MMO Timeline

timeline

The MMO Timeline is a quick reference sheet for the notable MMOs and proto-MMOs over time — when they launched, when they released expansion packs, and when (if) they closed. If I’m missing a title or expansion you feel should be included on this list, please leave a comment below (with the date of the month/year they were released).

A few notes:

  • Expansions are in regular font
  • Launches are in black bold
  • Closings in red bold
  • Relaunches, major shifts in format, or changes to its business model are in blue bold
  • Early access (alpha) “launches” are in green bold starting in 2014
  • This list does not include updates, patches, emulators, or other non-expansion-level additions.  I’m also not including every piddly MMO on the planet or most MUDs/MUSHs/MOOs. I also stuck mostly to MMORPGs (i.e. few MMO sports games, no MOBAs, little limited multiplayer), particularly post-1999.
  • Thanks goes out to Raph Koster for his Online World Timeline for some of these dates!

1980

  • MUD1, the first text-based MMO, launches

1985

  • Island of Kesmai launches

1986

  • Summer – Lucasfilm’s Habitat launches

1988

  • Air Warrior launches
  • Habitat relaunched as Club Caribe

1989

  • Kingdom of Drakkar launches
  • Avalon launches

1990

  • DikuMUD developed and released

1991

  • March – Neverwinter Nights (AOL) launches
  • December – Multiplayer Battletech EGA launches

1992

  • Neverwinter Nights (AOL): Expansion
  • The Shadow of Yserbius launches

1995

  • June – Active (Alpha) Worlds launches
  • Island of Kesmai closes

1996

  • September – Meridian 59 launches
  • December – Furcadia launches
  • The Shadow of Yserbius closes
  • The Realm Online launches
  • Legends of Kesmai launches
  • Dark Sun Online launches
  • Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds launches

1997

  • January – Tibia launches
  • July – Neverwinter Nights (AOL) closes
  • September – Ultima Online launches
  • Dark Eden launches

1998

  • September – Lineage launches
  • October – Ultima Online: The Second Age
  • Dark Sun Online closes

1999

  • March – EverQuest launches
  • May – The 4th Coming
  • November – Asheron’s Call launches

2000

  • March – EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark
  • May – Ultima Online: Renaissance
  • December – EverQuest: The Scars of Velious
  • December – Phantasy Star Online launches
  • Legends of Kesmai closes

2001

  • January – RuneScape launches
  • March – Ultima Online: Third Dawn
  • June – World War II Online launches
  • June – Anarchy Online launches
  • June – Phantasy Star Online Ver 2 releases
  • July – EA’s Majestic launches
  • September – Jumpgate launches
  • October – Dark Age of Camelot launches
  • October – Motor City Online launches
  • October – Asheron’s Call: Dark Majesty
  • December – EverQuest: The Shadows of Luclin

2002

  • Mimesis Online launches
  • February – Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge
  • April – EA’s Majestic closes
  • May – Final Fantasy XI launches
  • September – Earth & Beyond launches
  • October – EverQuest: The Planes of Power
  • November – Dark Age of Camelot: Shrouded Isles
  • November – Neocron launches
  • November – Anarchy Online: The Notum Wars
  • November – Asheron’s Call 2 launches
  • December – The Sims Online launches

2003

  • January – Entropia Universe (Project Entropia) launches
  • February – Ultima Online: Age of Shadows
  • February – EverQuest: The Legacy of Ykesha
  • February – A Tale in the Desert launches
  • February – EverQuest Online Adventures launches
  • March – Shadowbane launches
  • April – Final Fantasy XI: Rise of the Zilart
  • May – EVE Online launches
  • May – Planetside launches
  • June – Star Wars Galaxies launches
  • June – Toontown Online launches
  • June – Rubies of Eventide launches
  • June – Second Life launches
  • June – Dark Age of Camelot: Foundations
  • August – Motor City Online closes
  • September – EverQuest: Lost Dungeons of Norrath
  • September – Anarchy Online: Shadowlands
  • October – Lineage II launches
  • October – Planetside: Core Combat
  • October – Dark Age of Camelot: Trials of Atlantis
  • November – EverQuest Online Adventures: Frontiers
  • December – EVE Online: Castor
  • December – Puzzle Pirates launches
  • December – Horizons/Istaria launches

