peak simultaneous usage was around 10,000 users...

 online service, which first appeared in 1986.

Commercial MMORPGs gained early acceptance in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The genre was pioneered by the GemStone
GemStone IV
GemStone IV is a multiplayer text-based online role-playing game produced by Simutronics. Players control characters in a High Fantasy game world named "Elanthia". The first playable version of the game was known as GemStone ][ and was launched in April 1988 on GEnie...

 series on GEnie, also created by Kesmai, and Neverwinter Nights
Neverwinter Nights (AOL game)
Neverwinter Nights was the first multiplayer online role-playing game to display graphics, and ran from 1991 to 1997 on AOL.-Gameplay:Neverwinter Nights was developed to be played similarly to the Gold Box series of games...

, the first such game to include graphics, which debuted on AOL
AOL Inc. is an American global Internet services and media company. AOL is headquartered at 770 Broadway in New York. Founded in 1983 as Control Video Corporation, it has franchised its services to companies in several nations around the world or set up international versions of its services...

 in 1991.

As computer game developers applied MMOG ideas to other computer and video game genres
Computer and video game genres
Video game genres are used to categorize video games based on their gameplay interaction rather than visual or narrative differences. A video game genre is defined by a set of gameplay challenges. They are classified independent of their setting or game-world content, unlike other works of fiction...

, new acronyms started to develop, such as MMORTS. MMOG emerged as a generic term to cover this growing class of games. These games became so popular that a magazine, called Massive Online Gaming, released an issue in October 2002 hoping to cover MMOG topics exclusively, but it never released its second issue.

The debuts of The Realm Online
The Realm Online
The Realm Online, originally known simply as The Realm, is a second generation MORPG . The Realm Online is still being played by a small number of players, and is known as one of the few MMORPGs that is still dial-up friendly and easy to play.The Realm was launched in March 1995 for Windows...

, Meridian 59
Meridian 59
Meridian 59, abbreviated M59, is an online computer role-playing game first published by the now defunct 3DO Company. First launched online in an early form on December 15, 1995 and released commercially on September 27, 1996 with a flat-rate monthly subscription, Meridian 59 is often credited as...

(the first 3D MMOG), Ultima Online
Ultima Online
Ultima Online is a graphical massively multiplayer online role-playing game , released on September 24, 1997, by Origin Systems. It was instrumental to the development of the genre, and is still running today...

, Underlight
Underlight is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game . Underlight was Lyra Studio's first product, launched on Mplayer in 1998.-Gameplay:...

and EverQuest
EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was released on the 16th of March, 1999. The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost...

in the late 1990s popularized the MMORPG genre. The growth in technology meant that where Neverwinter Nights in 1991 had been limited to 50 simultaneous players (a number that grew to 500 by 1995), by the year 2000 a multitude of MMORPGs were each serving thousands of simultaneous players and in December 2007 Eve Online
EVE Online
Eve Online is a video game by CCP Games. It is a player-driven, persistent-world MMORPG set in a science fiction space setting. Characters pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates...

achieved a new record with 41,690 concurrent accounts logged on to the same server. The current record stands at 60,453 achieved on 2010-06-06.

Despite the genre's focus on multiplayer gaming, AI-controlled characters are still common. NPC
Non-player character
A non-player character , sometimes known as a non-person character or non-playable character, in a game is any fictional character not controlled by a player. In electronic games, this usually means a character controlled by the computer through artificial intelligence...

s and mob
Mob (computer gaming)
A mob, mobile or monster is a computer-controlled non-player character in a computer game such as an MMORPG or MUD. Depending on context, all such characters in a game may be considered "mobs", or usage may be limited to hostile NPCs and/or NPCs vulnerable to attack.-Purpose of mobs:Defeating...

s who give out quests or serve as opponents are typical in MMORPGs. AI-controlled characters are not as common in action-based MMOGs.

The popularity of MMOGs was mostly restricted to the computer game market until the sixth-generation consoles
History of video game consoles (sixth generation)
The sixth-generation era refers to the computer and video games, video game consoles, and video game handhelds available at the turn of the 21st century. Platforms of the sixth generation include the Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, and Microsoft Xbox...

