Before the game’s release in 1998, Populous: The Beginning was named Populous: The Third Coming. View: Article about a early version of Populous.
The league was based merely on wins and game types (FFAs, for instance, gave more points than 2v2s). With URL modification, everyone could join the lobby with anyone’s name, even someone else’s, and it’d count for the league with that name. In a game, any player could resync, change debug variables and speed up the game at will, being able to use some of the features of the BYRNE code, although mana cheats for instance were impossible.
It was shut down on 8 January 2004. EA sent this message:
Dear Populous Player,
We need to tell you about some upcoming changes to the Populous matchmaking server.
From 8 January 2004, the Populous matchmaking server will no longer be in service. Electronic Arts has made the decision to close the Populous matchmaking server in order to focus resources on future games. Given the focus on new titles, Electronic Arts is not able to maintain the server to the standards required to ensure that it is enjoyed by as many people as possible in the spirit it was set up.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the game as much as we have and that we’ll see you again in another great EA game!
2004-Present: Populous: Reincarnated
From 2004 to the present, Populous is played at Populous: Reincarnated. The Matchmaker was originally made by ALACN (and it first connected to EA, before switching to a custom IRC), and the website by 1|2lb. IncaWarrior later took over updating the Matchmaker and website. The origin of Populous: Reincarnated is a website for custom maps made by TheGabber. Custom maps were first made in hex editors. Hepple made an early map editor.