2004

  • February – EverQuest: Gates of Discord
  • April – City of Heroes launches
  • June – Dark Age of Camelot: New Frontiers
  • July – Phantasy Star Online: Blue Burst releases
  • September – EverQuest: Omens of War
  • September – Final Fantasy XI: Chains of Promathia
  • September – Anarchy Online: Alien Invasion
  • September – Earth & Beyond closes
  • September – Saga of Ryzom launches
  • September – Neocron 2 launches
  • October – Star Wars Galaxies: Jump to Lightspeed
  • October – Meridian 59: Evolution
  • November – Ultima Online: Samurai Empire
  • November – World of Warcraft launches
  • November – EverQuest 2 launches
  • November – EVE Online: Exodus
  • December – Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs
  • December – Anarchy Online goes free-to-play

2005

  • February – EverQuest: Dragons of Norrath
  • March – The Matrix Online launches
  • March – EverQuest 2: The Bloodline Chronicles
  • March – Mimesis Online closes
  • April – Guild Wars launches
  • May – Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookies
  • May – Asheron’s Call 2: Legions
  • June – EverQuest 2: The Splitpaw Saga
  • June – EVE Online: Exodus: Cold War
  • July – Asheron’s Call: Throne of Destiny
  • August – Ultima Online: Mondain’s Legacy
  • September – EverQuest: Depths of Darkhallow
  • September – EverQuest 2: Desert of Flames
  • October – Dark Age of Camelot: Darkness Rising
  • October – City of Villains
  • November – Star Wars Galaxies: Trials of Obi-Wan
  • November – Star Wars Galaxies’ New Game Enhancements (NGE)
  • December – Asheron’s Call 2 closes
  • December – EVE Online: Red Moon Rising

2006

  • February – EverQuest: Prophecy of Ro
  • February – EverQuest 2: Kingdom of Sky
  • February – Dungeons & Dragons Online launches
  • March – EVE Online: Bloodlines
  • April – Auto Assault launches
  • April – Guild Wars: Factions
  • April – Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan
  • May – Seed launches
  • June – EverQuest 2: The Fallen Dynasty
  • August – Phantasy Star Universe launches
  • September – EverQuest: The Serpent’s Spine
  • September – Seed closes
  • October – Guild Wars: Nightfall
  • November – Dark Age of Camelot: Labyrinth of the Minotaur
  • November – EverQuest 2: Echos of Faydwer
  • November – EVE Online: Revelations I
  • December – Anarchy Online: Lost Eden

2007

  • January – World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade
  • January – Vanguard launches
  • February – EverQuest: The Buried Sea
  • April – Lord of the Rings Online launches
  • May – Dungeon Runners launches
  • June – EVE Online: Revelations II
  • August – Auto Assault closes
  • August – Guild Wars: Eye of the North
  • September – Phantasy Star Universe: Ambition of the Illuminus
  • October – Hellgate: London launches
  • October – Pirates of the Caribbean Online launches
  • November – EverQuest: Secrets of Faydwer
  • November – EverQuest 2: Rise of Kunark
  • November – Final Fantasy XI: Wings of the Goddess
  • November – Tabula Rasa launches
  • December – EVE Online: Trinity

2008

  • January – Pirates of the Burning Sea launches
  • April – Phantasy Star Online closes on its last platform (Xbox)
  • May – Age of Conan launches
  • June – EVE Online: Empyrean Age
  • August – The Sims Online closes
  • October – EverQuest: Seeds of Destruction
  • September – Warhammer Online launches
  • September – Wizard 101 launches
  • November – World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
  • November – EverQuest 2: The Shadow Odyssey
  • November – Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria
  • November – EVE Online: Quantum Rise

  • January – Hellgate: London closes
  • February – Tabula Rasa closes
  • February – Darkfall launches
  • February – Anarchy Online: Legacy of the Xan
  • March – EVE Online: Apocrypha
  • March – Runes of Magic launches
  • April – Free Realms launches
  • July – Shadowbane closes
  • August – The Matrix Online closes
  • August – Rubies of Eventide closes
  • September – Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss
  • September – Aion launches
  • September – Champions Online launches
  • September – Fallen Earth launches
  • September – DDO goes free-to-play
  • December – Alganon launches
  • December – EverQuest: Underfoot
  • December – Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood
  • December – EVE Online: Dominion