, with the launch of Phantasy Star Online
Phantasy Star Online
Phantasy Star Online is an online multiplayer action RPG title, originally released for the Dreamcast in 2000, bundled with a demo of Sonic Adventure 2. Another edition, entitled Phantasy Star Online ver.2, was released for Dreamcast the following year...

on Dreamcast and the emergence and growth of online service Xbox Live
Xbox Live
Xbox Live is an online multiplayer gaming and digital media delivery service created and operated by Microsoft Corporation. It is currently the only online gaming service on consoles that charges users a fee to play multiplayer gaming. It was first made available to the Xbox system in 2002...

. There have been a number of console MMOGs, including EverQuest Online Adventures
EverQuest Online Adventures
EverQuest Online Adventures is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game for the PlayStation 2. EQOA is one of the few MMORPGs released on a video game console...

(PlayStation 2
PlayStation 2
The PlayStation 2 is a sixth-generation video game console manufactured by Sony as part of the PlayStation series. Its development was announced in March 1999 and it was first released on March 4, 2000, in Japan...

), and the multiconsole Final Fantasy XI
Final Fantasy XI
, also known as Final Fantasy XI Online, is a MMORPG developed and published by Square as part of the Final Fantasy series. It was released in Japan on Sony's PlayStation 2 on May 16, 2002, and was released for Microsoft's Windows-based personal computers in November 2002...

. On PCs, the MMOG market has always been dominated by successful fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...


MMOGs have only recently begun to break into the mobile phone market. The first, Samurai Romanesque
Samurai Romanesque
Samurai Romanesque is a mobile massive multiplaying game which allows the player to play as a Samurai in the Sengoku era. Players could go online and battle in a match of up to 50 players in a war between nations...

 set in feudal Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, was released in 2001 on NTT DoCoMo
is the predominant mobile phone operator in Japan. The name is officially an abbreviation of the phrase, "do communications over the mobile network", and is also from a compound word dokomo, meaning "everywhere" in Japanese. Docomo provides phone, video phone , i-mode , and mail services...

's iMode network in Japan. More recent developments are CipSoft
CipSoft GmbH, or CIP, is a video game developer based in Regensburg, Germany which produces the online roleplaying game Tibia. They also market Tibia Micro Edition, a cell-phone-based version of the game...

's TibiaME and Biting Bit's MicroMonster which features online and bluetooth multiplayer gaming. SmartCell Technology
SmartCell Technology
SmartCell Technology, LLC was a mobile applications developer with its headquarters in Irvine, California, United States, and a development center in Shanghai, China. Commonly referred to as "SmartCell" for short, the company was founded in 2001 by its President and CEO, Bruce Wang, whose previous...

 is in development of Shadow of Legend, which will allow gamers to continue their game on their mobile device when away from their PC.

Science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 has also been a popular theme, featuring games such as Mankind, Anarchy Online
Anarchy Online
Anarchy Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game published and developed by Funcom. Released in the summer of 2001, the game was first in the genre to include a science-fiction setting, dynamic quests, free trials, and in-game advertising. The most ground breaking feature in...

, Eve Online
EVE Online
Eve Online is a video game by CCP Games. It is a player-driven, persistent-world MMORPG set in a science fiction space setting. Characters pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates...

, Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies is a Star Wars themed MMORPG for Microsoft Windows developed by Sony Online Entertainment and published by LucasArts.-History:...

and The Matrix Online
The Matrix Online
The Matrix Online was a massively multiplayer online game developed by Monolith Productions created by Richard Carroll. It was the official continuation of the storyline of the Matrix series of films. The game began closed beta-testing in June 2004 which was then opened for people who pre-ordered...


MMOGs emerged from the hard-core gamer community to the mainstream strongly in December 2003 with an analysis in the Financial Times measuring the value of the virtual property in the then-largest MMOG, Everquest, to result in a per-capita GDP of 2,266 dollars which would have placed the virtual world of Everquest as the 77th wealthiest nation, on par with Croatia, Ecuador, Tunisia or Vietnam.

Happy Farm
Happy Farm
Happy Farm is a social network game, or massively multiplayer online game, based on farm management simulation. It is played predominantly by users in Mainland China and Taiwan, and is the most popular MMOG in terms of players...

is the most popular MMOG with 228 million active users, and 23 million daily users (daily active users logging onto the game with a 24-hour period).

