Motor City Online

Motor City Online was a racing massively multiplayer online video game released by Electronic Arts on May 11, 2001. The point of the game was to buy classic cars (mostly American muscle cars) ranging from 1930s to 1970s models, tune them up, and race them against other players. The game went offline on August 29, 2003 so EA Games could focus on their current online game at the time, The Sims Online. EA, however, developed a new online racing game, called Need for Speed: World. Many fans of Motor City Online consider Need for Speed: World a Spiritual successor of Motor City Online, although EA has denied any direct link between the two games.

Originally conceived as part of the Need for Speed series under the title Need for Speed: Motor City, all single player elements that may have been developed for the game were discarded in favor of an online-only model. The game featured some role-playing video game elements, such as levelling up after completing tasks (e.g. winning races), and a functional, supply and demand economy for players to get involved in.

Aside from EA focusing on The Sims Online, another contributing factor to MCO's demise was the game's technical setup. Lag, as with most online games, was a problem, with cars acting unpredictably during times of high latency. Falling subscription rates (from an alleged peak of 36,000) and a lack of new interest in the game eventually led to its downfall. Previous Motor City Online users were offered access to The Sims Online, Ultima Online, or Earth & Beyond. However, while Motor City Online was dead, an MCO fan developed Motor City Offline, a version of the game designed for play offline. It contains 34 converted car models from the original game. Motor City Offline was built using a modified version of the NFS High Stakes engine.

Read more about Motor City Online:  Cars, Note, Awards

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