RuneScape, the world’s largest free MMORPG (at least according to the Guinness Book of World Records) turned 20 this week.
On the 4th of Jan 2001 a game patched together by three brothers, their mate, and run off of a single server in the attic of their parental home took its first wobbling steps into the world. Since then 200,000,000 accounts have been made, countless hours have been played, and more than one n00b has been pwned.
Yes, RuneScape is 20 years young. Feel old yet?
RuneScape has shaped the online gaming landscape in ways we may never understand. A forefather to internet gaming, RuneScape had one of the first player bases to adopt and openly use l33t speak. A healthy game economy paved the way for in-game items to be exchanged for real world cash, which gives RuneScape the dubious honour of being the first place for the shady underworlds of gaming and crime to mix (look into it, it’s incredible).
Across a 20-year run, RuneScape has truly had it all and, most importantly, is still an incredibly fun game.
Anyone who’s played it has a story to tell, and two decades strong, there’s no sign of letting up. The development team of 337 work day and night constantly upgrading, redeveloping, and redefining, showing the value of upkeep to the gaming industry. The membership system was a literal game-changer for the way that gaming viewed itself as a business. In real-world terms Jagex, RuneScape’s parent company, changed hands in 2020 for a staggering $530
gp million USD.
For the past 20 years, RuneScape has been there. It’s been a rock that so much more of the gaming industry has stood upon. We don’t have much else to say, beyond a toast, to the best, worst game there is.
If you’ve got any issues with the game or refuse to celebrate it, 1v1 me in the wildy.