Twenty years ago this week, Meridian 59 shed its beta trappings and officially released as one of the very first graphical MMORPGs on the market. While larger and slicker games have certainly followed, M59’s presence made a significant impact on the development of the genre, including the birth of Ingress and Pokemon Go.
“I had a chance to soak in the early days of MMOs and some of the first online guilds that got formed and watching the whole social dynamic of that type of game emerge in the early days,” Niantic founder John Hanke said in a July interview. “That experience was definitely at the front of my mind whenever the concept for Ingress was being created. It was really very simply to take that MMO experience and hopefully the social-team cooperative gameplay element to that and bring it out into the real world.”
For more Meridian 59 memories, check our Game Archaeologist retrospective of this long-running MMO!