RuneScape hits record highs: 1M subs, 5M mobile downloads

We have a bank!

It wasn’t for nothing that Massively OP gave RuneScape our “Most Improved MMO” award last month. The long-running fantasy MMORPG saw a year of increases and additions in 2018, and all that work paid off in hitting franchise record highs.

In a press release, Jagex said that the game in all of its incarnations hit its highest-ever paid membership and monthly active users. Thanks to the testing and launch of both mobile versions of the client, the paid subscriber count has crossed the one million mark. Additionally, Old School RuneScape Mobile has clocked over five million downloads since its launch last year. Altogether, the franchsise has made over a billion dollars since its debut 18 years ago.

There are other strong numbers for growth, including record-setting attendance at last year’s RuneFest and the hire of over 100 new employees. “2018 was a fantastic year for our RuneScape games, which have truly come of age. The franchise has been growing consistently for five years, and we’ve seen a surge of further community growth with the move to mobile,” said Jagex CEO Phil Mansell.

Source: Press release

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Forgot the most important stat: Runescape hits 100M people who just don’t get it.

Alexander Smith

Well old school made me resub. Wish I tried it when it first game out but it’s clearly the better version of the game right now(imo at least).


I was one of these … but I remove it in 5 seconds … not in my style of mmo


RuneScape was my gateway MMO, I played the heck out of it from ’05 to ’10. But then they introduced their first MTX, there was a huge community outcry over things going P2W, and I quit. Every now and then I’m tempted to pop back and see what things are like, but from what I hear the MTX have only got steadily worse since then.

Joey Desarno
Joey Desarno

Reinforcing the whole ‘mtx’ shtick, there was once a time in 2018 where Runescape had something called.. ‘Runepass’ Aka, imagine a battlepass that encouraged you to do menial random tasks or grind flat out for exp on the daily for tiers, the max being tier 30.

The problem was, there was TWO kinds of battle passes, you had the standard that everyone had, and the gold pass, for around 400 or so runecoins (Three bonds worth i.e 15 or so dollars) If you decided not to shell out money, you were crippled, you had less tasks to do on the daily, there was even a gold section that could level you even faster throughout tiers and the rewards were actually locked behind the gold section of pass, with the regular one, you’d have about.. three, maybe four rewards max split throughout the whole 30 tiers, only cosmetics, but- with the gold pass, you’d have one every tier, albeit exp stars, lamps, protean packs, cosmetics that were previously shelved before you name it, the practice was extremely scummy.

Oh, and heres the best part, you could pay more runecoins to skip tiers if you felt lazy enough. #Notmyrunescape

Jagex, the one of two companies i’m aware of that have microtransactions for your microtransactions, you got basic membership, premier club, solomons store which houses all your loyalty/runecoin items that encourage you to buy buy buy~ Bank spaces, cosmetics, effects, flashy crap that makes other players want to buy, just like COD WW2

Then you got the seasonal bs packages, monthly ‘deals’ the list goes on and on..

Look, I seriously wouldn’t be complaining about Runescape if their membership system didn’t exist, but lets be honest; If the membership system never existed, their company would’ve ran bone dry years ago, and they know it.

Ever since that Chinese mining company bought into Jagex, the company has been trending downhill, the community knows it, I know it, and they know it. I say no more. Runescape was a nice nostalgia trip, but in the end it’s just as bad IF NOT WORSE than AAA companies.

Stick to oldschool if you want to play, Rs3 is by far the greatest joke since Trion getting bought out.


I’ve tried Runescape several times over the years. Can’t get past the Hideous controls.

Bruno Brito

If i get to be that fatman in that screenshot, i’ll play the hell outta it.


They only got me back for one paid year. (I buy bulk. Hadn’t played for 11 years.)

So unless they do something really awesome to keep me around, I’ll probably find something that’s graphically better, and maybe has around the same/a bit more sandboxy freedom to it.

It definitely still has it’s charm, but the microtransactions/way they are throwing stuff from the store at you to make you level faster, means if I kept playing I’d max out relatively fast.

They did some nice ‘quality of life’ things since I’d quit playing (Like the toolbelt, which allows you to put some stuff in there that used to have to be re-acquired/held onto…like basic tools. Mining pick/hatchet/spade/chisel/fishing rods/etc…) that improved things, but then they did stuff that reverts it too…like allowing you to ‘augment’ picks/hatchets/fishing rods with the invention skill…which doesn’t go on the toolbelt…thereby basically thwarting the whole point in that…which allowed you to save space.

