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The Quantum Link software was based on software licensed from Play Net, Inc, (founded in 1983 by Howard Goldberg and Dave Panzl).
The service was different from other online services as it used the computing power of the Commodore 64 and the Apple II rather than just a "dumb" terminal.
In August 1988, Quantum launched PC Link, a service for IBM-compatible PCs developed in a joint venture with the Tandy Corporation.
After the company parted ways with Apple in October 1989, Quantum changed the service's name to America Online.
The telephone disconnected and the downloaded game would remain in Game Line's Master Module and playable until the user turned off the console or downloaded another game.
In the early years of AOL the company introduced many innovative online interactive titles and games, including: This coincided with growth in pay-based online services, like Prodigy, Compu Serve, and GEnie.
1991 also saw the introduction of an original Dungeons & Dragons title called Neverwinter Nights from Stormfront Studios; which was one of the first Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games to depict the adventure with graphics instead of text.
This is commonly referred to as the "Eternal September", as USENET's cycle of new users was previously dominated by smaller numbers of college and university freshmen gaining access in September and taking a few weeks to acclimate.
During this time, AOL connections would be flooded with users trying to get on, and many canceled their accounts due to constant busy signals.
A commercial featuring Steve Case telling people AOL was working day and night to fix the problem was made.