What is an MMO Game?
Let’s start with the basics: what does an MMO mean? An MMO game is a “Massively Multiplayer Online” game.
To put it in simpler terms, an MMO is an online multiplayer game which a large number of people can play simultaneously. You don’t play with or against just a handful of players, but thousands, sometimes even millions of them at the same time.
What is an MMORPG?
MMORPG stands for “Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.”
Another somewhat comical definition is “Many Men Online Role-Playing as Girls” (it’s funny because it's true).
Some might say that all MMORPGs are easily recognizable by their fantasy settings, but that's not at all the case. Though the majority of RPGs do take place in the realm of elves, orcs, and dragons, a lot of them choose different worlds to explore, like far-away planets or post-apocalyptic wastelands.
The keen observers among you may have noticed the two types of games have very similar definitions, but not quite the same. That leads us to the key difference between MMO and MMORPG.
What is the Difference Between MMO and MMORPG?
When someone asks what a game is, they often refer to its genre or subgenre. A game “is” a first-person shooter, a survival game or a role-playing game. It’s the same thing with MMOs.
No game is just an MMO game. It’s like saying a game is a “multiplayer game.” That’s well and good, but it doesn’t really tell you anything about the game itself, apart from the fact you can play it with (or against) other people. The game has to belong to a specific genre.
Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, or MMORPGs, are MMO games that belong to the RPG genre.
They are role-playing games that can be played online by a large number of players simultaneously.
The difference between MMO and MMORPG is that all MMORPGs are MMOs, but not all MMOs are MMORPGs.
MMORPG is by definition a role-playing game, while an MMO can be anything from a Battle Royale action title, a real-time strategy game, or even a new type of interactive experience that defies genres.
MMORPGs are a type of MMO games.
It’s a subtle distinction, but an important one. It can be a bit embarrassing talking to a fellow gamer about the new MMORPG you’re playing, only for them to realize you’re actually playing a hardcore multiplayer Strategy title with a deep base-customization system and no RPG elements whatsoever.
I know it might sound a little trivial, but trust me - gamers can be pretty sensitive to this kind of mistakes.