|[CONT'D FROM] Five
years ago the most common online roleplaying experience was a MUD text interface.
After the success of networked non-persistent world shoot'em ups like Doom and Quake
(IDSoftware), and non persisitent world MMORPGs like Diablo (Blizzard), traditional game
companies started to follow in the footsteps of early MMORPG favorites like Meridian 59
(3DO for the PC), Legends of Kesmai (Gamestorm).
While the original audiences for early MMORPGs were tight knit and relatively small, Origin Systems' (OSI) Ultima Online changed this perception and launched the first large scale persistent world MMORPG effort. Electronic Arts soon saw the future of gaming in this project, and joined OSI.
Many large scale game makers like Microsoft and Verant Technologies attempted to copy the success of Ultima, but although financially successful had comparatively limited appeal and others.
Within in the next two years, over 75 gaming companies are planning to get in on the MMORPG act, but they face significant obstacles. Many large gaming companies have a bad reputation among MMORPG fans. In every recent case, large scale MMORPG debuts were muted, although decidedly profitable.
Why muted? In an MMORPG gamers exert the ultimate control over their gaming environments -- and most monolithic companies are unable or unwilling to give over server control to the gamers themselves.
Only one upcoming game has found a way to challenge the old MMORPG paradigm of staid, stale persistent worlds and combine freshness and longevity with a proven financial plan.
Menasoft's networked franchise approach to the MMORPG market offers years and years of gaming appeal to a much wider audience than current and soon to debut MMORPGs.
With broadband technology becoming the next wave standard for home user internet connections, Menasoft has found a way to capture both the server administrator AND user market, and allow both groups to find a home on the game network of their dreams.
Those who have an early stake in companies such as Menasoft, will find fast paced financial growth as has been seen in other small capital ventures, but a surprisingly long product lifespan.