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Creating Collectibles for Meridian 59
The World’s First Retail 3D MMO

Meridian 59 1996 Retail Box

Meridian 59
Chibi Miniatures

M59.Toys is very proud to announce a new Line of Officially Licensed Chibi Style Collectible Miniatures for the Classic MMO, Meridian 59.

Meridian 59 is the World’s First Retail 3D MMO having Released to Stores on September 27th 1996! Meridian 59 brought the Shared World Gaming Experience to Players in an all new way by enabling them to simply walk into a Store and find such a Game on shelves for the first time. Meridian 59’s 3D Presentation was also the introduction of a Real-Time First Person Gaming Engine to a Shared World RPG on the Internet. Previous Online Only Games were often Text Based, Turn Based, or required connecting to a Private Network. Previous Retail Games very rarely had any Multiplayer capabilities and those were often Local Split-Screen or LAN only and none offered the Persistent World that Meridian 59 gave to Gamers.

The Sprite-Based Graphics of the Era has often been considered one of Meridian 59’s elements that has aged poorly while being difficult to update to a standard that modern Gamers expect, even from Sprite-Based Pixel Art. This new Line of Collectible Miniatures will bring Triple-A Quality Artwork to Fans of Meridian 59, Classic RPG Video Games, MMOs, Fantasy Worlds, and Miniature Collecting and Painting.

M59.Toys Collectibles will bring the nostalgia of Meridian 59’s Unique and Classic RPG Monsters to Fans that enjoy remembering how great these early Games are but can’t devote the time to Playing them. The Chibi Style allows the Miniatures to express the FUN of Gaming and Collecting and can deliver expressive character and fine detail to Creatures and Characters that have lived in Low Resolution Bitmaps for over 26 years.

Meridian 59 can still be PLAYED ONLINE FREE by visiting the Official Website run by Meridian 59’s Inventors Andrew and Chris Kirmse. Meridian 59 is also available to download on Steam. In another Game Industry First, Meridian 59 was released as Open Source in 2012 including the Game Server Code which allows Players to run the World of Meridian 59, modify what’s there, or even build and run their own Custom Worlds! Download the Code to get a look into 1990’s Online Game Development.

M59.Toys is lead by Meridian 59’s Original Lead World Designer Rob Ellis II. Rob joined the Meridian 59 Development Team after having Played the Game during its early Alpha Testing period. He bluffed his way into the Job by telling Damion Schubert, Meridian 59’s Lead Game Designer “I know your Team is in dire need of Level Builders, I’d be happy to help out if you want!” Rob then turned that Job into a Career when the Team moved to complete Development as Employees of The 3DO Company. As Lead World Designer Rob guided the expanding World, building over half of the Game’s Levels himself, including several Updates and Full Expansions after Meridian 59’s original Retail Launch in September of 1996. Always a unique personality, Rob created custom Artwork for his In-Game Character when he first joined the Team and has since been known, loved, and hated as Q a chaotic playful Creator.  

Even before he left The 3DO Company Rob began negotiating for the Purchase of Meridian 59’s Rights. Shortly before The 3DO Company closed Rob successfully purchased the Rights through his newly formed Company, Near Death Studios. Shortly before Rob closed Near Death Studios, he ensured the Game would continue to be available by transferring the Rights to Meridian 59’s Inventors, Andrew and Chris Kirmse who continue to provide Official Gameplay Servers for Players to experience Meridian 59 for free. Now Rob continues his 27 year obsession with Meridian 59’s World through M59.Toys by bringing that World to Fans through Collectibles, starting with Officially Licensed Meridian 59 Chibi Miniatures.  

Join the Mailing List linked below for direct Information on M59.Toys and Meridian 59 Chibi Miniatures and Collectibles as it develops.

How it FEELS to have helped
Create Meridian 59

Rob Ellis II - M59.Toys Founder - Original Meridian 59 Lead World Designer

These are thoughts I shared a few years ago. It never stops being true.

27 Years later and weʼre still the first Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game to have been sold in Stores.

Some diminish our accomplishment by nitpicking over terminology and technicalities.

Some say we werenʼt “Massive” enough because we had Hundreds of Active Players at a time in each Game World not Thousands.

Some say we donʼt count because we didnʼt sell as many Units or have as large of a Playerbase as some other later Games.

Everyone wants to be first so they narrow the criteria of success until they are or their favorite Game is. We werenʼt the first to make a Game with Hundreds of Players at a time sharing a Game World. We werenʼt the first to make a non-Text Based Version where Players shared a Game World through a Graphic Interface. (Though we were the first to do that in a 3D Game World)

But ultimately on September 27th 1996 our Game, Meridian 59 was the first Game sold in Retail Stores where Players could Play in an Online Game World with Hundreds of people they didnʼt know. Stores sold Titles where one could Play an Action Game or two like Doom with a few Friends. But there were *no* other Games there where Players were sharing a Persistent Game World, Playing with and against each other in that World, and meeting new people every day.

And there wouldnʼt be another for a FULL YEAR.

And thatʼs what it all comes down to in the nitpicking of our Successes and Failures. There was *nothing* else even *remotely* like our Game on Store shelves until September 1997. With Meridian 59, whatever its flaws, a Customer could walk into a Store, browse the shelves, and find something theyʼve *never* seen in a Store before, perhaps didnʼt even know was possible before then.

We introduced a whole new World to the World in a whole new way.

I served as Lead World Designer for several Years and personally built over half the World and Designed most of the rest. Together we created new Systems that wouldnʼt make it into other Games for Years. The Team that trusted me with these responsibilities have become some of my most cherished Lifelong Friends.

Iʼm very proud of what we accomplished and September 27th is the time to Respect our successes more than lamenting our shortcomings.

- Rob Ellis II

That’s my Signature over the Name Plate on the Photo of our Team-Signed Retail Box Display at the 3DO Company offices!

M59 Retail Box @ 3DO

About M59.Toys

We’re excited to bring our News to Fans as quickly as possible. Please enjoy the information while excusing our early presentation! See our Announcement above for an introduction to M59.Toys, Meridian 59, and our first Project. Join the Mailing List below and Follow, Like, Subscribe in every way possible to M59.Toys and its Partners.

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Meridian is a Registered Trademark
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