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Who Inspired World of Warcraft?

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World of Warcraft (often abbreviated as WoW) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft takes place within the Warcraft world of Azeroth, approximately four years after the events at the conclusion of Blizzard's previous Warcraft release, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.
Creator(s): Blizzard Entertainment
Type: Games
Genre(s): Online role-playing game
Year Released: 2004

Ultima Online started in 1997, is still running today and was instrumental in the development of the MMORPG genre. It was the first MMORPG to hit 100,000 subscribers and was an early inspiration behind World of Warcraft. Blizzard believed, however, that they would be able to make a more accessible MMORPG. [1][2][3]

Everquest was another early inspiration to World of Warcraft, showcasing what could be done with the MMORPG model. Everquest was released in 1999 and like Ultima Online was highly-successful, dominating the MMORPG genre for a long time.[4][5][6]

J.R.R. Tolkien was the most successful author to take Germanic and Northeastern European myth and transform it into an enduring fantasy world populated by elves, dwarves, humans and other races. His writings heavily influenced World of Warcraft.[7][8][9][10]

Dungeons & Dragons invented and popularized the ruleset and leveling of today's RPG. Without it, World of Warcraft would not exist. The Internet of course enabled the development of RPGs on a scale that tabletop gaming could never have imagined, with games of thousands upon thousands of players all playing at once within a gaming system. They all owe an influence to Dungeons & Dragons.[11][12][13]