Originally released back in 2001 when the MMO genre was in its infancy, browser MMO RuneScape has endured through over a decade of development and two complete game reboots. Today’s RuneScape bears little resemblance to the game many of us grew up with, and naturally not everyone thinks the game has been changed for the better. In an effort to please players of all kinds, developer Jagex has experimented over the years with re-opening old versions of the game in a limited fashion through a handful of retro servers.
The most successful of these experiments is Old School RuneScape, a relaunch of 2004’s RuneScape 2 release that boasts healthy player numbers and celebrates its second birthday this Sunday. Jagex has always had to charge a monthly membership fee for access to the game in order to keep the servers running and pay for support staff, but that’s all changed as of today!
Jagex announced today that Old School RuneScape now has a permanent free to play option just as it did all those years ago. Free players can access part of game world and a handful of quests, while many skills, items, and large parts of the map will remain tied to a subscription option. A few restrictions will also apply to new free accounts to limit problems like botting and spam, and it’s hoped that the introduction of tradeable subscription bonds will help bolster player numbers and keep the free service economically viable.[Source: Old School RuneScape website. Thanks to Jesse for the tip!]