Whatever happened to Tibia, The Realm Online, and Meridian 59?
Ever pause during your day and find yourself wondering, “Whatever happened to that game?” With hundreds upon hundreds of online titles these days, it’s surprisingly easy for MMOs to fall through the cracks and become buried as more aggressive or active games take the spotlight.
Well, every so often we here at Massively Overpowered find ourselves curious what has transpired with certain MMOs that we haven’t heard from in quite a while. Have we missed the action and notices? Has the game gone into stealth maintenance mode? What’s the deal? What has it been up to lately? That’s when we put on our detective hats and go sleuthing!
Now in its 21st year of live operation, this silent (but deadly!) MMORPG is still making headlines. Back in 2016, the game finally launched on Steam and released its first-ever trailer. Continuing in the theme of catching up with the trends, the studio also started selling XP boosts for those who couldn’t catch up in 19 years of play.
Last year came Tibia’s vicennial celebration — as well as the revelation of what was behind its “mystery door” that only a couple of players ever saw (answer: a kind of disappointing tropical island).
The fun hasn’t ever stopped, as the team’s kept the game hopping in 2018 with a new store interface, the opening of three additional PvP game worlds, allowed players to dress up characters for the World Cup, and introduced a helpful Cyclopedia map to help players navigate the landscape. Tibia also stopped supporting Windows XP computers as of April.
If you are unfamiliar with this title, read up on the history of Tibia in our Game Archaeologist retrospective.
The Realm Online
Pretty much everyone had forgotten that The Realm, a 2-D MMO from 1996, still existed… until 2016, at least. That’s when the original creator, Stephen Nichols, made noise about wanting to create a full-fledged remake of this title.
While nothing came out of that, the idea of a reboot did germinate from a different quarter. Fans of the game who had been running an emulator (due to the official version not getting any active support) petitioned for and were granted the rights to create and operate a reboot of the game.
This new version of the game (which operates in parallel with “Realm classic”) went live earlier this month with many improvements, changes, and promises of future development. In fact, we interviewed the volunteer team behind this incredible effort a little while back.
Since the reboot launched, the team has been patching up the game several times a week to get it as stable and operational as possible.
This old and decidedly interesting-looking MMO celebrated its 20th birthday in September 2016, with some online game developers citing Meridian 59 as a point of inspiration for their titles.
Even with the anniversary whipping up some nostalgia, the truth is that this game has been in maintenance mode for years now. It’s probably most notable for the fact that it went open source back in 2012, allowing the community to tinker with it (and hopefully improve it).
Last year, some of these fans opened up an expansion of their own called Biskalane that added a new zone to the game — which hadn’t been done since 1997, beleive it or not. The remaining community has split between those who want to stay in the classic world as envisioned by its original developers and those who want the title to advance with the help of its players.
Meridian 59 is probably most notable these days for running a surprisingly active Twitter account. Something may be happening with the game (and not in a good way), as the team just posted this week that “We’re putting all spin-offs, off-shoots, prequels and remakes on hold.” Maybe it was going for a joke here?
And again, if you want to learn more about this really interesting first-person perspective MMO — and its place in history — check out The Game Archaeologist!