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Goodbye, old friend: Online game ‘RuneScape Classic’ to shut down after 17 years

RuneScape Classic, the original version of the popular and free MMORPG, is shutting down after 17 years. The development team at Jagex announced the news in a blog post.

“For many years, we’ve left all of the content from the original game available to play. [While] it’s seemingly been happily plodding along since then, it is with great sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to say goodbye to RuneScape Classic, which we will be winding down over the next three months.”

RuneScape Classic servers have lived on through the game’s various iterations (RuneScape 2 in 2004, RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape in 2013).

Jagex explained that its development tools no longer work with the classic servers, so there’s simply no way for bugs to be fixed. Although one expects a somewhat less refined experience when logging onto the classic servers, the biggest problem that has plagued RuneScape Classic is that the development team cannot address nefarious behavior.

“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 game’s bugs and bots are multiplying, which obviously threatens the experience and the game’s integrity. The development team stressed that it doesn’t have the tools to fix these issues.

Thankfully, the plug won’t be pulled immediately. RuneScape Classic servers will remain online until August 6, so you have plenty of time to get nostalgic (and wade in a sea of bots).

Naturally, this news probably doesn’t affect the average RuneScape player. The majority of RuneScape players are split between two versions of the game, neither of which are the original. Old School RuneScape, which resembles what the game was like in 2007, will continue to receive updates and remain online. And the current version of RuneScape (known as RuneScape 3) is alive and well, too.

Still, it feels like the end of an era. RuneScape Classic may not be pretty and yes, it’s littered with bugs, but it’s what started it all. And soon it will be wiped from the internet.

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