The Game Archaeologist’s ultimate MMO archives v4.0


By far, my favorite column to write here at Massively OP (and the one that always takes the longest) is The Game Archaeologist. I’ve been doing this in one form or another for about eight years now, and I still haven’t run out of material from the MMORPG genre’s crazy and shadowy past to dust off and bring to the light. It’s part a personal passion project and part a desire to create some sort of organized history of all of the nooks and crannies of this genre before it gets lost.

Speaking of that organization, at the end of every year I like to publish a comprehensive guide to The Game Archaeologist to date. Not only will you get every column that we’ve covered but also all of the new pieces from 2020. So tuck in, learn a thing or two, and broaden your gaming horizons!


Proto-MMOs from the 1970s and 1980s

MMOs from the 1990s

MMOs from the 2000s

MMOs that never launched


Believe it or not, MMOs did exist prior to World of Warcraft! Every two weeks, The Game Archaeologist looks back at classic online games and their history to learn a thing or two about where the industry came from… and where it might be heading.

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Shandalar is an interesting old game that combines deck building and rpg elements.


Thank you Justin for doing these.

Oleg Chebeneev

My favourite column. Always great read.
Dunno how you Justin still find new entries for it after all these years. If you run out of ideas, there are some great MUDs that could be covered as well. Like Armageddon and Discworld.
And thanks for the guide. Bookmarked ofc