  • January – Dungeon Runners closes
  • February – Global Agenda launches
  • February – Star Trek Online launches
  • February – EverQuest 2: Sentinel’s Fate
  • May – EverQuest 2: Halas Reborn
  • May – Age of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer
  • May – EVE Online: Tyrannis
  • June – All Points Bulletin launches
  • June – Mortal Online launches
  • June – Global Agenda goes free-to-play
  • July – Need for Speed World launches
  • August – City of Heroes: Going Rogue
  • August – A Tale in the Desert: Fifth Telling
  • August – Lineage II: Freya
  • August — EverQuest 2 goes free-to-play
  • August — Hello Kitty Online launches
  • September — All Points Bulletin closes
  • September — Final Fantasy XIV launches
  • September — LOTRO goes free-to-play
  • September — Pirates of the Burning Sea: Power & Prestige
  • September — Aion: Assault on Balaurea
  • October — LEGO Universe launches
  • October — Vindictus launches
  • October — Wizard101: Celestia
  • October — EverQuest: House of Thule
  • October — Darkfall: Hellfreeze
  • October — Ultima Online: High Seas
  • November — Perpetuum Online launches
  • December — World of Warcraft: Cataclysm
  • December — EVE Online: Incursion

2011

  • January – DC Universe Online launches
  • January – Champions Online goes free-to-play
  • February – EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious
  • February – Earthrise launches
  • March – RIFT launches
  • March – Xsyon launches
  • March – Black Prophecy launches
  • April – World of Tanks launches
  • April – Global Agenda goes free-to-play
  • April – Allods Online launches (after a year in open beta)
  • May – Faxion Online launches
  • June – Lineage closes servers in North America
  • June – EVE Online: Incarna
  • June – Gods & Heroes launches
  • July – Black Prophecy launches
  • September – Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard
  • September – City of Heroes goes free-to-play
  • September – Faxion Online closes
  • September – Glitch launches
  • October – Fallen Earth goes free-to-play
  • October – Dawntide launches
  • November – EverQuest: Veil of Alaris
  • November – EVE Online: Crucible
  • November – DC Universe Online goes free-to-play
  • December – EverQuest II: Age of Discovery
  • December – Star Wars Galaxies closes
  • December – Star Wars: The Old Republic launches

2012

  • January – LEGO Universe closes
  • January – Star Trek Online goes free-to-play
  • February – Earthrise closes
  • February – Wakfu launches
  • March – EverQuest goes free-to-play
  • March – EverQuest Online Adventures closes
  • April – Aion goes free-to-play
  • April – Jumpgate closes
  • May – TERA launches
  • May – EVE Online: Inferno
  • June – Dungeons and Dragons Online: Menace of the Underdark
  • July – The Secret World launches
  • August – Guild Wars 2 launches
  • August – Allods Online: New Horizons
  • August – Vanguard goes free-to-play
  • September – World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
  • September – Black Prophecy closes
  • September – Phantasy Star Universe closes
  • October – Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan
  • October – Pirate101 launches
  • November – City of Heroes closes
  • November – Final Fantasy XIV taken offline
  • November – PlanetSide 2 launches
  • November – RIFT: Storm Legion
  • November – EverQuest: Rain of Fear
  • November – EverQuest II: Chains of Eternity
  • November – Star Wars: The Old Republic goes free-to-play
  • December – EVE Online: Retribution
  • December – The Secret World goes buy-to-play
  • December – Asheron’s Call 2 relaunches
  • December – Glitch closes

