/ osrs

Jagex Effectively Kills OSRS

I've never really been secretive about my love for playing Old School RuneScape, but I don't really talk about it all that much. It's mostly just a game that is a good time sink for me when I want to relax and play something. Since it is a fairly open-ended game, I can do what I want when I want to without having to worry too much about "progression" and "ladders" and "season" and what-not like most modern games have.

Old School RuneScape is a revived version of the game minus some of the updates that made a substantial portion of the player base leave for other games. It was most notably the "Evolution of Combat" update that was widely received as one of the worst decisions made. The revived version of the game lacks this and other updates and actually has its own set of updates as voted on by the players.

Over the past few years while the OSRS client has made improvements sparingly on the client, it has become quite obvious that their focus is on adding content to the game rather than making "quality of life" changes. This is most likely due to fear of making too many changes to the client that would drive people away from the game again the same way that the EOC update drove them away.

As a result of their lack of commitment towards improving the client itself, third-party clients have become a staple of the game. With clients like OSBuddy becoming prevalent, it's no surprise that most players end up using a third-party client instead of the official Jagex client.

There has been wide speculation about OSBuddy having financial ties to Jagex given that they are able to charge their users a fee to use 'pro' level benefits which is not something that a third-party client is generally allowed to do.

Over the past few months a new free client that competes directly with OSBuddy in terms of features and usability, RuneLite, has taken a large portion of the user share. Most users switch due to the increased features, the open-source nature of the client, and the fact that the client is a free alternative instead of having to spend nearly $4.00 USD per month to be able to use a better client when compared to the OSRS standard client.

Jagex has responded to its popularity by demanding that they take down their client and cease development, citing legal action if they refuse to take down their client.

This is not going down well with the community.

I do believe we are seeing another EOC-era unfold before our eyes as there is reasonable evidence to believe that OSBuddy does pay Jagex a fee to offer their client. Jagex is forcing a competitor to take down their service and seems to be looking to threaten Konduit, another free client, as well to prevent other clients from being able to compete with a third-party client that they clearly have a financial interest in.

More information about the financial interest here: http://rsplayers.wikia.com/wiki/Mod_Jacmob

I've been a supporter of the game for quite a few years and was an original supporter of the game that left during the EOC-era. Needless to say I have gone ahead and cancelled my subscription and won't be looking to return back regardless of the decision they decide to make at the end of the day. I am hoping RuneLite does not bend over backwards to them, but Jagex is a company that can most likely afford to have an attorney and generally open source projects don't have a financial backing which affords them the same financial rights.

Note: I will probably post a second article with some depth about the claims made against Jagex, what RuneLite actually offers players outside of the offering of Jagex's blessed "OSBuddy", and how this looks for the future of OSRS since its an interesting case. I am generally opposed to businesses using legal methods to try to silence open source developers who are not doing anything to harm them, especially when it comes down to money.

Update: It seems that Jagex has fallen back on their statement and are currently allowing RuneLite to exist now that the developer has removed some code and made the code closed-source, as well as cease development for now. It remains to be seen what is going to happen going forward, but it doesn't look good for the most part.



I am a rhythm game addict that loves anime, professional wrestling, and some really weird hobbies that I like to write about. Currently trying to break into creative writing.

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