GameSpy have started an eight-week study of all aspects of Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Week One takes a look at the origins of the MMOG, from the first multi-user dungeons to the popular Meridian 59:
All of the elements of MMOGs existed by the late eighties, but they did not exist in a single product. For example, in 1985, Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar of LucasFilm, created a virtual online world called Habitat that Commodore 64 users could access through QuantumLink. "The first graphical online virtual world that supported lots of players at once -- more than 16 -- was Habitat, and that was the mid-eighties," says Raph Koster, the chief creative officer at Sony Online Entertainment.
"This was created before there was a LucasArts. It ended up seeing commercial launch primarily in Japan, where it became fairly popular."