The original RuneScape, now known as RuneScape Classic, was released all the way back in 2001. That's 17 years ago. 17! Any online game that's maintained some semblance of a population for nearly two decades should be respected. Sadly, come August, developer Jagex will pull the plug on the title, bringing an end to one of the longest-running MMOs.
The shuttering of the game's servers was announced by Jagex community manager Mod Ayiza on May 23, with the actual shutdown scheduled for August 6.
According to Ayiza, the developer was happy to keep the servers running up until now. While the game had its issues with cheats and bots, it was "advancements in technology" that finally forced its hand:
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.
We've not fully supported RuneScape Classic for years, so why are we suddenly seeing it as a problem now? 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.
Understandably, Jagex would prefer the game go into the night gracefully, rather than imploding from bugs and ne'er-do-wells.
There's a chance the game may get a second life, if Jagex releases the server files and / or source code and there's nothing stopping enterprising players from trying to cook up their own.
But, for now, the age of RuneScape Classic is destined to end.
[RuneScape Classic, via Blue's News]