Nearly 30 years later, the devs behind one of the first MMOs are making a new "true, old-school MMORPG" with hundreds of players on persistent servers

Key art for Persist Online, showing two characters with guns defending themselves from zombies.
(Image credit: CipSoft)

After almost 30 years, the devs behind one of the first and longest-running MMOs, Tibia, are making a "true, old-school MMORPG" for PC, although this time it's 3D, and with zombies and guns rather than orcs and magic. 

CipSoft's latest creation is called Persist Online, which aims to "bring hundreds of players together on a persistent server with the greatest possible freedom." Players will be able to team up to explore the open world and smash zombies, although the implementation of friendly-fire means that, inevitably, people can and will betray each other, too. 

In a statement, lead product manager Benjamin Zuckerer reveals that the zombie MMORPG first began as a hobby project, as the "brainchild of two long-standing CipSoft employees." Even though at first, "we just started developing the game we wanted to play ourselves," there are now 14 people on the development team. 

While Persist Online certainly looks different to CipSoft's previous works, it still sounds as though the developers are taking plenty from their experience working on Tibia to bring the new project to life. "The true charm of an MMORPG lies in the diverse interaction possibilities among players and the unpredictable stories that emerge from them. Decades of operating Tibia have continually shown us this," Zuckerer explains. "It’s why we believe a good multiplayer game can only be created together with the community, and even before the early access period, we will regularly organize game tests."

Speaking of that early access period, it's not currently clear when it will start - the game is already available to wishlist on Steam, but for now, it simply states that it's "coming soon." 

There's no doubt that Persist Online has some big boots to fill – even if Tibia isn't the most popular MMO in the world in 2024, the fact that it's kept going for over 27 years is an achievement in itself. On top of that, there's no denying that the MMO market is way more crowded now than it was in 1997. We'll just have to wait and see if it can live up to expectations. 

You can find even more games to play on our list of the top 10 best MMORPGs. 

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.