The Free-to-Play phenomenon looked unstoppable during the mid-2000s with thousands of players logging in daily. The classified MMORPG involved expansive character creation, a massive world and an array of quests. Skills, levelling and exploration led to hours of non-stop gameplay along with a thriving social aspect. But where did Runescape go wrong?
Despite developers Jagex continually releasing content to Runescape at a consistent level, the number of players began to fall towards the end of the 2000s. Newer games and MMOs attracted their fanbase away along with updates that failed to spark new incentives to play. Runescape is still being updated to this day, but the number of players has diminished drastically.
Runescape 3 was released in 2013, incorporating a range of new game-changing features such as specialised combat and the reduction of game difficulty. With an increased focus on aiding newer players, veterans began to eventually fade out.
Jagex reluctantly released Old School Runescape in 2013, but failed to attract enough player votes to make it Free-to-Play. Old School Runescape provoked massive numbers upon release, competing with Runescape 3, and continues to grow sporadically each month. Runescape 3 is steadily bringing in new and old players with the latest content being more challenging and difficult especially for the high levels. Quests, mini-games and multiplayer events are also appearing more often, promoting social interaction and team work to succeed.
Runescape 3 can be played for free here.