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MMORPG:

an online role-playing video game in which a very large number of people participate simultaneously.

RPG:

a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting.

The definitions are similar. What's the real difference? Both are role playing, both can be multiplayer.

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  • Down votes? Care to explain why?
    – Anatoly
    Aug 31, 2019 at 17:54
  • 8
    Have you not answered your own question?
    – user11502
    Aug 31, 2019 at 18:11
  • I mean when I asked the question I didn't understood that MMO means "larger playerbase". I've been playing an MMO with a playerbase of 20, and also had to see RPGames with a playerbase of 10k+ people (500+ at any time). So I was wondering what the actual difference is.
    – Anatoly
    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:06

2 Answers 2

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You've basically answered your own question - RPGs can be multiplayer, sure, but an MMO is that but on a larger scale, hence the "massively" bit. So all MMORPGS are RPGS, yes, but not all RPGs are MMORPGS. It's a matter of scale. For something like Torchlight, where it's a multiplayer RPG, it's not an MMO, because the amount of other players you'll interact with is bounded - likely you and a few friends. With WoW, Star Trek Online, etc, it's a much bigger scale. Hundreds of players can be in the same location at the same time, interacting with each other.

The other aspect that often differentiates the two is the persistence - MMOs tend to be always on - it doesn't matter if you're active in the game or not, the game is still going, running on some servers somewhere all the time, waiting for you to log in and interact. Whereas for regular multiplayer games, there's not this persistence.

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  • So you basically need more players for MMO?
    – Anatoly
    Sep 1, 2019 at 4:23
  • @AnatolyWein yes. MMORPG can have hundreds of people playing. But RPG can only have a small group
    – SkyPaul
    Sep 1, 2019 at 12:35
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  • RPG stands simply for “role playing game”. There are a few factors that classify RPGs as such. Roleplaying, of course is key here – you take up the mantle of a fictional character. The best RPGs will involve you traversing a fully fleshed out world to become immersed in.
  • MMORPG stands for “massive multiplayer online role playing game”. “Massive multiplayer” in that you are accompanied on your journey by many others live players, and “online” as you are all linked together and able to communicate via the internet.
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    It's 'massively', actually. But yes, it's weird no one has shown what the abbreviations stand for, so you have my upvote.
    – Joachim
    Sep 23, 2019 at 10:10

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