Ah, welcome back, dearest reader! I, Ben, teller of tantalizing trivia, am back for week two of Friday Factday! This is one of our two weekly blog series – you should check out Graham's Tuesday Newsday – and in it, I take a topic of interest to us at Windscribe and give you a smattering of scintillating specifics you can use to impress friends and family alike!
This Week's Topic: Online Gaming
In honor of the launch of World of Warships Captain's Club in partnership with Windscribe, this week's topic will cover the wonderful world of Online Gaming – an industry that has grown to gargantuan proportions over the last few decades.
MUD1 – Where It All Began
Let's take the obvious step and start at the beginning with the first-ever online game: Multi-User Dungeon, or MUD1.
MUD1 was a text-based fantasy game in the vein of Zork – most specifically, the Dungeon variant – where players entered commands to interact with the game world. It was created by Roy Trubshaw and Richard Bartie in 1978 on a DEC PDP-10 (and here, I thought having an Atari as a kid made me old).
MUD1 may not be an impressive game in a vacuum, but its impact on gaming cannot be understated; all online text-based games owe their existence to it, and it took the first step toward the absolute dominance of the online gaming industry we see today.
The Realm Online – Still Standing Strong
The current record for the longest-running online game belongs to a little-known piece from way back in 1996, called The Realm Online, which is still being hosted today and was updated as recently as last month.
This 2D fantasy piece was created by Sierra On-Line and is a kind of proto-MMORPG. Indeed, the advent of the MMO era came only a year later with the release of Ultimate Online and surged three years later with the release of EverQuest. Sierra felt these competitors quickly eclipsed The Realm, which they decided to offload to a subsidiary.
Since then, it has been passed around companies but remains live to this day, nearly 30 years later.
The Online Gaming Economy is on Mario Mushrooms
To highlight just how ridiculous the growth of the online gaming industry has been, simply compare these two data points:
- In 2009, the worldwide revenue for the online gaming industry was approximately US$15 billion.
- In 2022, the worldwide revenue for the online gaming industry was approximately US$205 billion.
I don't think I have to elaborate any further on this one, do you? While you're checking those stats, though, keep an eye out for what the current predictions for revenue are in 2032.
Hacks, Leaks, and Breaches Galore
Video Game companies get hacked, like, a lot. More than most people think, even if certain high-profile ones (*cough* Playstation *cough*) catch the public's eye from time to time. DDoS attacks against the likes of Activision Blizzard and Riot Games cause frustration for players, but things can be more nefarious.
Sometimes, these breaches lead to the theft of assets and IPs, with examples as recent as EA's loss of 780 GB worth of data, including the source code for FIFA, and ranging back to the likes of Half-Life 2's infamous leak that revealed the game was so bad, it cost Valve millions and pushed back the release by a year.
Other times, user information is leaked, compromising millions of customers' data to malicious actors. No company is truly immune, whether it be WildWorks 12 and under MMO, Animal Jam, or Epic Games world-dominating Fortnite.
Windscribe VPN Can Protect You While Online Gaming
Gaming with a VPN is a controversial topic, but we've previously outlined the advantages it can grant. My personal favorite is stopping yourself from getting doxxed by some obnoxious 16-year-old with a superiority complex who thinks just because he still has the luxury of youth on his side, he can bad-mouth veteran gamers who were really just having a bad day and are normally much better than that, and maybe you should learn some empathy because life is HARD and-
So, anyway, Windscribe has your back when it comes to protecting yourself from doxxing, DDoS attacks, and data leaks. You should probably check us out.