The History of RuneScape

22.07.2023 - 13:20:50
Game Guides , Runescape

The History of RuneScape


In the annals of online gaming history, few have had as much impact as RuneScape, a game that has enraptured millions of players worldwide with its rich lore, extensive world, and engaging gameplay. This article embarks on a journey back to the origins of RuneScape, recounting the tale of its inception, early development, and initial success.


The Genesis of RuneScape

The seeds of RuneScape were planted in the late 1990s by two brothers in the city of Nottingham, England. Andrew and Paul Gower, who were students at the University of Cambridge at the time, had a shared passion for video games and computer programming. They began working on a browser-based fantasy MMORPG that would eventually become RuneScape.

Andrew, the main developer, was determined to create a game that would work on almost any computer, with minimal system requirements. His vision was a game that was accessible to anyone with an internet connection and a web browser. This commitment to accessibility was a cornerstone in the early design philosophy of RuneScape and played a significant role in its initial popularity.


RuneScape's Early Years

The first iteration of RuneScape, now known as "RuneScape Classic," was publicly released in January 2001 by Jagex Games Studio, a company that the Gower brothers and Constant Tedder formed to manage the game. The game, although modest in graphics and mechanics by today's standards, was revolutionary for its time. It offered players an open world to explore, filled with quests, monsters, and a vast array of items to find. RuneScape was one of the first MMORPGs to provide such a comprehensive gaming experience within a browser, which helped it stand out in the burgeoning online gaming scene.

RuneScape's gameplay was, and still is, primarily centered around its 27 skills (as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021). Players can train these skills by gathering resources, crafting items, or engaging in combat, allowing them to progress and unlock new abilities, quests, and areas of the game world.


The Rise of RuneScape

In the early 2000s, RuneScape began to experience a surge in popularity. By 2003, RuneScape had reached over a million registered accounts, and this number continued to grow rapidly. Jagex, in response to the growing player base, announced a major update known as "RuneScape 2" in 2003, which was eventually launched in 2004. This update brought a significant overhaul to the game's graphics and mechanics, while maintaining the core gameplay and world that players had come to love.

This was just the beginning of RuneScape's evolution. Over the years, RuneScape has seen numerous updates, expansions, and reworks that have continually reshaped the game. Major releases such as "RuneScape 3" in 2013 and "Old School RuneScape" in 2013, a version of the game as it was in 2007, have given players new ways to experience the world of Gielinor.



The story of RuneScape's origins is a testament to the passion of its creators and the love of its community. From its humble beginnings in the hands of two British brothers, RuneScape has grown into one of the most popular and enduring MMORPGs in the world. Its expansive lore, engaging gameplay, and commitment to player accessibility have created a game that continues to captivate and entertain millions of players worldwide, over two decades after its initial release.

As RuneScape continues to evolve, its roots remain firmly planted in the vision of its original creators. The spirit of exploration, the joy of mastering skills, and the sense of community that first defined the game still resonate in the heart of every RuneScape player. Despite the passage of time and the myriad of changes the game has undergone, the magic of Gielinor, as first imagined by the Gower brothers, endures.


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