The Realm, as it was originally called, was a project of Sierra On-Line. Development on the title began in late 1995, with a 1996 beta and launch following soon after. As with other early graphical MMOs, Sierra had little experience or comparisons to draw from while making The Realm but somehow made it work anyway. The resulting game featured a strong emphasis on roleplay, trade, and turn-based combat, although a robust questing experience this was not.
Sierra On-Line never fully got behind The Realm, eventually selling it off to Codemasters in the early 2000s, which then turned around and handed off the title to its current operator, Norseman Games. To date, it's one of the longest continuously operating graphical MMOs in existence and can still be enjoyed by today's gamers.
We reached out to one of the lead developers on The Realm Online, Stephen Nichols, who agreed to an interview on the condition that we give him a very big horn in a tent. Just kidding; the horn is from his private stock. Let's get to it!
The Game Archaeologist: Steve Nichols' The Realm Online debriefing, part 1 originally appeared on Massively on Sat, 17 Nov 2012 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.