In the history of role-playing games, there’s only a few Big Names. Dungeons and Dragons, of course, made the top of the pen and paper list long ago — and despite a number of high-quality (some would say, higher-quality) successors, remains the most well-known name in the RPG genre.
When it comes to online role-playing games (or Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Games, MMORPG, MMO, MUD, whatever you like to call them), the one name that took the crown at the turn of the century was EverQuest.
EverQuest’s following inspired numerous attempts to market themed products via online stores. The most successful ventures used novelty gifts aimed directly at the former EverQuest players. The gifts included shirts, mugs, pens, dog and cat tags etc. with images from the games printed on them. In addition the marketing team figured that the sales force should be rewarded, so they decided to motivate with corporate gifts in the form of special gift baskets. These corporate gift baskets were filled with savory treats like cheeses and fancy crackers, along with lots of fancy cookies and name brand chocolates like Godiva. The ribbons that decorated each gift basket had EverQuest printed on them. The sales guys and gals highly appreciated those gift baskets from the corporation. They were such a hit with the sales teams that the higher ups started sending gift baskets as a motivating factor to the creative teams as well. A lot of the folks who had dogs (and some cats) used the dog / cat tags on their animals. It became a fad for a while to spot those dogs that had EverQuest dog tags and take a picture of the animal with tag. We had a bulletin board filled with snapshots. One friend even had an EverQuest image put on his pet’s collar that activated the two dog doors in his home. I though that was clever so I did a little research online and found a store that sold all different types of dog doors and bought an electronic one. I liked the fact that the motorized and electro-magnetic pet doors offer maximum security with two-way access control. I certainly didn’t want to come home and find a stray cat or dog occupying my premises, let along a wild critter! I must admit I just added the EverQuest dog tag to the color that came with the electronic dog door rather than having one custom made like my friend.
As the 1990’s progressed, online gaming began to be less of an esoteric niche, and enough people had powerful enough computers and fast (enough) connections. The first real multiplayer sensation was Ultima Online, which attracted hundreds of thousands of players after its launch in 1997. Korean RPGs such as Nexus TK were bringing in even more players, but largely failed to achieve the global recognition of the biggest Western games until years later, with games such as Lineage and Ragnarok Online.
However, from 1999 to 2001, EverQuest passed Ultima Online and became THE online RPG to play. Offering a full-3D experience (unlike isometric Ultima or sprite-based Asian RPGs) as well as a more thorough social and economic structure, EverQuest was several years (or at least six months) ahead of its time.
Though games like Asheron’s Call and Dark Age of Camelot (and Lineage II, in Asia and elsewhere) gave EverQuest a serious run for the money, EverQuest maintained its hold on the top spot until the next generation of MMORPGs, when a MMORPG based on a series of popular RTS games achieved a level of popularity that even EverQuest could never have imagined.
EverQuest can be called the game that started it all. There is no other MMO that matches the content that is offered by EverQuest. There are 19 expansions plus the original game. EverQuest is enjoying it’s 14th year & continues to add captivating storytelling, immersive game play & exciting worlds that are full of adventure & mystery.
You can play EverQuest your way, for free. Come join an amazing community which is unlike any other you may have seen. You will immerse yourself in your surroundings with hundreds of zones to play in, thousands of creatures to battle & entire quests waiting to be accomplished. Join the fun, come see online game play the way it should be legendarily epic.