The largest MMORPG in the world (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) is the World of Warcraft. As of October 2010, it has 12 million subscribers. Spending on subscription based games reached 1.4 billion USD in the western world alone.
These massively multiplayer online role-playing games are a genre of role playing games (RPG). The difference with the traditional RPG is the large number of players that play in a virtual / online world.
Just like standard RPG games, gamers assume a character in the game. The setting is usually a fantasy world. These games are computer-based.
To play, the gamer utilizes a client to hook up to a server. The server hosts this world. Information about the player’s character is kept there. Mot online RPGs, including the largest MMORPG in the world, have persistent worlds. That is, events continue to unfold even when a player departs the game.
How These Games Work
Characters are controlled in the same way as a typical RPG game. The individual is symbolized by an avatar. This is used by the players to obtain items, fight monsters and other players, explore the surroundings etc.
These games require broadband Internet connections to handle the heavy traffic. Most of them are also subscription based. The fee is paid on a monthly basis. In some cases you have to buy and install software too. Other publishers just require you to download the program.
Origin of the Game
Online role playing games originated from the text-based adventures in the 70s. Meridian 59 was the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Meridian 59 came out in 1996. But it was with 1997’s Ultima Online that online RPGs took off.
To play the game, one had to pay a monthly subscription fee. The genre would gain popularity in the 1990s. The biggest markets would be in South Korea, America and Taiwan. 1999’s EverQuest would boost the genre’s popularity even more across the world.
To keep the games fresh, expansion packs are sold or made available for download. Newer games have become more complex. Apart from weapons and equipment, online currency has appeared. This allows players to trade and buy items.
It isn’t clear how long World of Warcraft will remain the largest MMORPG in the world. It was once thought that the market peaked in 2001. But today, more and more games are being released, and more people paying to play these games.