A shame SOE didn't do this for Star Wars: Galaxies, or it might still be with us now. Following enthusiastic voting from some 440,000 paying RuneScape players, Jagex have resurrected the apparently beloved 2007 version of their long-running, secretly enormous MMORPG, to run alongside the flashier current version. It's being pitched not as a roll back but a favour to the faithful, who will also play a part in deciding what gets updated in the old client.
"Although this is only a fraction of the overall RuneScape membership, it’s incredible to see how such large numbers of our community are prepared to mobilize for issues they are passionate about,” said Phil Mansell (no relation to Clint, I believe), RuneScape’s Executive Producer. "It was clear very early on that there was a dedicated movement in our community for this project. We can therefore commit to the promise that the future of these servers are secured and their updates will be left entirely in the hands of our community to decide. We’ll be holding regular content polls which will allow them to help shape and direct which content or fixes they want implemented into the game."
While I don't know how well this has been done or how long it'll last form it's certainly a lovely idea. I can't imagine a Blizzard or NCsoft doing this, though then again half a million players isn't something anyone should ignore. I believe there've been a number of fan-run servers dedicated to the older version of RuneScape, so this is also a canny way of bringing more of the community back in-house.
Old School Rune Scape is also free to all current RuneScape members, though they're talking about instating an extra $5 for this version of the game after six months. More details on how the account stuff's gonna work here.
It's live and available to play now, and its even its retro-themed website has a touch of the GeoCities about it.
Here's some random dude's video of of how 2007 Runescape looked, in a video from 2011 about a news story from 2013. It's your kids, Marty. Something gotta be done about your kids!