RuneScape has been around since 2001 and has seen several different iterations. It all started the fourth of January 2001. A developer named Jagex had a new MMO, which weren’t as popular as they are now. This was before the days of World of Warcraft and high-speed internet. RuneScape was conceived as a browser game that would run on most PCs, all you would need is a reliable internet connection. RuneScape started off being operated out of Andrew Gower’s parents’ basement. Gower is one of the creators of RuneScape.
By 2003, it became one of the most subscribed to MMORPGs around. The 2D look was replaced with the more 3D looking RuneScape 2. In 2004, RuneScape 2 was renamed RuneScape and the original iteration was then known as RuneScape Classic. The game really took off after this change and grew even more. The game was split into two separate versions in 2002, free-to-play and pay-to-play. The pay-to-play option gave players access to more areas, quests, weapons and armor for $5 a month while free players were stuck in one area. It never become a pay-to-win type game though and that was a strength of the game. RuneScape kept afloat by using advertisements on free users webpages. The graphics kept receiving improvements and a high-detail mode was introduced for the game to look better.
By 2012, RuneScape 2 was being ushered out and replaced with RuneScape 3. This iteration required a beefier PC but the graphics received a big boost. The game is still going stronger than ever today and Jagex has turned in record revenues for two years in a row with a revenue of $92.8 million in 2016. Jagex is now running two versions of the game: Old School RuneScape (formerly RuneScape 2) and RuneScape 3. Through constant updates, an affordable pay structure and listening to fan feedback, Jagex has been able to keep RuneScape going strong over 15 years later. Over 250 million accounts have been created and the number is still rising.
Both iterations are still popular. Old School RuneScape has a very popular subreddit called 2007scape that has over 100,000 subscribers. There’s a sense of nostalgia to OSRS that keeps people playing and it features the loved “player killing” aspect of the game that was removed for a period of time.
Have you tried any iteration of RuneScape? What are your thoughts?