Developed by Origin Systems and originally released in September 1997, Ultima Online continues to operate today, 13 years after its inception. It's a long run for an online game; Electronic Arts' UO producer Calvin Crowner calls the seminal MMORPG the "M*A*S*H of MMOs."
But that's not really giving the MMO's staying power adequate credit -- the M*A*S*H television series only had an 11-year run.
Last month, the Gamasutra-affiliated GDC Online Awards Hall of Fame recognized UO for its contributions to the gaming industry. It's not as if UO is pulling in anywhere remotely close to the amount of subscribers and revenue that Blizzard's market-leading World of Warcraft pulls in -- the continued support of UO isn't about competing with that juggernaut or any more modern whippersnapper MMOs.