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Funcom's Anarchy Online MMO celebrates 12 years

Anarchy Online Screenshot - Anarchy Online

Today marks an important date for developer and publisher Funcom. On this day 12 years ago, its massively multiplayer online game Anarchy Online launched.

Anarchy Online is one of the longest-running MMOs. The sci-fi game predates World of Warcraft, one of the most popular MMOs, by about three years. Since release, it's spawned a number of expansions, including Shadowlands in 2003 and Alien Invasion in 2004. Anarchy Online was the first MMO to introduce instancing, which is used in most games in the genre today, among other features — such as the freemium model.

Funcom isn't letting the game stagnate. "Anarchy Online is a game that, 12 years after launch, still stands as a pillar of innovation in the MMO genre,” says Joel Bylos, the creative director at Funcom. “Going forward, with our current plans for the new [graphics] engine, the new player experience, and Steam integration, we are hoping to ensure at least another 12!”

More than 2.4 million characters have inhabited the game world to date, and over 15,000 player-made organizations exist, with nearly 60 percent of players belonging to at least one.

Funcom is celebrating by holding special events in-game.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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