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RuneScape Classic is shutting down after 17 years

‘It’s not all fun and games’

RuneScape Classic
RuneScape Classic

RuneScape Classic, the original version of the game released by developer Jagex in 2001, is shutting down.

RuneScape Classic is the name of Jagex’s classic fantasy MMORPG that many people cite as their first foray into online gaming. A sequel to the game was released in 2004, and that’s when Jagex made the decision to rename RuneScape into RuneScape Classic. The Classic version isn’t as popular anymore — for a number of reasons including Jagex making it impossible for new players to join — but is still cherished.

The developer made the announcement in a farewell blog on its website, adding that Classic will start to wind down over the next three months before being taken offline entirely. The blog post suggests that new technology makes Classic “easily abused” and more susceptible to botting.

“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! However, it’s not all fun and games,” the blog post reads. “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.”

RuneScape and RuneScape Classic still maintained a dedicated fanbase despite changes made to the game’s version over the years. Jagex banned more than 5,000 accounts for cheating in January 2006 leading the developer to institute a new policy. The Classic edition was barred from new players, and a minimum level of playing was required for current players to maintain their access. By 2016, RuneScape Classic maintained about 1,000 players and more than 160 servers, according to a Waypoint article. The Classic edition also found a healthy community on Twitch.

Despite the active player base, Jagex hasn’t supported Classic for years. The developer touched on that in its new blog post, claiming that safety tools have become a serious issue.

“The truth is that bots and lack of community safety tools are serious problems, however, we also feel that we can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs,” the blog post reads. “The number of bugs is getting worse, and we’re gradually seeing the game breaking. It’s important to highlight that these are bugs which we can’t fix due to the unsupported nature of the game.”

RuneScape Classic’s servers will go offline at 1 p.m. on Aug. 6.

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