Posts Tagged ‘Games’

World’s Most Popular RPGs

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Role-playing games in their current form owe their existence to a 15th century form of improvisational theatre called commedia dell’arte, where players were given roles and situations without a script to guide them. It wasn’t until the 1970s, however, that Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson combined this theatrical form with Gygax’s Chainmail wargame to create the world’s first modern role-playing game—Dungeons and Dragons.

World's Most Popular RPGs - Dungeons & Dragons

Currently in its fourth edition, Dungeons and Dragons remains the most popular tabletop role-playing game. Its future has looked uncertain at times. In the early 1980s, the game was mired in a moral panic centered on the accusation that the game promoted Satanism, witchcraft, murder and other unsavory practices. Later, the game’s original publisher, TSR, approached bankruptcy before its 1997 purchase by Magic: The Gathering publishers Wizards of the Coast. D&D recovered from these setbacks, however, and current estimates place its player base around 1.5 million.

Of course, RPG video games and the explosion of the MMORPG—Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game—have redefined public perception of the RPG. The desktop, rather than the tabletop, is now the preferred venue for role-playing (although staunch advocates of tabletop gaming might argue that this is not, in fact, role-playing).

World's Most Popular RPGs - World of Warcraft

Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft is now the most popular role-playing game in the world. Based in the setting created for Blizzard’s original Warcraft real-time strategy games, the game was first announced in September 2001. New areas of the world were unveiled in 2007 and 2008 by the Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions.

World of Warcraft had 11.5 million subscribers as of December 2008 and holds a Guinness World Record for the most popular RPG by subscribers. It holds over 60% of the MMORPG subscription market.

Most Popular Board Game

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

World's Most Popular Board Game

Parker Brothers’ famous game of economics, Monopoly, has been called “the most played board game in the world.” It’s certainly a believable title when you consider that, according to Hasbro, the game has been played by over 750 million people since Parker Brothers originally published it in 1935.

Monopoly is actually based on a game patented by Elizabeth J. Magie in 1906. The Quaker woman hoped to use The Landlord’s Game to explain Henry George’s single tax theory. Despite Magie’s original and renewed patents of the world’s most popular game, several versions of the game were created in the years before it was published by Parker Brothers. The name “Monopoly” was first applied to the game in 1910 when a shortened version called “Auction Monopoly,” which had eliminated the Georgist elements of the game, became popular.

In 1933, Charles Darrow copyrighted his own version of the game, simply called “Monopoly,” and began shopping for publishers. Despite having rejected Magie’s original Landlord’s Game twice and Darrow’s Monopoly once, Parker Brothers eventually elected to publish the game in 1935. Officially, neither Parker Brothers nor Hasbro, their parent company, acknowledge the history of the game prior to Charles Darrow’s version. They have, however, acquired Magie’s original patent.

The board as most players know it features locations in and around Atlantic City, New Jersey. A multitude of alternate editions, however, replace these properties with others more appropriate to the theme. Monopoly Here and Now: The World Edition, for instance, replaces the two utilities in the game with solar and wind energy. Localized versions also exist for countries outside of the US.

Then, of course, there’s the game’s official mascot, Mr. Monopoly—known as Rich Uncle Pennybags until he was renamed by Hasbro in 1998. The character is loosely based on John Pierpont Morgan, billionaire and founder of J. P. Morgan & Co.