RuneScape celebrates 20 glorious years


05-01-2021
RuneScape_The Grand Party © Jagex

With 7,306 consecutive days of non-stop play, RuneScape becomes one of the world’s longest-running online games and announces a year of epic 20th anniversary-themed content.

Twenty years ago, gamers first arrived in a whole new online world of medieval fantasy as RuneScape, the iconic multiplayer living game, launched on 4th January 2001.

Two decades on, RuneScape has become one of the world’s longest-running online games, having been played non-stop for 7,306 consecutive days, welcomed almost 300million player accounts, and is at peak popularity: in 2020 the RuneScape games hit a new record-high of subscribers with more than 1.2million members joining the further millions of players who enjoy RuneScape for free.

To celebrate 20 years of RuneScape’s living online world and reward players, British game developer and publisher Jagex has announced a year-long programme of 20th anniversary-themed game content coming to both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.

It all kicks off with The Grand Party, an anniversary event in RuneScape that brings players together with some of the game’s most recognisable characters. The next 12 months will welcome a whole host of celebratory in-game content, including a multi-part anniversary questline that takes players deep into RuneScape’s past, present, and future. Plus, adventurers can enjoy a year-long epic story arc in which the Elder Gods, the beings who forged Gielinor, rise once again.

Old School RuneScape also joins in the revelry this week with the launch of its first anniversary event, which has players adventuring alongside the Green Gnome Child to do battle with demons and dragons of yore. Currently riding high having recently seen its highest-ever number of concurrent users top more than 173,000 players, 2021 will also be a significant year for Old School RuneScape with its arrival on Steam, new content including Clans and Group Ironman, and further anniversary-related game content across the year.

Delivering the opportunity to play across multiple platforms, RuneScape will also bring its open and ever-evolving world to mobile and tablet in this anniversary year with full launches for both iOS and Android. And for those who want to read the story of RuneScape’s 20-year evolution, ‘RuneScape: The First 20 Years – An Illustrated History’ will be published as an official companion book by Dark Horse Books.

Phil Mansell, Jagex CEO, said: “20 years of RuneScape is a massive milestone for Jagex and the games, and I thank our players for being on this incredible journey with us, especially when the games are enjoying their best years ever – so far! RuneScape has come a long way since 2001 when it was launched by a small team of visionary game developers. It was innovative and ambitious right from the start in providing players with a free, always-on, role-playing game with a unique personality.

“Today the RuneScape games are a true Great British success story that has gone global. It has thrived for 20 years by embracing its heritage while also evolving with more than 1,000 game and content updates, making it a truly living game. As we continue to make the RuneScape universe more accessible to more players all over the world, we’ll celebrate throughout 2021 with one of the most content-rich years for the games ever and here’s to the next 20 years!”

While RuneScape has already received more than 1,000 game and content updates in its two decades, 2021 is packed with 20th anniversary excitement and much more for both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.

  • The Grand Party – The big birthday in-game event for RuneScape launches this week. It brings players together with some of the most iconic characters from RuneScape’s history, such as the Wise Old Man and the Sandwich Lady, in Lumbridge Crater. Packed with plenty of anniversary references and memorable moments from the game’s past, The Grand Party also offers a generous helping of area buffs and collectable in-game rewards, including the 20th Anniversary Cape and Outfit.
  • A multi-part 20th anniversary quest – Once Upon a Time is a new four-part 20th anniversary series that will run across the entire year as a celebratory romp through RuneScape’s past, present, and even provide a glimpse of its future. It begins on 25th January with the prologue called ‘Foreshadowing’, which sets the scene for the adventure to come.
  • The epic Elder Gods story arc ignites throughout 2021 as the as the conflict with the legendary beings that created the universe intensifies.
  • RuneScape launches on mobile – After a successful tenure in Early Access on Android and Closed Beta on iOS, players can look forward to RuneScape’s full launch on mobile and tablet devices in 2021. It delivers cross-platform play across mobile and desktop editions, enabling players to jump seamlessly between the two, taking their adventure anywhere.
  • Old School RuneScapeRuneScape’s sister title begins its own year of anniversary content on 6th January with the Green Gnome Child event. Players team up with the Green Gnome Child on a trek through the original haunts of RuneScape to unlock the Realm of Memories and battle with demons and dragons, complete with rewards including a 20th Anniversary Cloak and a Gnome Child dedication for player-owned home chapels.
  • Read all about it with ‘RuneScape: The First 20 Years–An Illustrated History’ – In partnership with Jagex, Dark Horse Books will publish 'RuneScape: The First 20 Years', an Illustrated History as a full-colour hardcover companion book in the second half of this year with pre-orders coming soon. Offering a look behind the scenes of the past two decades, the book explores the detailed tapestry of RuneScape and Old School RuneScape with hundreds of full-colour illustrations and exclusive interviews.
  • Commemorative collectibles – Also in partnership with Jagex, Laced Records will release a special gold vinyl pressing of the ‘RuneScape: Original Soundtrack Classics’ album featuring 24 of the most-loved midi tracks from the early days of RuneScape and Old School RuneScape. Limited-edition collectibles will also be available, beginning with a Tutorial Island pin badge recognising where all players ventured forth from. With additional exclusives anniversary-themed items to be announced throughout the year, the album and the first collectibles are now available to pre-order on the RuneScape merchandise store.

Join the celebrations at The Grand Party in RuneScape today at https://www.runescape.com

About RuneScape: Now 20 years in the making and acclaimed by PC Gamer as “one of the most endearing and unique MMOs available”, RuneScape is an ever-expanding, living game that’s bursting with activity and life. Set in a medieval fantasy land, begin by creating a character and then embark on epic journeys through a vast sandbox world that’s full of gods, warring races, unexplored dungeons, and glittering riches. Propelled by the game’s narrative, choose your own path through enthralling quests, and progress through 28 diverse skills to shape a single character in a classless world. RuneScape Mobile Early Access is now available for RuneScape members on Android, featuring cross-platform play between mobile and desktop editions, enabling players to seamlessly jump between devices and take their adventure anywhere. In RuneScape, you get to be the hero you always wanted to be and, with new content added almost every week, there’s always a new and adventurous experience to look forward to. Become the hero you were born to be at www.runescape.com

About Old School RuneScape: Launched on desktop in 2013, and now also on mobile devices, Old School RuneScape is the industry-leading collaboration between players and developers. Embracing its nostalgic heritage, hundreds of thousands of active players control the direction of the game with an in-game polling system. Featuring adventures for solo play through to 100-player strong raids, Old School RuneScape caters for every brave adventurer. Since 2016, Old School RuneScape has established itself as a competitive game with the seasonal free-for-all Deadman Tournaments, where winners receive huge cash prizes and membership. Play now at http://oldschool.runescape.com

About Jagex: A leader in creating deep and engaging live games on PC and mobile, Jagex’s flagship MMORPG, RuneScape, has welcomed almost 300million player accounts to its world and is a $1bn lifetime revenue franchise. Today the RuneScape franchise exists beyond running games in live operations; our titles are living games that connect and inspire millions of players, with content and experiences both inside and outside of inexhaustible game worlds. Both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, on PC and mobile, offer ever-evolving, highly active worlds and our community-focussed development ethos empowers players to have a real say in how each game is shaped. Now we’re expanding and extending our portfolio with fresh franchise titles and new IP to bring life to the living games of the future. Jagex employs more than 440 people at its Cambridge headquarters.

Image: RuneScape_The Grand Party © Jagex

 

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Jagex is a multi-award winning games developer and publisher based in Cambridge, England.

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