World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the fourth released game set in the fantasy Warcraft universe, which was first introduced by Warcraft: Orcs & Humans in 1994...

is currently a dominant MMOG in the world with more than 60% of the subscribing player base, and with 11–12 million monthly subscribers worldwide, is the most popular Western title among MMOGs. In 2008, Western consumer spending on World of Warcraft represented a 58% share of the subscription MMOG market. The title has generated over $2.2 billion in cumulative consumer spending on subscriptions since 2005.

Comparison to other games

There are a number of factors shared by most MMOGs that make them different from other types of games. MMOGs create a persistent universe where the game milieu continues regardless of interaction. Since these games emphasize multiplayer gameplay, many have only basic single-player aspects and the artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the intelligence of machines and the branch of computer science that aims to create it. AI textbooks define the field as "the study and design of intelligent agents" where an intelligent agent is a system that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its...

 on the server is primarily designed to support group play. As a result, players cannot "finish" MMOGs in the typical sense of single-player games.

However single player game play is quite viable, although this may result in the player being unable to experience all content. This is especially the case for content designed for a multiplayer group commonly called a "party" or "raid party" in the case of the largest player groups which are required for the most significant and potentially rewarding play experiences and "boss fights" which are often designed to require multiple players to ensure the creature or NPC is killed.

Most MMOGs also share other characteristics that make them different from other multiplayer online games. MMOGs host a large number of players in a single game world, and all of those players can interact with each other at any given time. Popular MMOGs might have thousands of players online at any given time, usually on a company owned server. Non-MMOGs, such as Battlefield 1942
Battlefield 1942
Battlefield 1942 is a 3D World War II first-person shooter computer game developed by Swedish company Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh . The game can be played in singleplayer mode against the computer game AI or in multiplayer mode...

or Half-Life usually have fewer than 50 players online (per server) and are usually played on private servers. Also, MMOGs usually do not have any significant mod
Mod (computer gaming)
Mod or modification is a term generally applied to personal computer games , especially first-person shooters, role-playing games and real-time strategy games. Mods are made by the general public or a developer, and can be entirely new games in themselves, but mods are not standalone software and...

s since the game must work on company servers. There is some debate if a high head-count is the requirement to be an MMOG. Some say that it is the size of the game world and its capability to support a large number of players that should matter. For example, despite technology and content constraints, most MMOGs can fit up to a few thousand players on a single game server at a time.

To support all those players, MMOGs need large-scale game worlds, and servers
Game server
A game server is a remotely or locally run server used by game clients to play multiplayer video games. Most video games played over the Internet operate via a connection to a game server...

 to connect players to those worlds. Sometimes a game features a universe which is copied onto different servers, separating players, and this is called a "sharded" universe. Other games will feature a single universe which is divided among servers, and requires players to switch. Still others will only use one part of the universe at any time. For example, Tribes (which is not an MMOG) comes with a number of large maps, which are played in rotation (one at a time). In contrast, the similar title PlanetSide
PlanetSide is a massively-multiplayer online first-person-shooter computer game published by Sony Online Entertainment and released on May 20, 2003....

uses the second model, and allows all map
An overworld is, in a broad sense, an area within a video game that interconnects all its levels or locations. They are mostly common in role-playing games, though this does not exclude other video game genres....

-like areas of the game to be reached via flying, driving, or teleporting.

MMORPGs usually have sharded universes, as they provide the most flexible solution to the server load problem, but not always. For example, the space sim Eve Online
EVE Online
Eve Online is a video game by CCP Games. It is a player-driven, persistent-world MMORPG set in a science fiction space setting. Characters pilot customizable ships through a galaxy of over 7,500 star systems. Most star systems are connected to one or more other star systems by means of stargates...

 uses only one large cluster server peaking at over 60,000 simultaneous players.

There are also a few more common differences between MMOGs and other online games. Most MMOGs charge the player a monthly or bimonthly fee to have access to the game's servers, and therefore to online play. Also, the game state in an MMOG rarely ever resets. This means that a level gained by a player today will still be there tomorrow when the player logs back on. MMOGs often feature in-game support for clans and guilds. The members of a clan or a guild may participate in activities with one another, or show some symbols of membership to the clan or guild.

Technical aspect

It is challenging to develop the database engines that are needed to run a successful MMOG with millions of players. Many developers have created their own, but attempts have been made to create middleware, software that would help game developers concentrate on their games more than technical aspects. One such piece of middleware is called BigWorld
Bigworld Technology
BigWorld Technology is a middleware platform for the development of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games and virtual worlds...


