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RuneScape is a fantasy massively multiplayer online role-pl
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aying game (MMORPG) released in January 2001 by Andrew and Paul Gower,[2] and developed and published by Jagex Games Studio. 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 per month, over 156 million registered accounts,[3] and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world's most popular free MMORPG.[4]

RuneScape takes place in the world of Gielinor, a medieval fantasy realm divided into different kingdoms, regions, and cities.[5][6] Players can travel throughout Gielinor on foot, through the use of magical teleportation spells and devices, and via numerous other methods, such as charter ships.[7] 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,[8] and the novels Betrayal at Falador[9] and Return to Canifis.[10]

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.[11] 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,[2] and in December 2001, Jagex was formed to manage the game.[12] 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.[13]

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