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Online PR News – 26-September-2010 – – RuneScape is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in January 2001 by Andrew and Paul Gower, and developed by Jagex Ltd. It is a graphical browser game implemented on the client-side in Java, and incorporates 3D rendering. The game has approximately 10 million active accounts, over 130 million registered accounts, and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's most popular free MMORPG.
RuneScape takes place in the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm divided into different kingdoms, regions, and cities. Players can travel throughout Gielinor on foot, through use of magical teleportation spells and devices, and via numerous other methods, such as charter ships. Each region offers different types of monsters, resources, and quests to challenge players. The game's fictional universe has also been explored through a tie-in video game on its maker's other website, FunOrb, Armies of Gielinor, and a novel, Betrayal at Falador.
Players are represented in the game with customisable avatars. RuneScape does not follow a linear storyline; rather, players set their own goals and objectives. Players can choose to fight non-player character (NPC) monsters, complete quests, or increase their experience in the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in mini-games and activities, some of which are competitive or combative in nature, while others require cooperative or collaborative play.
The first public version of RuneScape was released on 4 January 2001 in beta form, and in December 2001, Jagex was formed to manage the game. As the game's popularity grew, the game engine was rewritten, and its beta was opened to paying players on 1 December 2003 under the name "RuneScape 2". It was renamed RuneScape upon its stable release on 29 March 2004.
Andrew Gower developed RuneScape with the assistance of his brother, Paul Gower. It was originally conceived as a text-based MUD, but graphics were incorporated early in development, adding it to the ranks of what were then known as "graphical MUDs". The first public version of the game utilised a mixture of three-dimensional and two-dimensional sprites. It was released as a beta version on 4 January 2001, and originally operated out of their parents' house in Nottingham. In December 2001, the Gower brothers, along with Constant Tedder, formed Jagex to take over the business aspects of running RuneScape. Among its early innovations, Jagex developed an interpreted domain-specific scripting language called RuneScript, which is used by RuneScape's server for event handling. On 27 February 2002, a monthly membership service was introduced, allowing access to additional features including new areas, quests, and items not available to free users.
As of August 2009 there were 171 English RuneScape servers located throughout the world, which are numbered and referred to as worlds by players and by Jagex. They are located in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Mexico, France and India. The large number of servers scattered around the world provides the best connection for players in the most cost-effective manner. Servers are moved or added as the need arises.
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