An early, successful entry into the field was VR-1 Entertainment whose Conductor platform was adopted and endorsed by a variety of service providers around the world including Sony Communications Network in Japan; the Bertelsmann Game Channel in Germany; British Telecom's Wireplay in England; and DACOM and Samsung SDS in South Korea. Games that were powered by the Conductor platform included Fighter Wing, Air Attack, Fighter Ace, EverNight, Hasbro Em@ail Games (Clue, NASCAR and Soccer), Towers of Fallow, The SARAC Project, VR1 Crossroads and Rumble in the Void.

One of the bigger problems with the engines has been to handle the vast number of players. Since a typical server can handle around 10,000–12,000 players, 4000–5000 active simultaneously, dividing the game into several servers has up until now been the solution. This approach has also helped with technical issues, such as lag
Lag is a common word meaning to fail to keep up or to fall behind. In real-time applications, the term is used when the application fails to respond in a timely fashion to inputs...

, that many players experience. Another difficulty, especially relevant to real-time simulation games, is time synchronization across hundreds or thousands of players. Many games rely on time synchronization to drive their physics simulation as well as their scoring and damage detection.


Massively multiplayer online role-playing games, known as MMORPGs, are the most common type of MMOG. Some MMORPGs are designed as a multiplayer browser game in order to reduce infrastructure costs and utilise a thin client
Thin client
A thin client is a computer or a computer program which depends heavily on some other computer to fulfill its traditional computational roles. This stands in contrast to the traditional fat client, a computer designed to take on these roles by itself...

 that most users will already have installed. The acronym BBMMORPGs has sometimes been used to describe these as browser-based.

Bulletin Board Role-Playing Games

A large number of games categorize under MMOBBG, massively multiplayer online bulletin board game, can also be called MMOBBRPG. These particular type of games are primarily made up of text and descriptions, although images are often used to enhance the game.

First-person shooter

MMOFPS is an online gaming genre which features a persistent world and a large number of simultaneous players in a first-person shooter fashion. These games provide large-scale, sometimes team-based combat. The addition of persistence in the game world means that these games add elements typically found in RPGs, such as experience point
Experience point
An experience point is a unit of measurement used in many role-playing games and role-playing video games to quantify a player character's progression through the game...

s. However, MMOFPS games emphasize player skill more than player statistics, as no number of in-game bonuses will compensate for a player's inability to aim and think tactically.

Neocron is a 2002 post-apocalyptic cyberpunk massively multiplayer online role playing game developed by Hanover, Germany-based software developer Reakktor Media GmbH and published by cdv Software Entertainment. It is considered the first cyberpunk-genre MMORPG, and is designed to integrate...

is sometimes considered the first MMOFPS, most consider it a hybrid of MMORPG and first-person shooter, with the later PlanetSide
PlanetSide is a massively-multiplayer online first-person-shooter computer game published by Sony Online Entertainment and released on May 20, 2003....

Is the only true MMOFPS as it allows 399 players all to fight together on the same map. Some may consider Zipper's MAG an MMOFPS as it allows up to 256 players to fight together on the same map.

Real-time strategy

Massively multiplayer online real-time strategy
Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

 games, also known as "MMORTS", combine real-time strategy
Real-time strategy
Real-time strategy is a sub-genre of strategy video game which does not progress incrementally in turns. Brett Sperry is credited with coining the term to market Dune II....

 (RTS) with a persistent world
Persistent world
A persistent world is a virtual world that continues to exist even after a user exits the world and that user-made changes to its state are, to some extent, permanent...

. Players often assume the role of a general, king, or other type of figurehead leading an army into battle while maintaining the resources needed for such warfare. The titles are often based in a sci-fi or fantasy
Fantasy is a genre of fiction that commonly uses magic and other supernatural phenomena as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. Many works within the genre take place in imaginary worlds where magic is common...

 universe and are distinguished from single or small-scale multiplayer RTSes by the number of players and common use of a persistent world, generally hosted by the game's publisher, which continues to evolve even when the player is offline.

