A brief history of "IO" games

Written by David Tatarka 11/14/2018

In their simplicity lies their strenght, their districts are offices and schools, where they reduce productivity of workers and students to the absolute minimum. Who are we talking about? About mobile games of course! This time not just about any mobile games, but about those so called „io“ games, about which we have talked about already in relation with battle royale genre. These games washed over the globe in a wave of popularity, similar to the one we see nowadays with battle royale.

How it all began

It all began on April 27th 2015, when young Brazilian developer Matheus Valadares announced a new game – Agar.io.

This Agario game basically takes the whole first phase from the famous game Spore, where you play as a small cell, that eats its way trough life, to be the biggest one in the pond. Anyway, we find it very interesting, that it took so many years, before someone got this idea, since Spore came in 2008. Agario takes this cell game, and simplifies it as much as possible both the gameplay and the graphics. All we are left with are colorful circles on, what appears to be, a squared paper sheet. And you know what? It is fun! Tough it didn't take long, untill new cell skins in form of flags, memes or even famous people started to appear ingame. This made the game even more hilarious and entertaining. Mainly, because it created a pathway for many absurd situations, such as Obama eating Russia or vice versa and so on.

This game of course made it really fast into the attention of internet celebrities, that got this game massively recommended from their fans. The most popular one – Felix Kjellberg, also known as Pewdiepie fell in love with the game so much, he even created several videos about it (called for example „Reddit wants to eat me!“). The same applied for other youtubers, such as Jacksepticeye, Markiplier or Vanossgaming.

They made the game skyrocket in popularity and if somebody didn't know this game until this point, now everybody knew it! And, needless to say, played it. Thanks to these events, a whole new market in the videogaming industry got created, and everyone wanted to take his bite of this trend and make as much money as possible while doing it. Therefore new io games (clones or paraphrases of the famous Agar.io) started to appear, and even tough Agario had nothing in common with the .io domain, it became a symbol to these simple games, and all of them started using it in their names.

Flood of new IO games

That is why we now have a multiplayer version of classic Snake in “io” style, called just Slither.io aka Slitherio, or clones of many popular AAA games. Example of that might be a game called Zombsroyale.io (that we consider to be one of the best IO games ever), which takes all the important elements from PlayerUnknow'n Battlegrounds and even some from Fortnite, and shoves them into top-down 2D form. And very entertaining one to be honest.

Altough entertainment is something that (almost) all of the io games have in common. Probably due to their simplicity and accessibility. Including some really crazy pieces, that tried to combine it with other popular things, such as the “fidget spinner simulator” Spinz.io, that moreless died with the popularity of fidget spinners.

The whole “io” gaming gere's end, on the other hand, is nowhere to be seen. It is still going strong with hundreds of thousands of players in almost every game. One of their biggest pros is their size. You can play the game on your phone or PC (where you can find Agar.io even on Steam), and you don't even have to download it! You can play it easily in your browser. And you can do it right here on our site! If you haven't tried some of the games mentioned above, you can do so in our tag category "IO Games". And if you have, why not spend a while in your favourite game again?


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