Viewing the feats of the world’s record-breakers is a fascinating pastime. Sometimes you’ll see something you’ve never seen before. Sometimes it’s a feat you never thought possible. And sometimes they’re things that beg the question: ‘but why?’ And the really special ones combine all three - we’ve all seen the people with the world’s longest fingernails. Ew. But also kudos! Kewdos.
Records are being set at a breakneck pace, and there’s no doubt that many go completely under the radar. Many of us could be record-breakers without even knowing it - but without a record of your record, did it even happen? Well we can be sure that these did - and if you think you know of somebody who can beat them (or has already) then be sure to let us know.
Most Consecutive Hours Playing an MMORPG - Ian Haimes
For some, this record probably sits comfortably in the ‘I can beat that’ category - and if that’s you, then applications are open. But also, please don’t, sleep is important. But Ian Haimes chose WoW over winks as he ground his way through a 32-hour and 36-minute marathon, beating the previous record by 3 hours.
Unsurprisingly, news of this record is often met with the combined assertions of MMO-gamers worldwide claiming to have beaten that time just last week (we can already hear the keyboards clacking). But it’s worth noting: many parameters must be met for a record to be officialized.
Just last year, there were at least a few official attempts, such as DesMephisto’s 36-hour charity WoW streamathon in April. But with no official confirmation of his feat we’re left wondering if his attempt was for some reason voided. Perhaps he blinked a little too forcefully and it was ruled to be a nap.
Regardless, Ian’s 32-hour stint and the hours clocked by would-be usurpers are rookie numbers when compared to current ‘longest videogame marathon in general’ champ, Carrie Swidecki, who famously Just Danced for 138 hours. Yep - that’s 138 hours of exercise-gaming. Does that mean that the world’s most tenacious gamer is officially a Just Dance player? Well, we’ll leave that idea for gamers worldwide to wrestle with; but she raised £4,677 for Extra Life in the process so we’re not going to argue.
Longest-Running Guild - The Syndicate
If you take their word for it, online community ‘The Syndicate’ would have you believe that they are not a guild - specifically stating on their own website that ‘The Syndicate isn’t a guild, we are the industry leaders in gaming excellence and the most successful virtual community in the history of online gaming’. But the ‘Longest-running online gaming guild’ Guinness World Record title that they were willing to accept says otherwise.
To be fair, their operation certainly runs far deeper than a bunch of friends getting together for a weekend raid. Since their establishment in 1996, they have wielded their reputation and substantial MMO experience to secure gainful employment as game testers, system design consultants and even strategy-guide writers for titles such as Lord of the Rings Online. If by some miracle you haven’t heard of them, the likelihood is you have felt their influence in some form or another.
Their genre-spanning 25-year journey has seen them attending official MMO launch parties, host their own world conference featuring such industry legends as Richard Garriott (more on him later), and even feature in the credits for South Park. If ever there was an elite society in the MMO world (with an eerily befitting name) then The Syndicate is it. Long Live The Syndicate!
Most Successful Kickstarter Campaign - Ashes of Creation
It may come as a surprise to nobody that the most successful Kickstarter project, so far, for an MMORPG is Ashes of Creation - the wildly ambitious and equally exciting project from Intrepid Studios. With its unique nodal system, 64 classes, and intricate professions system, to name just a few features, their aim to ‘advance the genre’ has stoked the enthusiasm of MMO players worldwide. The best part is that this crowdfunded project in an age of dodgy projects actually has legs.
During its very short run on Kickstarter Ashes managed to scrape together a whopping $3,271,809 from its backers, more than $2.5m above its $750,000 goal. That level of support suggests that Ashes is doing something right - and their fervent fanbase (a.k.a. The ‘glorious community’) are certainly putting their mouths where their money is. That is, at least, if our recent Twitter poll is anything to go by.