2013

  • January – Wizardry Online launches
  • February – TERA goes free-to-play
  • February – Old School RuneScape launches
  • March – Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin
  • March – Allods Online: Lords of Destiny
  • April – Defiance launches
  • April – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel
  • April – Darkfall Unholy Wars reboot
  • April – Age of Wushu launches
  • April – Neverwinter launches
  • May – Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus
  • May – DUST 514 launches
  • June – EVE Online: Odyssey
  • June – RIFT goes free-to-play
  • June – Puzzle Pirates launches on iPad
  • June – Marvel Heroes launches
  • July – RuneScape 3 launches
  • August – Dungeons and Dragons Online: Shadowfell Conspiracy
  • August – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn launches
  • September – MechWarrior Online launches
  • September – Dragon’s Prophet launches
  • September – Toontown Online closes
  • September – Pirates of the Caribbean Online closes
  • October – Path of Exile launches
  • October – EverQuest: Call of the Forsaken
  • November – EverQuest II: Tears of Veeshan
  • November – Lord of the Rings Online: Helm’s Deep
  • November – Eve Online: Rubicon
  • November – EverQuest Mac closes
  • December – Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning closes
  • December – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter

  • March – Free Realms closes
  • March – Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures closes
  • March – Path of Exile: Sacrifice of the Vaal
  • April – The Elder Scrolls Online launches
  • May – WildStar launches
  • May – Landmark early access
  • July – Vanguard closes
  • July – Wizardry Online closes
  • July – Firefall launches
  • July – Swordsman launches
  • August – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Strongholds
  • August – RuneScape: Lost City of Elves
  • August – Path of Exile: Forsaken Masters
  • September – Destiny launches
  • September – ArcheAge launches (NA/EU)
  • October – Star Trek Online: Delta Rising
  • October – EverQuest: The Darkened Sea
  • October – RIFT: Nightmare Tide
  • November – World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor
  • November – EverQuest II: Altar of Malice
  • November – Shroud of the Avatar early access
  • December – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan
  • December – TERA: Fate of Arun
  • December – Elite: Dangerous launches
  • December – The Crew launches

2015

  • January – H1Z1 early access
  • February – Ascent: The Space Game early access
  • March – The Elder Scrolls Online goes buy-to-play
  • March – Origins of Malu early access
  • March – Pathfinder Online early access
  • June – Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward
  • June – Wander launches
  • June – The Elder Scrolls Online launches on console
  • June – ARK: Survival Evolved early access
  • July – Cabal 2 launches
  • July – Trove launches
  • July – Skyforge launches
  • July – Path of Exile: The Awakening
  • August – Guild Wars 2 core game goes free-to-play
  • September – WildStar goes free-to-play
  • September – Otherland early access 
  • September – Destiny: The Taken King
  • October – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
  • October – Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns
  • October – Ultima Online: Time of Legends
  • November – EverQuest 2: Terrors of Thalumbra
  • November – EverQuest: The Broken Mirror
  • November – The Crew: Wild Run
  • November – Dragon’s Prophet closes in North America
  • December – Devilian launches in the west
  • December – Xsyon goes buy-to-play
  • December – Elite Dangerous: Horizons

2016

  • January – Blade & Soul launches in the west
  • January – City of Steam closes
  • January – Eternal Crusade early access
  • January – Divergence Online early access
  • January – RuneScape classic reopens
  • March – The Division launches
  • March – Black Desert launches in the west
  • March – Linkrealms early access
  • March – Tree of Savior early access
  • March – Path of Exile: Ascendancy
  • March – FFXI on consoles closes
  • April – EVE Online: Citadel
  • April – Trove: Mantle of Power
  • April – Ascent: The Space game launches
  • May – DUST 514 closes
  • May – Tree of Savior launches
  • June – Landmark launches
  • July – PlanetSide closes
  • July – Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday
  • July – Riders of Icarus soft launch
  • August – World of Warcraft: Legion
  • August – No Man’s Sky launches
  • September – LEGO Minifigures Online closes
  • September – Star Trek Online launches on consoles
  • September – Otherland launches
  • September – Path of Exile: Atlas of Worlds
  • September – Destiny: Rise of Iron
  • November – The Crew: Calling All Units
  • Fall – Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne
  • Fall – RIFT: Starfall Prophecy
  • Winter – Shards Online launches

92 thoughts on “MMO Timeline

  1. Tizlor August 27, 2009 / 11:32 am

    Whoops didn’t see it the first time through, muh bad.

