The first MMO, or massively multiplayer online game, was "Neverwinter Nights" in 1991. This was also the first graphical MMO; the first text-based MMO, "Legends of Future Past," was released in 1992.
In the early 1990s, the Internet was still in its early stages and MMOs had to be distributed through networks such as AOL and Compuserve. "Neverwinter Nights" was developed by TSR and distributed by AOL; it cost $6.00 an hour to play. The game ran from 1991 to 1997 and had nearly 120,000 players. "Neverwinter Nights" was shut down after a dispute between TSR and AOL regarding the rights to the game.