Some people refer to Magic: The Gathering Online as "MOTO" or "MODO". None of them can tell me what it stands for, so at first, I thought they just got the acronym wrong. It turns out to be pretty popular, that's all I've been able to find out. The term is not in the Magic Jargon article, and not one person in this thread spelled it out.

What does MOTO stand for? Is it different from MODO?


Wikipedia claims that this is an acronym from earlier in its development which was later discontinued:

WotC was sufficiently convinced and contracted LLS to develop the service, which was then known as Magic Online with Digital Objects (MODO). Initially, the idea of charging for virtual goods, as opposed to a subscription model with unlimited access, was greeted with skepticism. Additionally, concerns were floated over how solid the server and trading code would be;[6] if exploits were found, the entire economy could easily be destroyed. After a period of beta-testing, the game became available to the general public in June 2002. The name was changed from MODO to its final commercial title, Magic: The Gathering Online (MTGO).

The game apparently gained some notoriety during its development under this name, which may have caused it to stick. It's likely that this is simply an affectionate hold-over nickname from a time when this old name was relevant.

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  • 2
    It's also easy to say, rather than spell. "Moh-doe," versus "Em-tee-gee-oh." – Brian S Apr 24 '14 at 14:49
  • 6
    @Brian I believe the proper way to say it is "Mo' Dough" as in "It's another way for Wizards to extract mo' dough from our wallets" – corsiKa Apr 24 '14 at 17:12
  • In addition to all of this, it's worth noting that the acronym was used to name the original executable; the actual program that was run on players' systems was modo.exe . That's where most folks' exposure to the name came from. – Steven Stadnicki Apr 26 '14 at 5:47

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