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The Gamebook Writers Who Nearly Invented the MMO 72

mr_sifter writes "In the 1980s, gamebooks were all the rage, and most geeks have read through a Fighting Fantasy novel or two. You might even have heard of Fabled Lands, arguably the most ambitious gamebooks ever — it was planned as a series of 12 books, each representing a different area of the world, and players could roam freely from book to book. It was completely non-linear, and unless you died, there was no way to finish. In 1996, the authors, Dave Morris and Jamie Thompson, hooked up with game developer Eidos and started work on what would have been a ground-breaking computer game version of their books — an MMO, in other words. Unfortunately, development hell awaited. This article tells the story of the game that could have been WoW before Warcraft."
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The Gamebook Writers Who Nearly Invented the MMO

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  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:01PM (#31795716) Journal

    I think what they are getting at is that it would have been as big as WoW - bigger then Ultima Online or Meridian 59, simply because it HAD that rich background and culture to it. WoW is by no means the first MMO, but its because of its predecessors that it did so well. In all honesty, I think if WoW did not have Warcraft and Starcraft games preceding it (and Warhammer games, if you count those), and it was launched at the same time as LotR:Online, LotR would be the bigger of the two.

    If this HAD taken off - it would have been big. Supposedly.

  • by Mike Buddha ( 10734 ) on Friday April 09, 2010 @06:18PM (#31795844)

    I don't think this "fabled" game had the gumption. WoW was in a world already well known and well accepted amongst video games. It had a pedigree. Fighting fantasy not so. The few video games in that world, or even that genre, that have been released have been dismal failures (ie Deathtrap Dungeon on PC & Warlock of Firetop Mountain on DS)

    As rich in backstory as a lot of games are, the game has to "not suck", which WoW got right, for the most part.

Variables don't; constants aren't.