Turn-based strategy

Steve Jackson Games' UltraCorps
UltraCorps is an online, multi-player, turn-based space strategy game originally developed by VR-1 Entertainment in 1997 and acquired by Microsoft's MSN Gaming Zone in 1998. The game couples distinctive 3-D rendered artwork and the ability to play with hundreds of people in a single game. It was...

 is an example of a MMO turn-based strategy game. Hundreds of players share the same playing field of conquest. In a "mega" game, each turn fleets are built and launched to expand one's personal empire. Turns are usually time-based, with a "tick" schedule usually daily. All orders are processed, and battles resolved, at the same time during the tick. Similarly, in Darkwind: War on Wheels
Darkwind: War on Wheels
Darkwind: War on Wheels is an independently developed 3D turn based racing and vehicle combat massively multiplayer online game for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux...

, vehicle driving and combat orders are submitted simultaneously by all players and a "tick" occurs typically once per 30 seconds. This allows each player to accurately control multiple vehicles and pedestrians in racing or combat.


Some MMOGs have been designed to accurately simulate certain aspects of the real world. They tend to be very specific to industries or activities of very large risk and huge potential loss, such as rocket science, airplanes, trucks, battle tanks, submarines etc. Gradually as simulation technology is getting more mainstream, so too various simulators arrive into more mundane industries.

The initial goal of World War II Online
World War II Online
Also known as "World War 2 Online", "WW2OL", "WWIIOL", "Battleground Europe", "BE".World War II Online: Battleground Europe is a massively multiplayer online first-person shooter computer game. It was released was on June 6, 2001 for Windows, with the Apple Macintosh version being released in 3Q...

was to create a map (in north western Europe) that had real world physics (gravity, air/water resistance, etc.), and ability for players to have some strategic abilities to its basic FPS/RPG role. While the current version is not quite a true simulated world (lacking details such as weather), it is very complex and contains a large persistent world.

The MMOG genre of air traffic simulation is one example, with networks such as VATSIM and IVAO striving to provide rigorously authentic flight-simulation environments to players in both pilot and air traffic controller roles. In this category of MMOGs, the objective is to create duplicates of the real world for people who cannot or do not wish to undertake those experiences in real life. For example, flight simulation via an MMOG requires far less expenditure of time and money, is completely risk-free, and is far less restrictive (fewer regulations to adhere to, no medical exams to pass, and so on).

Another specialist area is mobile telecoms operator (carrier) business where billion-dollar investments in networks are needed but marketshares are won and lost on issues from segmentation to handset subsidies. A specialist simulation was developed by Nokia called Equilibrium/Arbitrage to have over a two day period five teams of top management of one operator/carrier play a "wargame" against each other, under extremely realistic conditions, with one operator an incumbent fixed and mobile network operator, another a new entrant mobile operator, a third a fixed-line/internet operator etc. Each team is measured by outperforming their rivals by market expectations of that type of player. Thus each player has drastically different goals, but within the simulation, any one team can win. Also to ensure maximum intensity, only one team can win. Telecoms senior executives who have taken the Equilibrium/Arbitrage simulation say it is the most intense, and most useful training they have ever experienced. It is typical of business use of simulators, in very senior management training/retraining.

Other online simulation games include Motor City Online
Motor City Online
Motor City Online was a racing massively multiplayer online computer game released by Electronic Arts on May 11, 2001. The point of the game was to buy classic cars ranging from 1930s to 1970s models, tune them up, and race them against other players...

, The Sims Online
The Sims Online
The Sims Online was a massively multiplayer online variation on Maxis's highly popular computer game The Sims. It was published by Electronic Arts and released on December 17, 2002 for Microsoft Windows. In March 2007, EA announced that the product would be re-branded as EA-Land and major...

, and Jumpgate
Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative
Jumpgate: The Reconstruction Initiative is an MMORPG in a science fiction setting for the PC, released in North America on September 25, 2001 by NetDevil and 3DO...



A massively multiplayer online sports game is a title where players can compete in some of the more traditional major league sports, such as football (soccer), basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

, hockey
Hockey is a family of sports in which two teams play against each other by trying to maneuver a ball or a puck into the opponent's goal using a hockey stick.-Etymology:...

, golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 or American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

. According to, Baseball Mogul Online was "the world's first massively multiplayer online sports game". Other titles that qualify as MMOSG have been around since the early 2000s, but only after 2010 did they start to receive the endorsements of some of the official major league associations and players.


