Earth: 2025 was one of the first Massively Multiplayer Online Browser Games (MMOBG's) on the web. Built by Mehul Patel in 1996, it was closed down in December of 2009. Earth Empires is a project built by ex-Earth:2025 players to continue its legacy. Most players and alliances from Earth: 2025 migrated to Earth Empires when it opened less than a week after Earth: 2025 was officially closed.
Earth: 2025 was one of two major web games hosted by swirve.com, the second being Utopia; together, Earth: 2025 and Utopia helped swirve.com win two Webby Awards in 2002 and 2003.
All major game formulas and game mechanics were initially cloned into Earth Empires, however they have slowly evolved to improve and refresh the game; Earth Empires initially continued all the existing servers at the end of Earth: 2025, and additionally resurrected the Free For All server. Since all servers are inherently moderated in Earth Empires, the original Alliance server was merged with Earth Council, and the Team Server was added as a replacement.
The first round of Earth: 2025 was held in October, 1996 and was developed by Solaria Games, created by Mehul Patel. Solaria Games also began offering non-game services such as e-cards and message boards in 1997. With these non-game related services, it broadened the scope of Solaria and rebranded itself Solaria Interactive. Following the rebranding came a new MMOBG called Utopia. Solaria Interactive experienced increased popularity due to the birth of Utopia. With the two anchor MMOBGs of Earth: 2025 and Utopia gaining new players, Solaria Interactive renamed itself Echelon Entertainment in January, 1999. Though the company continued to add new services and features to its site, Earth: 2025 and Utopia still maintained the highest interest from users. In May 2000, Echelon Entertainment became Swirve.com, Inc., and later transitioned owners, Swirve being sold by Mehul to Jolt/OMAC Industries in 2008. The game evolved fairly continually at first, but later stagnated, and virtually no changes were made once Mehul sold the game.
By 2000, Earth 2025 had three main servers, Standard, Tournament and Free For All; Standard included 1A, later split off as Alliance, and 1B, later renamed Primary, and smaller Random games from 1C through 1Z. By 2002, however, multies had become a problem in 1A, and Mehul attempted to solve this by adding the Limited server, which required silver, gold or platinum level service, which could be obtained either through a $15, for platinum, or by jumping through various promotional hoops designed to generate ad revenue for swirve, a practice which was later discontinued, leaving the $15 platinum service as the only option. This server was not fully embraced by the community, as it wasn't as easy to get all members of a clan/alliance to join with the promotional/paywall barrier. By 2005, Mehul had added an Express server which employed the same rules but ran at a hugely accelerated pace over one or two days; this only ran a few times throughout Earth: 2025's history.
Eventually, by 2007, Mehul introduced a "User Moderated" server, known as the Council server, to which many alliances from the Alliance server migrated, and simultaneously phased out the Free For All server, as the bots and multies in Free For All were causing the server load to be disproportionately high relative to the number of actual players playing Free For All, which affected ad revenue.
Earth: 2025 Server List
- Standard which housed "1A" (later Alliance), "1B" (later Primary), and "1C" through "1Z" known as Random.
- Free For All or "FFA"
- Alliance also referred to as "1A".
- Earth Council also commonly referred to as the "User Managed" server or "User Moderated" server, or "EC".
- Primary also referred to as "1B".
- Limited also known as the "Silver" or "Platinum" server.
Swirve Sold to Jolt
Around 2008, Mehul sold Swirve to Jolt, which included both Earth: 2025 and Utopia; this marked the beginning of many technical failures on the part of the site, and significant contraction of the community: the game itself would be unavailable for entire weekends, the data feeds would disappear routinely, sometimes for days at a time; and every two hours the game was unavailable for several minutes at :07 minutes on the hour; apparently due to backups. These technical difficulties, combined with a lack of changes to the game eventually caused the community to shrink in size, and the interest of Jolt -which was bought by OMAC at some point- in improving the game waned.
Jolted by Jolt
In November 2009, Jolt announced it was closing Earth: 2025 on December 9th, 2009, and so qzjul and Pangaea began a project to replace Earth: 2025 by the time it closed, and so Earth Empires was born; as the closing or failing of Earth: 2025 had been seen as inevitable by many in the community for quite some time, this topic had been discussed well in advance, and the infrastructure was already in place for developing a replacement, such as a boxcar site dedicated to the task; most formulae had by this point been reverse-engineered, and what few weren't were rapidly investigated in the month between the announced closure and the opening of Earth Empires, primarily by Slagpit and martian.
For further screen captures of the evolution of Earth: 2025, see the Earth: 2025 Screen Capture page.