Jagex, Runescape’s developer, has ended Runelite HD, the fan-made HD mod, to the popular open-source client of Old School Runescape. This was just as the project was about the launch last Monday. Jagex’s sudden decision was criticized by Runescape enthusiasts who said they would move to other MMOs.
On Tuesday, Reddit user “117”, Runelite HD developer, shared the message he received from Jagex on Tuesday. Jagex later confirmed the information in a blog post. Runelite HD is a plugin that will give Runescape a major visual overhaul. You can see 117’s Twitter account. According to the modder, they spent around 2,000 hours working on Runelite HD over the past two years.
Jagex stated, “Yesterday, we reached out to developers of HD projects known and asked them to cease development of their projects because we are directly investigating this project.”
Jagex sent 117 a note explaining that “Naturally, this implies that any fan-led effort to change Old School RuneScape’s appearance is at odds with our plans.” We believe it is vital that Old School RuneScape looks consistent. Therefore, we will only make official changes. Jagex and the Old School Team are excited to announce that they will be tackling this project in earnest. However, we must politely ask that you close your personal project.
One hundred seventeen stated that Jagex offered them a compromise, in which they would remove their project from Jagex’s hands once Jagex released theirs and give Jagex “collaborative controls” over Runelite HD’s visual style.
“They declined outright,” 117 stated. “I am incredibly disappointed with Jagex and am very sorry that I was unable to share this project with them after such a long journey.
Adam1210, the original Runelite developer, shared his thoughts via Reddit. He stated that Runelite HD would continue to be available for future Jagex updates.
Adam1210 stated that he also strongly opposed the addition of it to the “third-party guidelines.” “Most guidelines try to determine where the line is between cheating and quality of life. I believe most people agree that the current guidelines are a good representation. It also helps keep the game integrity. There is no unfair advantage for better graphics. It only affects you if you allow it. This is a misused of the guidelines. Overall, this is a huge loss for all involved. Jagex should reconsider.
A group of Runelite HD fans gathered in Falador’s capital city, Falador, to protest the decision to close the Runelite HD project. This protest was similar to that held by World of Warcraft players in July. The video shows players posting text dialogues criticizing Jagex and using hashtags such as #Free117. Another video shows players “marching” outside Falador Square.