MMOR means massively multiplayer online racing. Currently there are only a small number of racing based MMOGs, including Kart Rider, Upshift StrikeRacer
Upshift Strikeracer
Upshift Strikeracer was a MMO racing video game developed by NChannel and published by gPotato for PC. The game consists of multiple cars that race each other and featuring guns and other weapons that can be mounted to battle and race against other players. The game was released in Summer of 2007...

, Test Drive Unlimited
Test Drive Unlimited
Test Drive Unlimited is an arcade-style racing game, the 9th game of the Test Drive series, it features over 125 licensed sports cars and motorcycles and a terrain modeled after the Hawaiian island of Oahu that features some 1000 miles of roads and highways. Test Drive Unlimited is the ninth main...

, Project Torque
Project Torque
- Invictus Controversy :In October 2009, the developer company of Project Torque, Invictus, issued an IP ban of all non-US accounts on Project Torque. The reason is to be believed that the Europe publisher of Level-R, gamigo AG, filed a complaint concerning a breach in contract because Europe...

, Drift City
Drift City
Drift City is a MMOR video game developed by NPluto and sponsored by several major automotive companies such as Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and U1 Technology.-Plot:...

, Race or Die (iPhone) and Need for Speed: World. The Trackmania
TrackMania is a series of racing games for the Windows PC, Nintendo DS and Wii platforms, originally developed by the French team Nadéo for the PC...

series is the world's largest MMO racing game and holds the world record for "Most Players in a Single Online Race". Although Darkwind: War on Wheels
Darkwind: War on Wheels
Darkwind: War on Wheels is an independently developed 3D turn based racing and vehicle combat massively multiplayer online game for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux...

is more combat based than racing, it is also considered an MMOR.


Many types of MMO games can be classified as casual, because they are designed to appeal to all computer users (as opposed to subgroup of frequent game buyers), or to fans of another game genre (such as collectible card games). Such games are easy to learn and require a smaller time commitment than other game types. One example is Racing Frogs
Racing Frogs
Racing Frogs is a "Quick Fix" Massively multiplayer online game developed and run by Wacky Web Fun Ltd. in association with Iogen Ltd. as an accompaniment to the book 'Frog City and the Racing Frogs' by Julian Patrick...

, an MMOG that can be played with only a small amount of time every day. Other popular casual games include simple management games such as The Sims Online
The Sims Online
The Sims Online was a massively multiplayer online variation on Maxis's highly popular computer game The Sims. It was published by Electronic Arts and released on December 17, 2002 for Microsoft Windows. In March 2007, EA announced that the product would be re-branded as EA-Land and major...

, Monopoly City Streets
Monopoly City Streets
Monopoly City Streets was a live massive multiplayer online browser game using the Monopoly board game on real world streets using Google Maps and OpenStreetMap. The game was developed by Tribal DDB, Hasbro's digital agency, with support from Google. The game was launched on September 9, 2009 and...

, Virtonomics
Virtonomics is a browser-based multiplayer economic game. Virtonomics is a business simulation, simulating economics. It allows users to study the basics of management. The game is turn-based and the conversion of a game situation occurs once a day.-Gameplay:The game resembles the game Capitalism 2...

, or Kung Fu Panda World
Kung Fu Panda World
Kung Fu Panda World is a browser-based video game themed after the Kung Fu Panda franchise of DreamWorks Animation, where players can move their character around a pre-rendered 2D world and participate in a variety of mini-games...


MMOPGs, or massively multiplayer puzzle games, are games based entirely on puzzle elements. It is usually set in a world where the players can access the puzzles around the world. Most games that are MMOPGs are hybrids with other genres. Castle Infinity
Castle Infinity
Castle Infinity is a freeware MMOG for Microsoft Windows developed by Castle Infinity, LLC, an American non-profit organization.The official language of the characters in Castle Infinity is a modification of Esperanto....

was the first MMOG developed for children. Its gameplay falls somewhere between puzzle
Computer puzzle game
Puzzle video games are a genre of video games that emphasize puzzle solving. The types of puzzles to be solved can test many problem solving skills including logic, strategy, pattern recognition, sequence solving, and word completion....

 and adventure
Adventure game
An adventure game is a video game in which the player assumes the role of protagonist in an interactive story driven by exploration and puzzle-solving instead of physical challenge. The genre's focus on story allows it to draw heavily from other narrative-based media such as literature and film,...