  2. Muckbeast August 27, 2009 / 12:23 pm

    Awesome list.

    Perhaps include in RED when MMOs shut down or close.

    Tabula Rasa – February 28, 2009

    Matrix Online – July 2009.

    Auto Assault – ?

    The Sims Online – ?

    Earth and Beyond – ?

    Asheron’s Call 2 – ?

  3. Squirt August 27, 2009 / 2:32 pm

    It will also be interesting to see when a traditional monthly goes to FREE to Play.

  4. Slymie August 27, 2009 / 4:10 pm

    Multi-player Battletech on AOL isn’t on the list. Not a true MMO as of todays standards, but back in the early 90’s it was.

  5. Stropp August 27, 2009 / 6:24 pm

    Excellent job Syp. Especially including the dates of expansions as well as initial releases. A useful resource.

    One thing though, Asheron’s Call launched November ’99, not 2000. Their tenth anniversary is coming up very soon.

  6. MarcusDeikman September 1, 2009 / 3:44 pm

    Face of Mankind will add some colour…

    Released in March 2006 after a lengthy beta starting in 2004; in November 2007, publisher Ojom withdrew support for the game. Duplex Systems shut down the game’s servers in order to restructure it and relaunch as Face of Mankind: Rebirth.On June 30, 2008 Duplex Systems announced the cancellation of Face of Mankind: Rebirth, citing financial problems. On 8 October 2008, Duplex Systems announced via the face of mankind website that the game would be “coming back soon”.On 1 December 2008, this was confirmed with an official announcement by Duplex Systems and Nexeon Technologies.

  7. Jason September 1, 2009 / 8:01 pm

    Thanks for composing this list. Its quite interesting to look at the data such as launches and closes.

  8. Beleg Firebreath September 1, 2009 / 11:14 pm

    What about old Text Adventure games produced by Simutronics? Gemstone II (turned Gemstone III turned Gemstone IV) comes to mind. Back in the early 90s, that was an MMO for me — upwards of 25000 people simultaneously connected, if I recall correctly.

    More info here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GemStone_IV

  9. Ess September 2, 2009 / 2:43 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Tale_in_the_Desert

    The first “telling” began in Feb 2003 and there have been others since then. (Perhaps these could be listed as expansions?) Check out the “Development” section for the dates.

  10. Vasdrakken September 11, 2009 / 11:01 pm

    A couple more that had major impact on other MMO’s

    I remember hearing about Horizons: Empires of Istaria when I was playing AC1 and it was in beta for a couple years. There was major scandals about developer money but I can’t find the links to it anymore.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=879184

    http://www.massively.com/2008/04/15/struggling-mmo-horizons-renamed-istaria/

    Necron which had naught bits in it and caused all kinds of fun because of dancers you could not interact with… lol

    neocron launched in 2002
    neocron 2 launched in 2004

    http://ng.neocron.com/ 2002 and 2004

    and something should be said to the fact that all of the early ones were graphic MUD not MMO’s that term came later with EQ maybe. I’ve still got the beta cd around here somewhere… but more is the point that with out adventure (Zork rip off) things would have been different how much who knows but even as M59 the realms came otu there were still MUDs that had more players at the time.

  11. Richorz September 14, 2009 / 3:26 am

    You also Missed Hellgate london 07/08

  12. Tessa September 30, 2009 / 5:10 pm

    Dungeons runners is closing

  13. Tuxedo Slack November 23, 2009 / 1:27 pm

    What Tessa said. Or, to put it another way:

    2010
    January – Dungeon Runners closes
    February – Star Trek Online opens

  14. silvertemplar January 14, 2010 / 6:50 am

    Another thing worth analysing by sorting those things a little differently:

    Game Launches vs. Game Expansions/Improvements.

    It might be interesting to see, how fast, how often, and how long MMOs took to build on top of their existing game and whether this actually makes a difference to their longevity.

    You might have to add “large content updates” into the mix too [i.e. like the latest WoW Dungeon Finder] or any “innovative” feature.

    Reason is since the whole “innovation vs polish” debate i’m wondering why company’s launch new MMOs as opposed to innovating/improving their existing MMOs and whether there is a pattern there…..

