Twenty years ago, a company in Southern California launched an online game that would go on to serve as the model for many more titles to come in the massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) space. And unlike many games that sought to replace it over the years, this one is still going today.

No, this isn’t about World of Warcraft—that game only turns 15 in 2019. Before there was WoW, there was the MMO pioneer EverQuest. This sword-and-sorcery-based game was developed by a small company, 989 Studios, but it eventually reached its pinnacle under Sony Online Entertainment after SOE acquired that studio roughly a year after the game’s launch. Today, EQ marches on with a dedicated player base and another developer, Daybreak Games, at the helm.

I’ve been a dedicated player since the early days, and others like me would likely acknowledge the game peaked early. A variety of factors have whittled down the once mighty player base since: many just simply walked away, either busy with life or quitting because it took up too much time. The impact of World of Warcraft over time is also undeniable.

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