Hi, yes, the 2013 version of Old School Runescape (which is actually from 2007), which you may not have played or even thought about for a decade, is now as popular as ever thanks to some recent changes made by the development team.
It was announced yesterday that 157,445 people were playing the game at once, a new record for the venerable MMO:
— Mod Kieren (@JagexKieren) November 1, 2020
That’s…a lot of people playing a 7 year-old version of a 19 year-old game. So what gives?
Runescape recently implemented “league” play, which is the “Leagues II: Trailblazer” part of that tweet above. The game’s wiki describes them as “an alternate game mode that features players starting fresh to compete in limited-time leagues. Each league has a different set of rules that is designed to uniquely challenge players. Leagues have hundreds of tasks that can be completed to earn points which can in turn be used to unlock relics that offer varying buffs for the duration of the league.”
Trailblazer, which kicked off late last month, will run until January 2021.
For reference, and as PC Gamer notes, 157,000 concurrent players would put Runescape in the top 10 on Steam’s rankings, not far below Among Us.