Thought some of you may find this interesting. I was reading a review of the Quake 1 engine source, and came across a .plan from John Carmack from August, 1996. Of particular note, I found this very interesting (he was talking about QuakeWorld):

There will be a single master server running here at id. Whenever anyone
starts up a server, it will register itself with the master server, and
whenever a client wants to start a game, it will inquire with the master
to find out which servers are available.

Users will have a persistant account, and all frags on the entire internet
will be logged. I want us to be able to give a global ranking order of
everyone playing the game. You should be able to say, "I am one of the
ten best QuakeWorld players in existance", and have the record to back it
up. There are all sorts of other cool stats that we could mine out of
the data: greatest frags/minute, longest uninterrupted quake game,
cruelest to newbies, etc, etc.

For the time being, this is just my pet research project. The new exes
will only work with registered Quake, so I can justify it as a registration
incentive (don't pirate!).

If it looks feasable, I would like to see internet focused gaming become
a justifiable biz direction for us. Its definately cool, but it is
uncertain if people can actually make money at it. My halfway thought
out proposal for a biz plan is that we let anyone play the game as an
anonymous newbie to see if they like it, but to get their name registered
and get on the ranking list, they need to pay $10 or so. Newbies would
be automatically kicked from servers if a paying customer wants to get on.
Sound reasonable?

Apologies if this has been posted before.

Edit: Source