Old School RuneScape details the path of events that led to the creation of the Jagex Launcher

It also looks ugly as heck, but that's more of a side effect than anything.

How often do you really think about the launcher for an MMO you’re playing? We’re going to guess that the answer is “not often” because the launcher is just kind of the wrapper you tear open to get to the game inside. But there’s a lot going on beneath the surface, and even if you’re not a fan of Old School RuneScape, you can probably learn a lot from this technical breakdown of how and why the developers put together the Jagex Launcher based around universal implementation of the OAuth2 setup for the game on mobile and desktop.

The short summary of the whole story is that the development team wanted to have that sort of seamless and secure system in place for logging in on desktop as well as on mobile, but because desktop systems don’t feature the same kind of built-in browser functionality as mobile devices, it was rather difficult. Having a built-in browser download wasn’t an option because of size and standardization. The implementation of a specific launcher, then, allowed for everything to work correctly on both the backend and frontend for players. This is, of course, a broad simplification; check out the full development explanation for all the sordid technical details.

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