UPDATE: Since publication Jagex released a statement walking back the removal of the fan plugin. Jagex said it is “actively exploring options on how we can work together to offer 117Scape’s plug-in as a bridge until our own version is ready for release”. Further updates on the situation will follow from Jagex.
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Yesterday (September 6) RuneLite HD creator – who goes by 117 – announced that Jagex contacted them “at the eleventh hour” asking him to scrap his project.
The plugin was intended to work with RuneLite, a plugin which many players consider mandatory due to adding in a variety of quality of life features. Unlike other games, where mods or plugins can be hit with cease and desist orders upon announcement, Jagex fully approves the Runelite plugin and was aware of the HD project through years of development.
bad news. pic.twitter.com/ire2IXIn6R
— 117 (@117scape) September 7, 2021
While 117’s RuneLiteHD mod had been in the works for “approximately 2000 hours of work over two years”, Jagex allegedly told 117 that the mod needed to be cancelled because the studio has its own graphical improvement mod that is “relatively early in the exploration stages”.
117 explains that they “offered a compromise of removing my project from RuneLite once they are ready to release theirs, in addition to allowing them collaborative control over the visual direction of my project.”
In response to 117’s announcement – which has already become the most-upvoted post ever on Old School Runescape‘s subreddit – Jagex confirmed that the studio closed the mod down “because this is a project we are directly investigating at Jagex” though acknowledged the news “might be disappointing to those of you who were following the third-party projects closely”.
— 117 (@117scape) August 29, 2021
In a separate response, RuneLite creator Adam1210 added that the HD plugin has been ready to be released “for a few weeks now” but upon hearing this Jagex “was very opposed to it”, which Adam found “rather confusing” due to the existence of several other working HD clients that have already been released. Adam has “spent the last few weeks” in calls with Jagex, though ultimately the studio continued plans to scrap the project.
In response, both the Old School Runescape and standard Runescape game communities have expressed anger at Jagex’s decision. Many are taking to cancelling their monthly membership subscription, while even more are using their Runescape accounts to stage large protests at the in-game cities of Varrock and Falador. Another post with over 11,000 upvotes calls for the community to vote down “any attempts by Jagex to introduce their own HD content”.
OSRSProTips, an advice subreddit for the game with over 10,000 members has also gone private. The creator of the subreddit has stated “I cannot in good conscience cultivate a community in which new players are encouraged to play a game whose developers so blatantly and brazenly hate its community”.
The creator of the subreddit, Tizaki, has added in a follow-up statement saying he thinks Jagex’s move to close RuneLite HD is “the most evil thing I have ever seen a video game publisher do to a fan and ally” and calls for further action against the studio.
In other news, Surviving Mars is now free on Steam for a very limited time.