There are also massively multiplayer collectible card games: Magic: The Gathering Online
Magic: The Gathering Online
Magic: The Gathering Online or Magic Online is a direct video game adaptation of Magic: The Gathering, utilizing the concept of a virtual economy in order to preserve the collectible aspect of the card game. It is played through an Internet service operated by Wizards of the Coast, which went...

, Alteil
is a story-driven, Flash-based online collectible card game produced by Dex Entertainment. It was released in Japan in 2004, and released in English in 2008. Alteil claims to be the most popular online card game in its home country ). The images on the online cards were designed by a team of...

, Astral Masters and Astral Tournament. Other MMOCCGs might exist (Neopets
Neopets is a virtual pet website that was launched by Adam Powell and Donna Williams on November 15, 1999. Two years after the web site was launched, Adam Powell and Donna Williams sold a majority share to a consortium of investors led by Doug Dohring. On June 20, 2005, Viacom bought Neopets, Inc...

has some CCG elements) but are not as well known.

Alternate reality game
Alternate reality game
An alternate reality game is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions....

s (ARGs) can be massively multiplayer, allowing thousands of players worldwide to co-operate in puzzle trails and mystery solving. ARGs take place in a unique mixture of online and real-world play that usually does not involve a persistent world
Persistent world
A persistent world is a virtual world that continues to exist even after a user exits the world and that user-made changes to its state are, to some extent, permanent...

, and are not necessarily multiplayer, making them different from MMOGs.


Massively multiplayer online music/rhythm games (MMORGs), sometimes called massively multiplayer online dance games (MMODGs), are MMOGs that are also music video game
Music video game
A music video game, also commonly known as a music game, is a video game where the gameplay is meaningfully and often almost entirely oriented around the player's interactions with a musical score or individual songs...

s. This idea was influenced by Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution, abbreviated DDR, and previously known as Dancing Stage in Europe and Australasia, is a music video game series produced by Konami. Introduced in Japan in 1998 as part of the Bemani series, and released in North America and Europe in 1999, Dance Dance Revolution is the...

. Audition Online
Audition Online
Audition Online , also known as X-BEAT in Japan, is a downloadable multiplayer online casual rhythm game produced by T3 Entertainment. It was originally released in South Korea in 2004, but it has been localized by various publishers around the world. Audition Online is free to play but it earns...

is another casual massively multiplayer online game and it is produced by T3 Entertainment.


Massively multiplayer online social games focus on socialization instead of objective-based gameplay. There is a great deal of overlap in terminology with "online communities" and "virtual world
Virtual world
A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...

s". One example that has garnered widespread media attention is Linden Labs' Second Life
Second Life
Second Life is an online virtual world developed by Linden Lab. It was launched on June 23, 2003. A number of free client programs, or Viewers, enable Second Life users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars...

, emphasizing socializing, world-building and an in-world virtual economy that depends on the sale and purchase of user-created content. It is technically an MMOSG or Casual Multiplayer Online (CMO) by definition, though its stated goal was to realize the concept of the Metaverse
The Metaverse is our collective online shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the internet...

 from Neal Stephenson
Neal Stephenson
Neal Town Stephenson is an American writer known for his works of speculative fiction.Difficult to categorize, his novels have been variously referred to as science fiction, historical fiction, cyberpunk, and postcyberpunk...

's novel Snow Crash
Snow Crash
Snow Crash is Neal Stephenson's third novel, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers history, linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, religion, computer science, politics, cryptography, memetics, and philosophy....

. Instead of being based around combat, one could say that it was based around the creation of virtual objects, including models and scripts. In practice, it has more in common with Club Caribe
Club Caribe
Club Caribe was one of the first graphical online worlds. It was available in the 1980s on the exclusively Commodore 64 online service Quantum Link. Originally available in limited release as Habitat, Club Caribe was eventually released to the public as an extension of Q-Link's "People Connection"...

than Everquest
EverQuest, often shortened to EQ, is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game that was released on the 16th of March, 1999. The original design is credited to Brad McQuaid, Steve Clover, and Bill Trost...

. It was the first game of its kind to achieve widespread success (including attention from mainstream media); however, it was not the first (as Club Caribe was released in 1988). Competitors in this relatively new sub-genre (non-combat-based MMORPG) include There
There (internet service)
There is a 3D online virtual world created by Will Harvey and Jeffrey Ventrella. There Inc. was founded in the spring of 1998. Closed beta began in July 2001, with various stages of beta following, and ending with an October 2003 launch date...

