Runescape is 20 years old today

Long-lived online fantasy game Runescape celebrates its 20th birthday today.

Developed by Jagex, the aging MMO first launched on 4th January 2001 – making it older than Neverwinter Nights, World of Warcraft (and indeed Wikipedia, where I’m now checking all of these dates).

Jagex today said the game had been played non-stop for 7306 days (presumably with toilet breaks), welcomed 300 million player accounts, and is actually still doing very well for itself thank you very much.

2020 was a very good year for Runescape, Jagex added, in which it gained a record 1.2m subscribers, in addition to the millions of people playing for free.

2021, meanwhile, will feature various events to mark Runescape’s anniversary, along with the long-awaited full launches of Runescape for iPhone and Android devices, which will feature cross-platform play with the desktop versions.

Log in to Runescape today and you’ll get to play The Grand Party, a birthday event and associated questlines with “some of the most iconic characters from Runescape’s history, such as the Wise Old Man and the Sandwich Lady”. Crumbs. You also get some snazzy armour and a cape:

“RuneScape has come a long way since 2001 when it was launched by a small team of visionary game developers,” Jagex boss Phil Mansell said. “It was innovative and ambitious right from the start in providing players with a free, always-on, role-playing game with a unique personality.

“Today the RuneScape games are a true Great British success story that has gone global. It has thrived for 20 years by embracing its heritage while also evolving with more than 1000 game and content updates, making it a truly living game.”