OSRS’s Staying Power – How Has the Game Stayed Popular for So Long

Old School RuneScape is still standing strong after more than two decades of existence, but will the game still be relevant in the years to come?

Amidst the influx of new MMORPGs, RuneScape is still hailed as one of the most popular and well-known games on the planet. Now called “Old School RuneScape”, it’s been well over 20 years since its release. OSRS possesses a wide fan base even today and holds numerous, long-standing, records in the gaming world. What started as a side gig for three brothers in their garage became an MMO that’s played by millions of people around the world. At any given moment you could say there are hundreds of thousands of players farming OSRS gold, and it would, absent server issues, be true. Only a few old-timers manage to “live” long enough to be considered classics in the relatively oversaturated genre, so what exactly is Jagex’s secret to keeping their game relevant for so long?

  1. It’s Free-to-Play, Sort of

The main selling point of Old School RuneScape is that it’s free-to-play. Well, not entirely. It technically exists as a F2P MMORPG, but there’s an optional “premium” subscription service that you can choose to get to have more access to the game’s features, such as having more quests to farm OSRS gold. According to Jagex, they consider the RuneScape titles to be mostly a subscription-based game rather than the through and through free-to-play MMO. While you might think that this is a hurdle for a lot of players, the ongoing success and longevity of OSRS are remarkable. Subscriptions aren’t new in MMORPGs these days, with prime examples such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft also having monthly and yearly subs available. OSRS’s free-to-play model is accessible for new players and not the hard barrier to progression that is found in many copy-cat games. 

  1. Easy to Access

Old School RuneScape is the perfect game to play for people who aren’t even gamers in the first place. After all, it’s a video game that can easily run even on computers and other devices that don’t boast great performance. If you’re the type of person that worries that their potato PC might not survive the ordeal of running OSRS, trust us, everything will run smoothly. If you’re that hesitant about letting your PC do the heavy lifting, then there’s always the option to access the game through your smartphone. Ever since Old School RuneScape was released for mobile devices, it changed the game for a lot of folks – pun intended. Not only does this mean that everyone has the opportunity to at least try OSRS, but you can now also play it while you’re out and about. Gone are the days where you’re confined to a PC when playing online games!

  1. A Non-Linear Experience

OSRS offers various opportunities for players to progress, making the whole thing very addictive. Not having a single direction is arguably what makes the game so popular in the first place; there’s no particular direction, and you can play as you like. Thinking of focusing on different skills of your character? Sure! Complete various journeys to unlock the late game activities? Why not? There are so many features and amazing elements in OSRS, making it a game that offers a different experience for everyone.

  1. The Power of Nostalgia

Ah, nostalgia. It’s a powerful feeling. Nostalgia is something that brings us back to the days when we were younger – when things much simpler. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to many, but one of the most crucial reasons why Old School RuneScape remains popular even nowadays is because of the nostalgia it brings to its players. This sentimental sense that the MMO brings would arguably be one of the top answers for most players when asked why they return to play the game. Everyone can remember just hanging out in Lumbridge as a middle-schooler and how magical it felt. 

  1. OSRS Moves At A Relaxing Pace

It’s easy to feel tense while facing a challenging encounter when you’re playing a game, and while some people might like that feeling, others would prefer to just kick back and have a chill time. Old School RuneScape moves at a much slower pace compared to what you normally see in other MMOs since it doesn’t require a lot of intense theory-crafting or strategy. Many players view playing OSRS is a relaxing activity thanks to its simple gameplay and, relatively speaking, slow pace. For those that want to ramp up the difficulty, there’s the alternative to play the game in Ironman Mode which requires you to be entirely self-sufficient.

Final Thoughts

Old School RuneScape is a game that succeeds in all the elements that make up a successful and fun classic MMORPG. Its graphics might be a turn-off for modern gamers, but it offers a full-blown experience nonetheless. Not to mention, Jagex is still pushing out updates for it to this day. Players can immediately start the game for free, and if they find themselves wanting to commit more time to farm OSRS gold, then they can opt to get the paid membership. There’s no doubt in our minds that OSRS will continue to thrive and impress throughout 2022 and beyond, especially since it’s now available on Steam.

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