    I’m specifically looking at EA/Cryptic/NCSoft/SOE whom all have multiple MMOs vs. the behemoth Blizzard who has only one MMO .

  15. Zach Sebag January 14, 2010 / 10:14 pm

    Nice Job! I definitely will be referencing this list in my MMO Video Blog when I need specific dates, If you don’t get mentioned in my next episode with a link, smack me!🙂

  16. Salsero February 23, 2010 / 8:49 pm

    The historian in you will be interested in this…
    http://www.platohistory.org/conference/50th-anniversary/

    Plato is where I got my multiplayer gaming start in 1986. And it goes back to the 70’s!

    The blog on the conference website includes a story of a DoS attack carried out by a young guy in 1974.

  17. Tuxedo Slack February 24, 2010 / 8:26 am

    I can now add an upcoming date.

    2010
    * July – City of Heroes: Going Rogue

  18. Pete March 24, 2010 / 8:22 am

    Great to see WW2OL listed. Started with that MMO in November 2002 when the Mac version was released – been there every month since.

    Currently in F2P DDO, LOTRO lifetime, Star Trek Online – 3 month commitment to see if more content is added, Heroes – dropped after 3 months a bit boring, played EVE for 2 years – mining got boring.

    Still today – WW2OL presents the best game challenge and rush.

  19. Tuxedo Slack April 22, 2010 / 10:08 pm

    If free updates to superhero MMOs count, here are some more items that belong on the list:

    2004
    * June – City of Heroes: Through the Looking Glass
    * September – City of Heroes: A Shadow of the Past

    2005
    * January – City of Heroes: A Council of War
    * May – City of Heroes: Colosseum
    * August – City of Heroes: Forest of Dread
    * October – City of Heroes: Along Came a Spider

    2006
    * June – City of Heroes/Villains: Destiny Manifest
    * November – City of Heroes/Villains: To Protect and Serve

    2007
    * May – City of Heroes/Villains: Breakthrough
    * July – City of Heroes/Villains: Invasion
    * November – City of Heroes/Villains: A Stitch in Time

    2008
    * May – City of Heroes/Villains: Midnight Hour
    * December – City of Heroes/Villains: Power and Responsibility

    2009
    * April – City of Heroes/Villains: Architect
    * June – City of Heroes/Villains: Anniversary
    * September – City of Heroes/Villains: Power Spectrum

    2010
    * March – Champions Online: Revelations
    * April – City of Heroes/Villains: Dark Mirror

  20. Tuxedo Slack July 3, 2010 / 2:06 pm

    Correction — City of Heroes: Going Rogue has been pushed back to August 2010. We apologize for any convenience this may cause.

  21. Anjin September 16, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    Time to update the timeline for APB.

    Requiescat in pace.

  22. Stoney October 10, 2010 / 9:04 pm

    Nice post but it’s pretty tough to read with black on black. Glad to see EQOA represented.

    -Stoney
    eqoa.wordpress.com

  23. Tuxedo Slack October 11, 2010 / 11:09 am

    Stoney skrev: “Nice post but it’s pretty tough to read with black on black.”

    It’s not very easy to read with black on dark brown either. Also:

    2010
    * August – City of Heroes/Villains: Shades of Gray (free expansion)

  24. Brian 'Psychochild' Green November 4, 2010 / 2:14 am

    Not sure how fine you want to split hairs, but as I understand it The Realm Online didn’t launch (as most of us would define it) in 1995, rather it entered a public alpha. Raph’s MUD Timeline has The Realm Online entering Beta in 1996, but doesn’t include the month as you’ve done for your entries.

    It depends on what you mean by “launches”, I guess. But, Meridian 59 is recognized as being the first game to launch via retail, for all that’s worth.

  25. Tuxedo Slack November 4, 2010 / 8:13 am

    Yet another update: in the first quarter of 2011, Champions Online will become a free-to-play/subscription hybrid a la the Atari/Turbine fantasy MMOs. Also, DC Universe Online will launch in March of 2011.

