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31 years later, groundbreaking MMORPG  Habitat  is coming back online

31 years later, groundbreaking MMORPG Habitat is coming back online

June 1, 2017 | By Alex Wawro

31 years after Lucasafilm Games launched a beta version of its groundbreaking massively-multiplayer online game Habitat, the game is being brought back online by the folks at the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) in Oakland, California.

This is a big deal because when Lucasfilm launched it on the Commodore 64 in 1986, Habitat (seen below) was basically the world's first commercial graphical MMORPG. 

MADE founder Alex Handy and the rest of the restoration team have been working for years to rebuilt Habitat, ever since Handy (in the course of preparing an exhibit about the historical value of the game) unexpectedly received the game's source code (which has since been publicly released) from Habitat lead Chip Morningstar in 2014.

As we previously covered in depth, it was at that point that a serious effort to reboot the original Habitat was born. It gained the support of volunteers, members of the original dev team, and companies like Fujitsu, which licensed the game from Lucasfilm Games after it was shut down in 1988.

Tomorrow evening (6 PM PT, June 2nd) Habitat developers Morningstar and Randy Farmer (who has helped lead the revival effort) will take part in a special launch event for a public alpha of the new and improved Habitat, running on the open-source Elko server framework. Devs curious to check it out can RSVP to the event and use a special C64 emulator to try and log into the reincarnated game.

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