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The MMOSide Chat - Do You Still Play Browser-Based MMOs?

A Fireside chat about browser MMORPGs

By Joseph Bradford on April 27, 2020 | Columns | 0

With MMORPGs nowadays becoming larger and more visually stunning forever, one area that seems to be getting less attention these days are browser MMORPGs. Many of us can say we had our start in the genre picking up one of these games, yet I’m sure the average MMO player nowadays might not think to seek them out as something else to play besides Black Desert or World of Warcraft.

Personally, the very first MMO I got into with a friend was the original browser version of RuneScape. We lived on a military base here in Las Vegas where I grew up, only about 5 houses apart. Yet we would get home from school most days and instead of just hanging out at each other’s homes, we’d log into RuneScape and adventure there.

It was a fun time – I remember spending hours converting runes into Law Runes for people, earning some money and much needed experience along the way. The first time we ventured into PvP was rife with problems –I lost my first set of Rune Armor to a PKer which devastated me for a week. I remember being blown away at the graphics at the time. The best part was creating stories with my friend as we ventured throughout the world of RuneScape inbetween DDR3 sessions. (Yea, I was one of those kids.)Nowadays though, I can’t remember the last time I was interested in a browser MMO. Games are as much about spectacle as they are story and gameplay, and I can admit I’m drawn into that. I would find it hard going back to Old School RuneScape or jumping into a game like Tibia today because I’ve been spoiled by better looking and more expansive games. Which isn’t to say browser MMOs can’t look good. RuneScape nowadays looks fantastic, and games in browser are being built on modern engines like Unreal Engine 4 and Unity.

Unfortunately too, many browser MMOs today give me the feeling of being based on mobile titles that are meant to get you to open up your wallet instead of providing a compelling gaming experience. So I ask you, reader, what are your thoughts on browser-based MMOs? Is this a subset of the genre you actively look at playing? If so, which ones do you enjoy and recommend? If not – why not?


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