  26. SynCaine November 4, 2010 / 1:56 pm

    For Darkfall:

    “Hellfreeze” Expansion – October 2010

    “Conquer the Seas” Expansion – December 2009

    Darkfall’s first Expansion – July 2009

  27. Shadow December 23, 2010 / 10:33 am

    November 2010 – Warhammer Online: Verminous Horde
    December 2010 – Eve Online: Incurssion (first portion)

  28. Syp December 23, 2010 / 11:14 am

    Thanks Shadow! I’m not going to include WAR, because it wasn’t an official expansion (no matter what terminology they like to use), but the EVE thing, for sure.

  29. Ainilome May 7, 2011 / 12:30 am

    This list just made me feel really, really old. Thanks Syp😛

  30. Yeebo December 17, 2011 / 3:34 am

    http://www.1up.com/features/creatures-habitat-mmo

    According to 1up it launched in 1985. Technically, I think it’s the first graphical MMO. I didn’t even have a modem back then, so I can’t confirm. However, back in 1991 some amazingly prescient insights into modern MMOs were published, it’s the second article I originally linked. A TLDR summary of what stuck out to me can be found here: [http://yfernbottom.blogspot.com/2009/12/habitat.html]

    It’s one of my least popular posts, even considering hardly anyone was reading my blog back then. Despite my promise, I actually never did get around to tracking down the book cited in the articles. Salt grains may be needed.

  31. Pingback: O WoW está velho?
  32. Rayfaz March 16, 2012 / 3:34 pm

    I’d add Dark Sun Online to this list. I remember it being pretty popular among members of my old Diablo guild, back around 1997. Not sure when it started.

  33. Ghost87956 July 7, 2012 / 6:40 pm

    You forgot to add when Runsecape Went 3-D😀

  34. Machination August 1, 2012 / 10:47 pm

    I wonder what I would have thought if I could have seen this list in 2002 when I took my first hesitant step into MMOs with Runescape. I was promptly mauled by a bear.

  35. Zaphyr von Genevese August 8, 2012 / 9:02 am

    Awesome timeline!!! It’s realy interesting. But another question brought me here….don’t you know about another researches about origin of MMO elements and their improvements??

  36. Mel December 20, 2012 / 4:53 am

    2004: September 1st: DOFUS by Ankama Games

  37. Justin S. December 28, 2012 / 7:13 pm

    Secret World is technically buy-to-play. Still have have to buy the box.

  38. Austin Loomis February 20, 2013 / 11:08 am

    Not sure how nobody’s caught this before, but:
    spring 2013
    Star Wars: The Old Republic — Rise of the Hutt Cartel

  39. Excaru March 11, 2013 / 4:13 pm

    2012:
    November:
    Nov 1: Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 final character save (No progress saved for 2.0/A Realm Reborn after this point)

    Nov. 11 FFXIV 1.0 final event and official server closing (temporarily brought back up on 11/21 until 12/31, again no progress saved for 2.0/ARR)

  40. Stonee September 12, 2013 / 9:06 am

    I visit this list about once a year and it’s amazing to see the growth of the industry. With the waves of MMO’s being shut down, it’s almost as if this can be broken up into multiple generations.

  41. Justin December 17, 2014 / 10:21 pm

    10Six should be in the list.

  42. Patrick December 24, 2014 / 3:42 pm

    SWG: An Empire Divided came a year before Jump To Light Speed . Regardless of personal opinion, this was definitely NOT a piddley MMO. It opened 26 June 2003 and was followed by Jump to Light Speed in Oct 2004, Rage of the Wookies in May 2005, and Trials of Obi-Wan Nov 2005.December 15th 2011 was the final run of their servers.

  43. Narcotic March 4, 2015 / 11:58 pm

    Asheron’s Call 1 went free to play in August 2014. All servers are still up 15 years after launch.

  44. Fleas October 15, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    Great list. Nice to see Faxion on here. Might want to add the demise of Prius Anima, it didn’t last long in North America, but it is unfortunately kind of infamous for being the cause of an infant death in Korea.

  45. spam January 14, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Great List. Thank for doing this and keeping it up to date! I do have one addition/correction for you. The Lineage II Launch date is set as October of 2003. This is correct for the Korean Launch. The NA/EU/Oceanic was April 2004 (Same day as City of Heroes.)

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