They are putting out a mining/smithing rework tomorrow…which apparently is also going to change it so monsters no longer drop any of that stuff…and are putting in some form of dedicated storage for ores/bars….and stated they are putting out a ‘barn’ for your animals in the new player owned farm…which should also give some space back, later down the road…and for hoarders like me, more space is great…actually makes it so you can play the game again if you were running low…

All in all, there’s a lot of pluses and some minuses, so it’s definitely still worth playing…


Yeah I played the non-oldschool RS a few years back and was turned off by:

A. How hard they push you to be a Member from the getgo by giving you free Membership time + start you in a Members-only area to the point where they overwhelm you hard.

B. Microtransactions were seeping in at the time with stuff like some daily wheel of fortune thing among other stuff I tried to ignore.

What I would’ve liked instead is how they do it in OSRS by starting you out with the basics, then after you get out of the Tutorial Zone/etc. they could give you a Membership demo that you can redeem at any time to get that week or two of Membership experience + get a taste for what the Member-exclusive skills do. That would’ve been way more user-friendly and doesn’t pressure you to subscribe right away, you’d be able to do it in your own time likely around the point where the free content is drying up.

MTXes I guess were inevitable as even FFXIV dips into them, but at least OSRS doesn’t seem to have them from what I saw.


They aren’t just doing MTX, they are double dipping MTX. They have some ‘Premium Membership’ thing that you don’t gain access to unless you pay normal membership prices a second time around or something…and one of their recent ‘event’ things gave nothing for being member…they were wanting you to shill money at them again to unlock a ‘extra tier’ of stuff. It’s like they just don’t get that the populations that play them aren’t made of money/money doesn’t grow on trees…lol

But after getting used to how they are doing their version of ‘gamble-boxes’…(A thing called ‘Treasure Hunter’ where free players get 1 daily key and members get 2 daily keys and those premium members get 3 daily keys)…and they regularly change what type of thing is going on with that gamble event…like various events, it’s like a different game that swaps around and they add new ones in pretty regularly…with new stuff you can earn…and seeing what you get from it…it gives you all sorts of random stuff.

Like things that you can use on skills to get ‘bonus experience’ (Which doubles the skill-gain you’re receiving in that skill until you run out of it.), or lamps that give actual skill, or ‘protean’ items that give crazy high skill-gain in a specific few skills. Or you can even earn pieces of some of the experience suits you could otherwise earn in-game, or pieces of suits that when combined help out a certain skill. Or even a extremely ‘lucky’ chance at getting some of the ‘rare’ items that the game has produced over the years. (Like the bad weather umbrella…I’d love to have…that looks like a parasol you can carry around and underneath it’s raining or storming.) Or some other unique stuff like rainbow items or cosmetics. Or some new pets and other stuff.

It’s basically other game’s cash shop but with a pure gamble mechanic invested. You can pay more money to buy keys to unlock more, more quickly, or just get some as you play/pay, or (And I frown on this personally) ‘earn them’ by doing off game surveys…things that you have to click through/complete…which in the past were known ways to install keyloggers…

I personally don’t like loot boxes/gamble boxes idea at all, but if games are going to run them, this isn’t the worst mechanic I’ve seen. It does actually give you random keys while playing too…you can find key tokens while playing. What I didn’t like about that though was that they force you to use it after 10 keys or else they begin to block your inventory space (They can’t be banked due to ‘a magical force prevents this’.)…so essentially they are forcing you into gambling.

It’s also kind of similar to LOTRO’s old ‘You get turbine points for being a paid member…500/month to use as you want’ idea.

Playing FFXIV I didn’t see remotely this kind of nonsense…but they do kinda force you into ‘paying more’ by having to pay more per month for each retainer (extra storage) you want…and then filling all your space with glamours (I think they were supposed to be fixing that after I left…)

I haven’t tried OSRS, but that’s because I didn’t have rose tinted glasses on back during RS…it was fun, but needed improving of systems…

Also, you can technically get out of most of the gambling stuff by doing ‘ironman’…which means you are playing the hard way ‘to earn everything by yourself’…no trading with others…and also no being helped along/handheld.

If you’re really crazy you can do hardcore ironman, where if you die, your character is just perma-deathed.

TL:DR (MTX is bad, but it’s not horrible in RS now, compared to others.)


It is freaking amazing. Amazing that it is now growing again. K udos!

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Jack Pipsam

Always glad to see good news for RuneScape, even if I haven’t played it in years. The 07′ version of that game is thoroughly ingrained in my psyche.