ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Difference Between an MMORPG and a Normal PC Game

Updated on July 12, 2013


The Difference Between an MMORPG and a Normal PC Game

The term ‘MMORPG’ tends to throw people for a loop the first time they see it, and that’s understandable. It stands for “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game”, and has become perhaps the most popular genre of computer game today. It is no wonder why people want to learn about MMORPGs; practically everyone plays one! This article will talk about the difference between an MMORPG and a normal PC game, and will describe a little of the history of the genre as a whole.

The Difference Between an MMORPG and a Normal PC Game: What Is It?

An MMORPG is a role-playing game that takes place online in real time with a real-life community of players connected via a network. These players can play with each other and interact with each other in real time as all progress through the game. A role-playing game is one in which the player assumes the identity of a character and progresses through the story, developing the character as they go. Character development – adding new spells, “leveling up”, obtaining new weapons, learning more backstory to the character, etc. – is the key component to an RPG.

The key component to an MMORPG is the online community, so when you put the two together, you get a role-playing game that involves thousands – even millions – of players instead of just one or two.

The Difference Between an MMORPG and a Normal PC Game: The History

MMORPGs got their start essentially in the modern era with the release of Neverwinter Nights, in 1991. Ultima Online came along in 1997 and made the genre really popular for the first time in history. Shortly after that, a slew of games, including Asheron’s Call, Nexus, and the award-winning Everquest franchise, advanced the genre even further. Finally, the release of World of Warcraft, in 2004, marked an explosion in the number of subscribers of MMORPGs in general that now numbers in the tens of millions.

The Difference Between an MMORPG and a Normal PC Game: A Comparison

The Community

The biggest difference, by far, is the presence of the massive online community with MMORPGs. No other genre features thousands of players playing together in real time, during a persistent (i.e. always running) environment. Entire websites have been devoted to guilds, which are essentially clubs of players within a particular game. The community is the defining characteristic of an MMORPG.


Role-playing – adopting the persona of a fictional character and controlling the character’s actions as well as background, personality, etc. – is another defining difference. When you play an MMORPG, versus a racing game, or first-person shooter, you are essentially ‘living’ as a fictional character, instead of merely controlling a character’s actions and nothing else.

Character Development

Related to the difference above, character development is yet another key difference between MMORPGs and normal PC games. Even in normal PC games that feature characters, the character typically progresses through the story without really being changed – and then the story ends. In an MMORPG, the story never really ends – and the character develops or “grows” as you play.

There are plenty of other differences between the two types of computer games, but essentially, an MMORPG involves a massive online community of players interacting with each other while role-playing and developing characters in an ever-changing, non-linear story. Those are many of the reasons why MMORPGs are some of the most popular games on the market today.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • FridgeWheeL profile image


      8 years ago from Pretoria South Africa

      This is a very informative hub written (by a true mmorpg player it seems) for people that don't know what mmorpgs' are. what mmorpgs' do you play if I may ask?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)