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RuneScape developer Jagex has announced that it will shut down RuneScape Classic on August 6, 2018, ending support for the early online game nearly 17 years after its first launch.
While it’s common to see developers end support for their older games as costs become an issue, Jagex notes in a blog post that the decision to shut down RuneScape Classic was driven instead by the lack of compatible community safety tools and growing list of catastrophic bugs.
The developer says that many of its tools are no longer compatible with the classic variant of RuneScape, which itself was released in 2001. As a result, botting has become a significant problem since the team lacks the tools to effectively detect and prevent bot accounts.
The rise of botting has given way to an increase in overall bugs, leading Jagex to its decision to shut down the game rather than wait for an inevitable, game-breaking bug to knock the game offline for good without any warning.
While this spells the end for RuneScape Classic, Jagex still maintains two other versions of the game that each immortalize different eras of the long-running MMORPG. Both RuneScape, the modern version of the game, and Old School RuneScape, an evolving snapshot of the 2007 online game, are set to remain up and running for the foreseeable future.