From Wikipedia:

“Bloodgutter Online has its roots in a series of Japanese Tabletop RPGs called “土地をシャター” (“Shatterlands” in the West) A digital version was made for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1986, but Square threatened the creators with a lawsuit due to similar class names to those found in Final Fantasy, and the creators of Shatterlands (A pair of motivated thirteen-year-olds whose names are lost to history)

The game finally broke into the Digital Realm in 1999 as a fanmade program for the TI-83 Graphing Calculator. It made its way to Silicon Valley, and gained a small cult following among the kinds of people who play games on Graphing Calculators, a demographic that, incidentally, intersects quite broadly with the kinds of people who collect back-issues of Heavy Metal Magazine, and wear pointy ears for any reason.

Over the years, Shatterlands expanded, taking form as various JRPGs, WRPGs, TCGs, ARGs and Dating Sims, though since nobody knew who actually owned the property, it remained strictly an underground phenomenon.

That is until an intern at a small Korean video game studio happened upon a copy of the original Japanese “Shatterlands” in a pile of papers to be shredded. Reading through the text, he quickly realized that it was fifteen sheets of paper photocopied and stapled together, and the original authors probably couldn’t care less what happened to the property they created in their early teens.

Sensing career gold, the intern gathered every bit of information he could find about Shatterlands expanded lore. He made a pitch for a massively multiplayer game set on one of the eponymous Shatterlands, Bloodgutter. A land so brutally warlike, it even took the form of a sword itself.

The game was a technical marvel, but was lost in a sea of cookie-cutter Korean MMOs. Still the intern made enough off of in-game purchases to move his family to the United States, where he currently operates a combination used music store and laundromat.

At any given time no less then four hundred people are playing Bloodgutter Online. It’s unique Duel-Class character creation and bizarrely detailed crafting, brewing and spell-writing systems are a serious draw for both old fans of Shatterlands, and anyone looking for more depth in their games than can be found in most multiplayer games.”