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How Do You Feel About MMO Emulation Servers?

Joseph Bradford Posted:
Editorials 0

I've never played, nor had the urge to play on an emulated MMO server in my gaming life. Mainly it's due to the fact that the MMOs I want to play, I still am able to - The Lord of the Rings OnlineEVE OnlineElder Scrolls Online and so on. However, for many MMO fans, their favorite MMO no longer exists - or a form of their MMO no longer exists in the fashion they want to enjoy it in. 

Thus MMO emulation. However, this can be a touchy subject for many both within the industry and on the consumer side. 

MMO emulation servers (or rogue servers as our friends at MassivelyOP dubbed them - and it fits perfectly) tend to revolve around games that are no longer in service, such as Star Wars Galaxies or City of Heroes, to name a few of the more popular ones in 2021. However, it's not just those servers, but some have taken to creating emulations of games like World of Warcraft to bring people back to the roots of the MMO, or create a private server to retain the feel of when a specific MMO was at its "best" for the users.

However, emulation in the gaming industry is a touchy subject, with the legalities of it constantly being questioned and litigated, most recently with Nintendo shutting down ROMUniverse in pretty spectacular fashion, to the tune of $2.1 million dollars in legal winnings. Some advocates for emulation, though, state that it helps preserve the history of games - especially online games where the worlds and its long, shared history could be gone with a simple flip of a switch. 

As more and players flock to games such as Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning or SWG: Legends, there are obviously those who crave these rogue servers and the services they provide. However, like with everything, there is opposition. So what do you think about MMO emulation servers? Do you think they should exist or provide a service to its consumers, or do you see them as an issue for the games industry at large? Let us know the comments.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore