Terrible news today for anyone who spent the year 2003 being defrauded of various swords, armours and trinkets by incredibly powerful players out to run a young child / teen’s life: RuneScape Classic is officially shutting down after an illustrious 17 years of being online.

A blog post from the development team announced the venerable, blocky-as-hell online RPG is shutting down for good, after the barebones support they gave it for the last few years became not worth the trouble. The reasoning? Apparently it’s constantly under attack from bots and malicious actors, and it had become a threat to community safety:

It has been amazing to see such dedication amongst those of you who have kept playing RuneScape Classic over the last few years, some of you have even managed to reach max total! However, it’s not all fun and games.

With advancements in technology helping to further support both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, our tools are no longer compatible with Classic. This is particularly a problem with our community safety and macro detection tools. The game is now easily abused with the use of 3rd party macro tools, and botting has become an increasing issue.

The post also cites game-breaking bugs becoming more and more of an issue, and it’s clear that they don’t really have the resources to dedicate to keeping a very, very old game afloat for the extremely strange people who are still playing it.

Of course, this no longer affects the modern version of RuneScape, which is still running, just in a much more modernised form you probably wouldn’t recognise from your days of spending five hours laboriously clicking to harvest wood from a tree instead of doing your maths homework.

At the time of RuneScape Classic’s shutdown, the game wasn’t even accepting new players – and literally hadn’t been since 2006. It maintained a small but active community of roughly 1,000 people, who had to meet a minimum threshold of active time playing the game to maintain access. Of course, the main, frequently updated RuneScape game is still available to everyone.

(Sorry, I just need to make this clear. A community of 1,000 people have been logging on to this game regularly enough to meet the game’s minimum play threshold, since it was locked to new users in 2006. In 2006. That was – I’m sorry, I really need to make this crystal clear – 12 years ago. Not sure whether to be impressed or just very depressed.)

Either way, it’s the end of an era. The muddy, block horror of RuneScape Classic had outsized influence on online gaming and MMORPGSs as they exist today… and now it goes gently into the good night. Vale!

Image: RuneScape