War Games and MMO: A History

Game headset

War games have changed over the years from simple single-player games to huge MMO titles. War games have adapted and improved to massive online virtual worlds with infinite possibilities.

Single Player War Games

The first war game simulations were single player titles. This was often due to the limitations of the platform, as well as the simple design of the games. Likewise, the internet was not an option and any multi-player would have had to have been local, sharing the computer / console.

Early games of this type include the infamous War Games game itself and would later include the likes of Dune as early classics for the genre. Dune brought many of the features of modern real-time-strategy, such as the top down view, unit control and resource management.

Early Multiplayer War Games

After this, the logical step for war games was to look at multi-player options. Early multiplayer games offered turn-based tactical games with multi-player options. This encouraged the competitive element of many games seen today. Others improvements included computer AI (artificial intelligence), which makes use of different factions and choices that would affect tactics before the game even begins.

Later games, from the 90s onwards, would start to include the internet. For instance, some empire building games offered traditional real-time strategy and simulation with an option for online play. Online play meant pausing wasn’t an option as players were competing real-time against another human opponent.

These games not only got bigger by adding more units, resources and diversity to improve tactics but the online element vastly improved longevity as human interaction provided more variation than predictable AI at the time.

MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online)

Today, of course, there is a perfect blend of war games and MMOs. Modern titles, such as War of Legends, take the RTS and war game elements and put it into a constant, real-time online world. This player versus player environments means every action has a consequence and invokes unpredictable reactions from others. MMO war games also tend to include diplomacy and politics, which are equally as important as combat thus providing a realistic war simulation.