The people have spoken an old school ‘RuneScape’ is back. UK studio Jagex has kept an open ear to their devoted community and although their popular MMO has evolved a lot since the early 2000’s popular consensus is that things were better back in the day. So if you hold a nostalgic flame for the ‘Runescape’ of old you’re in luck.
For two weeks Jagex opened a vote in response to the community request for a more traditional ‘RuneScape’ experience. The participation was an impressive over 440,000 members casting their vote in the short time period. In the last week of February, during the voting period, a preview version of ‘Old School RuneScape’ was released to members.
On March 1 the voting came to a close and the overwhelming majority of voters want old school ‘RuneScape’ back. What is being termed ‘Old School RuneScape’ is based on the August 2007 version of the game which has been considered the ‘defining period of the game’ by players. So Jagex is giving the people what they want, effective immediately but maybe not forever.
Servers for ‘Old School RuneScape ‘ are already up and running and are available to “Runescape” members free of charge. However it’s been stated in Jagex’s press release that “Over the next 6 months the service will remain free to all RuneScape members at no extra cost, and will benefit from a dedicated small development team.” So it’s possible that this frolic through “RuneScape” past could be short lived. If you want to kick-it 2007 style get over to ‘Old Schol RuneScape” while it lasts.
Jagex will be continuing their community oriented decision making for the new, err old, version of the game by opening polls in which members can vote on changes to be made. Supposedly the continuation after the initial 6 month free period or changing to a paid service to keep the noobs out will be one of these all-important fate deciding polls.
Phil Mansell, RuneScape’s Executive Producer was pleased with the community’s participation saying,
“Although this is only a fraction of the overall RuneScape membership, it’s incredible to see how such large numbers of our community are prepared to mobilize for issues they are passionate about. It was clear very early on that there was a dedicated movement in our community for this project. We can therefore commit to the promise that the future of these servers are secured and their updates will be left entirely in the hands of our community to decide. We’ll be holding regular content polls which will allow them to help shape and direct which content or fixes they want implemented into the game.
We certainly could not have brought this content back without our community’s support and commitment, they are at the centre of everything we do at Jagex. RuneScape has always been influenced by its players, and 2013 will be no different, when the community speak we aim to please! This year is going to be our biggest year ever and our players are going to be right in the heart of it.”
Guinness deemed “RuneScape” as the most popular MMO perhaps it also has the most passionate fan base as well. It’s great to see a studio really listening to their community and be willing to make changes accordingly. Even if those changes could be perceived as a step backward for some. The main game will still be available to members and is going strong; however players will have the option to play “RuneScape” circa Aug. 2007 if they wish as well.