Of course, this particular measure of ‘success’ is based on monetary value alone (just call us the Forbes of the MMO-verse), as the Kickstarted MMO with the highest total backers is Star Citizen. Through other sources of crowdfunding, Star Citizen has supposedly amassed inordinate amounts of cash that far exceeds Ashes’ Kickstarter kitty - sitting at a total development cost of over $320m so far. If accurate, this also makes Star Citizen the most expensive MMO to be developed and the second-most expensive video game to be developed behind one Cyberpunk 2077.
But perhaps the less said about that, the better.
Longest-Running Social MMORPG - Furcadia
If this next entry causes arguments (let’s be real, it has), then it’s most likely down to semantics (like most contentious things in life). The criteria for this record means that only MMORPGs which have been running non-stop since their release make the cut. So get out of here, Meridian 59. But whether or not Furcadia can be defined as a ‘traditional’ MMORPG is another matter.
The only other viable contender to the throne, Ultima Online, whose creator Richard Garriot was credited with coining the name of the genre in the first place, arrived just months after Furcadia. With its fantasy open world setting, quests and pre-established story-line, Ultima certainly falls squarely into the MMORPG mold, whereas Furcadia has been described as an MMORPG, MMOSG and even a graphical MUD.
However, wherever you may fall in the argument, it is Furcadia that holds the official title, and will remain to do so for as long as it maintains its thousands of monthly users.
Most Expensive Battle, Largest Multiplayer Video Game Battle & Most Concurrent Participants in a PvP Battle - EVE Online
Leave it to everyone’s favourite overachiever, EVE Online, an MMO that loves to break its own records, to score three world-records in just as many months. As one of the biggest MMOs on the market, in both scope and success, it’s thanks to the tens of thousands of active players that populate its cosmic playground that the sci-fi titan consistently plays host to the most calamitous PvP clashes in gaming.
As an industry paragon of PvP gameplay, EVE has always offered up the opportunity for combative cosmonauts to let rip at one-another with near-limitless scope - and let-rip they do. While this year’s (or is it last year’s?) New Year’s Eve Massacre of M2-XFE is responsible for breaking the Most Expensive Battle record previously set by The Bloodbath of B-R5RB, with over $378,012’s worth of damage, it was October’s Fury at FWST-8 that clinched the other two titles with 8,825 players total earning the first and the 6,557 concurrent participants at its peak, the second.
With The Bloodbath of B-R5RB and The Siege of 9-4RP2 holding these records previously, it’s safe to say that until another MMO capable of facilitating such large-scale skirmishes changes the game, it won’t be long before the warring factions of EVE Online deliver yet another certificate to help fill the ever-shrinking gaps of the CCP Games office walls.
First MMORPG Game Developer In Space - Richard Garriott
We were trying to avoid the ‘Firsts’ genre of records when it came to this list because usually they’re not that interesting. After all, I now hold the record for being the first person to write an article on MMOGames.com about record-breaking MMOs but you don’t see me bragging about it in the very same article. However, for the sake of MMO legend Richard Garriott’s trip to space, we’ll make an exception.
Much like EVE Online in human form, Mr. Garriott is something of an overachiever with a penchant for outer space. The son of NASA astronaut, Owen Garriott, his designs to follow in the footsteps of his father - and the ‘small step’ of Neil Armstrong - came to fruition in 2008 when, thanks to the fruits of his MMORPG-pioneering labour, he became a private astronaut.
As was the case with Garriott’s own Ultima Online falling short of the ‘oldest MMORPG’ title, this particularly specific accolade came in spite of only just losing out on a few others. After having to relinquish the title of ‘first private astronaut’ thanks to the dot-com bubble burst, becoming the second second-generation space traveler after Sergei Volkov and being the second astronaut to bear the Union Jack in space thanks to his proud dual-nationality (most famously conveyed in his ‘Lord British’ online persona) - Garriott was due a ‘first’ of his own.
And as far as firsts go, we’d say this one is pretty impressive.
But, as we all know, records are made to be broken. Whether you think you can beat the longest MMORPG marathon, raise the most Kickstarter cash or travel back in time, develop an MMORPG then journey to space just to steal another record from Richard Garriott, we’re looking forward to covering it when this MMO records list is next updated.
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