Published On: April 6, 2021

What is an MMO Game?


The gaming industry has been introducing new genres with each generation of video games. Just as how the first-person shooter genre made its debut, the MMO genre also made its appearance. The term ‘MMO’ refers to massively multiplayer online games, which undoubtedly make up for most of the modern titles. And before diving into the MMO genre, you must understand that MMORPGs and MMOs are different terms. Hence, without further ado, let’s dive in and learn more about this genre.


What exactly is an MMO?

Taking a look at the genre’s name itself, MMO games are meant to be played with several other players. Although some modern titles can be played offline, the developers will somewhat encourage the community to engage in multiplayer sessions instead. Therefore, it can be claimed that MMOs serve a great role as social networks, allowing players from across the globe to play and communicate with one another.

While the term may not be as well-known, you definitely may have played or heard of a few games from the genre. The likes of Fortnite, World of Warcraft, Minecraft, and even FarmVille fall under the MMO genre. And just like these titles, other titles such as sports and fighting-themed games are often also falling right under the MMO umbrella.


The History of the MMO genre

Before the advent of gaming, MMOs used to exist in the form of multi-user dungeons. In fact, back in the 70s, the mentioned text-based, multiplayer games were running on primitive internet servers. Due to the dialogue-based gameplay, these multi-user dungeons are mainly comprised of role-playing games (RPGs), quite reminiscent of the old-school Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense that the first few MMOs would also be RPGs, which brings us to MMORPGs.

As you may have guessed, MMORPGs are short for massively multiplayer online role-playing games. At first glance, one can easily mistake either for being the same thing. However, despite the line between these genres being quite blurry, MMORPGs are mainly focused on delivering detailed storytelling, quests, strategizing, world-building, and some other aspects. Needless to say, most MMOs also come with this line of features, since they are mainly derived from the multi-user dungeons.

Moving on, the MMO genre remained exclusive to PC gamers until the release of consoles with Wi-Fi capabilities. Following that, MMOs continued to significantly grow even further with the introduction of modern smartphones.


Gameplay Aspects of MMOs

In order to become a compelling MMO game, the developers must aim for a persistent world that resides mainly on remote servers. This will allow players to establish a connection with the nearest server, allowing them to interact with other players in real-time. Interestingly, even if the players log out or exit the game, the game will still be running 24/7, excluding routine maintenance sessions.

Massively multiplayer online games often also come with their dedicated virtual economies, providing players with a platform to exchange in-game currency with items. Not to mention, some platforms also allow players to exchange real-world cash for in-game currencies.

Multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBAs) such as League of Legends and Dota 2, can also be considered MMOs, however, these games lack the persistent world feature we mentioned before. And though fighting games such as Mortal Kombat 11 may incorporate some multiplayer elements, they are not considered an MMO mainly because the core gameplay does not revolve around the MMO aspect.


Requirements for playing MMOs

To experience the beauty and complexity of MMO games, all you’ll ever need is an internet connection, as well as a device to play your games on. This can go from smartphone devices to consoles, to computers.

Moreover, the following are some MMOs you may want to try out:

  • Final Fantasy XIV
  • World of Warcraft
  • The Sims Online
  • Second Life
  • Ultima Online
  • EverQuest

Games like Raid: Shadow Legends, Dragon Champions and Summoners Glory aim to merge the Mobile Gaming World with the feel of true MMo experiences. We would love to know if it was your love of MMo’s that drove you to try out these games. Let us know in the comments.

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2 years ago

World of Warcraft, the best MMO for me :D

2 years ago

I’ve been gaming 30 some plus years and the majority of those years were spent playing MMO’s and MMORPG’s. The RPG (role playing game) has been pretty much dropped from most online multi-player games simply because people just don’t “role play” their characters in the same fashion as they would in a table top RPG like Dungeons & Dragons anymore. To be honest, the RPG portion of any game is pretty much a misnomer and rarely done anymore.

As for the MMO’s I’ve played … I started with Ultima Online, however brief that was. I couldn’t stand the isometric view and the character models were abysmal. Then along came Everquest and I was completely hooked. Realistic character models with some skill based combat. I left that game … or actually was forced to leave the game because of system requirements. When they completely overhauled their game engine, the new system requirements were beyond my finances to upgrade at the time. After that, I went on to Dark Age of Camelot and I stuck with that game for almost 18 years. I was a hard core DAoC fan for probably 12. I dabbled in pretty much everything else that came down the pipe, D&D Online, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Star Wars : The Old Republic, Conan etc. and I left every one of the games for one of two reasons. Crappy or “cartoony” character models a la WoW, or Player vs. Player systems that were complete garbage.

To this day, there still isn’t a single game out there that has a PvP system that comes even remotely close to DAoC’s. There’s a little bias there, considering the time I spent in the game, but no other game can boast a persistent 24/7 PvP experience like DAoC’s whose PvP maps are just as large as their PvE maps.

If a game eve comes out with RAID level character modeling and effects that has a DAoC PvP battle system … I’d drop RAID in a heartbeat. Camelot Unchained was supposed to be that game, but with the constant release date pushbacks I’ll believe it when I see it.