‘Runescape’ Developers Delay Shutting Down Servers to Allow Weeping Fan to Complete One Final Quest
Press 'F' to pay respects.
Since 2001, people have been playing Runescape—a fantasy MMORPG beloved by millions. But Monday, developer Jagex shut the game’s online servers down. As the servers went dark Twitch streamer Titus_Furius broke down crying. “Oh god, I kinda wanna cry,” he said. “I started this game at 11 years old, back in 2003.”
Runescape lives on in several other iterations, including a mobile version and a new PC title with fancier graphics. But millions will always remember the old Runescape classic as one of their first MMOs. It was originally browser-based and less graphically intense than competitors such as Everquest and Dark Age of Camelot, so it gained a loyal following from gamers who couldn’t afford high end PCs or a $50 game.
In the final hours of its life, Titus_Furius rushed to complete The Legend’s Quest—the game’s hardest challenge.
He pushed, but couldn’t quite finish the quest before developer Jagex scheduled the server shutdown. But Jagex was watching Titus_Furius as he moved through the quest and, with thousands cheering him via his Twitch channel, Jagex decided to keep the servers open a little longer so he could finish the quest. When it was all over, just before the servers went dark, Titus_Furius broke down into tears.
Jagex confirmed in a statement to PC Gamer that it left the server open to allow Titus_Furius to complete the quest.
"The Classic server closure was halted for a couple of hours when Mod Wolf and Mod Atlas saw that Titus was having a final attempt to finish the Legends' Quest," Jagex said. "It was awesome to watch his stream, and everyone in the studio was rooting for him to kill the final boss and claim his cape. To our knowledge, he was the final person to complete the quest."
I get it. There’s something beautiful about listening to a 26-year-old man crying because the game world he knew and loved for so many years is dying. As gamers age and spend decades inhabiting persistent virtual worlds, we become attached to them. They grow and change as we grow and change, we make friends there, and we have memorable experiences.
But, inevitably, these virtual worlds go away. At some point, these worlds are no longer popular and stop making money, so the companies running them decide to pull the plug. In these moments, fans—some who haven’t played in years—return to say goodbye to a virtual world that captured so much of their time.
Sony’s Playstation Home went dark in 2015. In 2014, MMO shooters Planetside died in a hail of meteors. When Star Wars Galaxies shut down, the developers declared the Rebel Alliance the winners of the hard fought Galactic Civil War and released content that wasn’t quite ready so players could revel in chaos as the servers died.
Virtual worlds inevitably die, and we all mourn them in our own way.