Gaming Giant EA Seeks to Overpower Console MMORPG Market

Dennis Faas's picture

Electronic Arts (EA) is the dominant game publisher in today's console market. There has, however, been one genre that EA has yet to manhandle -- the immensely popular line of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games, or "MMORPGs."

With that said, yesterday's announcement that EA has purchased Mythic games -- the developer behind the Dark Age of Camelot series and the upcoming Warhammer Online -- is proof that EA is interested in bringing MMORPGs to console gamers on a grand scale. (Source:

Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games: A bit of History

MMORPGs exploded onto the PC gaming scene with Sony Online Entertainment's immensely popular Everquest titles, which brought character creation into a huge online landscape. Players could spend hours online interacting with hundreds of thousands of other fans from across the globe.

MMORPGs later came under fire in 2002 when hardcore Everquest player, Shawn Woolley, committed suicide after sacrificing his family and job for a few more hours online. Woolley's mother called Everquest an addiction, like any drug, and received support from medical professionals. (Source:

MMORPGs = MMM (Massive Money-Makers)

Despite criticisms of the genre itself, MMORPGs have proven massive money-makers for game developers and publishers. Vivendi and Blizzard Entertainment struck gold recently with the release of World of Warcraft, which fused the immensely popular real-time strategy franchise with the online interaction and character creation system first crafted by Everquest.

Whether MMORPGs are an addictive threat to normal society or not, they are immensely popular and have yet to be fully explored on console game machines. Sony Online Entertainment has made some strides in this area through its Final Fantasy franchise, but EA's purchase of Mythic could mean the genre is brought to next-gen consoles (as evidenced by demonstrations of Warhammer Online running on the Xbox 360). Clearly, there will be some major waves made with the giant EA's entry into the MMORPG console arena.

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