Jagex has announced that, after 17 years of operation, RuneScape Classic - the original version of its long-running fantasy MMO - will no longer be available to play on its servers from August 6th, 2018.
RuneScape Classic is, essentially, a snapshot of RuneScape as it originally released in 2001. That initial version has seen two major revisions in the years since, as well as (slightly confusingly) the arrival of Old School RuneScape - a version of the game more or less as it was in 2007.
As RuneScape has grown and evolved though, RuneScape Classic has continued to live on in a dusty corner of Jagex's servers. It's no longer updated or officially supported by the developer, but access is still permitted to certain players.
In its post announcing RuneScape Classic's closure, Jagex explained that "It has been amazing to see such dedication amongst those of you who have kept playing RuneScape Classic over the last few years [...] 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."
Worse still, says Jagex, is the fact that it "can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs". These bugs, it stresses, can't be fixed "due to the unsupported nature of the game".
As such, rather than risk RuneScape Classic falling into an indefinite state of non-functioning disrepair, Jagex has elected to "give everyone the opportunity to have their last goodbyes".
With fondest farewells hopefully complete, RuneScape Classic will go offline on August 6th at 8am BST. After that, players will only have access to the newer versions of RuneScape. "Thank you for your support over the years", Jagex concludes.