After 17 Years of Running, RuneScape Classic's Servers Are Shutting Down
Just by reading the word 'RuneScape', a bunch of nostalgia may or may not have been set off for you. RuneScape is a popular fantasy MMORPG that began all the way back in 2001, right around the time computers and the Internet were gaining more popularity outside of the more obscure 90s. To many, it was their first introduction to an MMO game, and some even cite it as their gateway into RPGs in general. Because of this, the game holds a special place in many fans hearts who remember it from their childhood. RuneScape is still going to this day, after a couple of big updates and revisions that have modernized it. Despite this, the developers over at Jagex have left the servers running for the original version of RuneScape, eventually dubbing it 'RuneScape Classic' to differentiate it from the newer versions. Sadly, Jagex has announced today that RuneScape Classic will be shutting down for good.
The news comes in the form of a blog post on their official website. "It has been amazing to see such dedication amongst those of you who have kept playing RuneScape Classic over the last few years, some of you have even managed to reach max total!" states the post. "However, it's not all fun and games. With advancements in technology helping to further support both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, our tools are no longer compatible with Classic. This is particularly a problem with our community safety and macro detection tools. The game is now easily abused with the use of 3rd party macro tools, and botting has become an increasing issue." In essence, the technology that supports the backbone of the newer versions of the game has become incompatible with the oldest version, opening the floodgates to game breaking bugs and the like.
RuneScape Classic's decline didn't start here though. Back in 2006, Classic had a big problem with cheating accounts, which Jagex had to ban well over 5,000 of. Because of this, they restricted access to Classic for new players, and anyone who still had an account on it had to meet a certain level requirement to keep playing. This has made RuneScape Classic's total player base small but passionate over the past several years, having a grand total of around 1,000 players while everyone else played on the newer versions of the MMO. This, combined with the springing up of worsening bugs these past few years, meant Jagex only really had one option left.
According to the post, RuneScape Classic's servers will go offline at 8:00 am BST on August 6th this year. Until that time, players who still have access to Classic can continue playing as normal. After that date, they'll be forced to choose from one of RuneScape's newer versions. For those of you who want to get into RuneScape, there are two flavors to choose from: RuneScape, which is the most up-to-date modern version of the game, or Old School RuneScape, which is a version of the game identical to how it was in 2007 before it changed further. Both are free to play, so it's really down to personal preference, no harm in trying both. Both are available on PC, but Jagex has recently announced a mobile version of Old School RuneScape which will be releasing sometime later this year. I still remember hearing everyone discuss RuneScape back in school during the early 2000s. Farewell, Classic; it's definitely the end of an era.