New Page – MMO Timeline!

On a whim the other day I started to compile all of the major (and not-so-major) MMOs of our generation — Ultima Online onward — into a timeline.  I listed only three things: when it launched, when they released any expansions, and when it closed (if it did).  It turned out to be a bit bigger of a project than I anticipated, tracking down some of the dates, but in the end I got the list sorted into a new page here at Bio Break:

MMO Timeline

I think it’s pretty neat to see the progression of the genre, as well as trends — what months seem to be more popular for major activity (September and November), what years have contained the most new releases (so far, 2009 is a barnstormer), and so on.  Take a look, and help me expand the list if you think it’s lacking anything!


17 thoughts on “New Page – MMO Timeline!

  1. Hudson August 27, 2009 / 11:06 am

    Nice, and thank god you only went with the monthly sub ones because this would never be complete. Heck another F2P one launched today, NeoSteam (but it’s terrible)

  2. Ethic August 27, 2009 / 11:09 am

    Nice work! We’ve been working on something like this for a while as well. Now we can just point at you ahaha.

  3. Kemwer August 27, 2009 / 11:16 am

    It’s nice to see a list compiled like that, it helps a lot to understand the chronology when you see it on this format, and I don’t remember finding anything like this before.

    According to Wikipedia, you’re missing The Realm Online and Meridian 59 prior to Ultima Online (March ’95 and September ’96, respectively).

    You might want to set the color of upcoming releases to a gray, since their release dates are usually subject to change.


  4. Longasc August 27, 2009 / 11:19 am

    Well done!

  5. Hudson August 27, 2009 / 11:23 am

    Shoot, made a Realm comment in the other area. You can delete those

  6. Squirt August 27, 2009 / 11:26 am

    Wizard 101 is very popular. But has micro transactions. Also there is a whole world of Freeware or Free MMO’s out there.

  7. Ravious August 27, 2009 / 1:09 pm

    Awesome. I brought it up with the KTR folks a few months ago, but the project sort of dawdled. You can see the half-assed effort here:

    I am glad someone has one. It is a good resource.

  8. Ysharros August 27, 2009 / 3:06 pm

    What, no pie charts?! Or at least graphs?

    Very nice job, of course. Maybe someone will put it into one of those illustrated left-to-right thingies with pictures of great developers in the appropriate milestones. 😉

  9. Ysharros August 27, 2009 / 3:06 pm

    EDIT — Doh! Ravious links exactly what I meant. Very cool, if incomplete!

  10. mbp August 27, 2009 / 3:44 pm

    Very nice Syp. You have got me all nostalgic now.

  11. Anjin August 27, 2009 / 3:46 pm

    Very nice resource, Syp. I’ll definately be making use of this.

  12. Krosuss August 27, 2009 / 3:57 pm

    Great timeline. Will you be adding in any other MMOs that are floating around out there like Perfect World, etc.?

  13. Rog August 27, 2009 / 4:55 pm

    Motor City Online: Oct 2001 to Aug 2003.

    10Six: Feb 2000 to Jun 2002.

    10Six was the Segasoft “million player RTS/FPS/RPG”. It was subscription-based via but one of the early attempts to also use microtransactions (I wouldn’t be surprised if they coined the phrase with their Transactor system).

    10Six never achieved the million players they claimed to be capable of on their single-world setup. The microtransactions gave the game a “rich kid wins” reputation, but IIRC they dropped them early on.

    I’d be interested in seeing a list of MMOs that never made it out the door as well. I know I was eagerly anticipating’s other MMO Skies after seeing it at E3.

  14. Rog August 27, 2009 / 6:43 pm

    I would also recommend adding in Air Warrior (1986 by Kesmai on GEnie), although it was pay-per-hour instead of subscription-based.

    Damn I spent way too much money on that game.

    IMHO Air Warrior probably qualifies as the first MMO before the term was coined, although it wasn’t an RPG for the MMORPG moniker.

    If you really want to go way back, there’s always Habitat, although it never had as many players as Air Warrior or Neverwinter.

  15. Ravious August 27, 2009 / 7:21 pm

    Yeah, Dipity is quite good for a timeline UI and it has an available API… I just have no idea how to add it to a wordpress site, or if that’s even possible. So I tabled that one hoping someone else would make one, and my wish came true!

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