, Dotsoul
Dotsoul was an immersive 3D Virtual Reality MMORPG based on the Active Worlds application which ran from Dec 2005-2008 and was created by Joseph Bergeron and Laura Herrmann...

, Furcadia
Furcadia is a MMOSG/MMORPG or graphical MUD, set in a fantasy world inhabited by anthropomorphic creatures. The game is based on user-created content, socializing and free-form roleplaying...

and IMVU
IMVU, Inc. is an online social entertainment destination in which members use 3D avatars to meet new people, chat, create, and play games created by Fydor Guthenschlag. IMVU has over 50 million registered users, 10 million unique visitors per month and three million monthly active users...

. The PlayStation Home
PlayStation Home
PlayStation Home is a virtual 3D social gaming network developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio for the PlayStation 3 on the PlayStation Network . It is available directly from the PlayStation 3 XrossMediaBar under PlayStation Network. Membership is free, and only requires a PSN...

 is also a MMOSG of sorts.

Many browser based Casual MMOs have begun to spring up. This has been made easier because of maturing of Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast...

and the popularity of Club Penguin
Club Penguin
Club Penguin is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game involving a virtual world containing a range of online games and activities, by Club Penguin Entertainment . Players use cartoon penguin-avatars and play in a winter-set virtual world...

. The first Flash MMO was Dubit Chat, launched in 1999.


Some recent attempts to build peer-to-peer
Peer-to-peer computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads among peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application...

 (P2P) MMOGs have been made. Outback Online may be the first commercial one, however, so far most of the efforts have been academic studies. A P2P MMOG may potentially be more scalable and cheaper to build, but notable issues with P2P MMOGs include security and consistency control, which can be difficult to address given that clients are easily hacked.

In April 2004, the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 announced that it was developing a massively multiplayer training simulation called AWE (asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly....

 environment). The purpose of AWE is to train soldiers for urban warfare
Urban warfare
Urban warfare is combat conducted in urban areas such as towns and cities. Urban combat is very different from combat in the open at both the operational and tactical level...

 and there are no plans for a public commercial release. Forterra Systems
Forterra Systems
Forterra Systems, Inc. was a 3D graphics software company headquartered in San Mateo, California that produced private and secure MMO virtual worlds for corporate, government, defense, medical and educational clients. Forterra Systems also shared a close history with the MMOG There...

 is developing it for the Army based on the There engine
Game engine
A game engine is a system designed for the creation and development of video games. There are many game engines that are designed to work on video game consoles and personal computers...



British online gamers are outspending their European counterparts according to a recently released study commissioned by and TNS. The UK MMO-market is now worth £195 million in 2009 compared to the £165 million and £145 million spent by German and French online gamers.

The US gamers spend more, however, spending about $3.8 billion dollars overall on MMO games. $1.8 billion of that money is spent on monthly subscription fees. The money spent averages out to $15.10 between both subscription and free-to-play MMO gamers. The study also found that 46% of 46 mil players in the US pays real money to play MMO games.

Today’s Gamers MMO Focus Report, published in March 2010, was commissioned by TNS and A similar study for the UK market-only (UK National Gamers Survey Report) was released in February 2010 by the same groups.

See also

  • Avatars United
    Avatars United
    Avatars United was a web community for avatars of online games and virtual worlds. It was launched in March 2008 by Sweden-based Enemy Unknown and closed in October 2010...

  • List of MMOGs
  • Multiplayer online game
    Multiplayer online game
    A Multiplayer Online Game is a multiplayer video game which can be played via a game server over the internet, with other players around the world...

  • Online game
    Online game
    An online game is a game played over some form of computer network. This almost always means the Internet or equivalent technology, but games have always used whatever technology was current: modems before the Internet, and hard wired terminals before modems...

  • Social network game
    Social network game
    A social network game is a type of online game that is played through social networks, and typically features multiplayer and asynchronous gameplay mechanics. Social network games are most often implemented as browser games, but can also be implemented on other platforms such as mobile devices...

  • Virtual world
    Virtual world
    A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects. The term has become largely synonymous with interactive 3D virtual environments, where the users take the form of...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.