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Something odd happened to me today, I saw a reference to codemasters for the first time in years. Codemasters developed partially a MMORPG called Dragon Empires back in 2000-2003, and I fell in love with it. It was sophisticated and would have been a step forward from the MMORPGs at the time in the right direction, building on aspects of SWG and other MMORPGs out and focusing on economy, clan owned cities (PvP), and player housing.
Heres a way-back machine of the website:
I can't help but wonder how the MMORPG scene would be different if it had been completed by 2004 as a sandbox competitor to World of Warcraft.