RuneScape Developer Shuts Down RuneLite HD Mod Moments Before Release

The mod creator lost nearly 2,000 hours of work just before release, forming an in-game protest.

After almost 2 years of development, Jagex, a RuneScape developer, shut down the RuneLite HD mod. RuneLite HD was a fan-made HD mod for the renowned open-source client for Old School RuneScape only moments before its release on Monday. As a result, many players criticised Jagex Limited’s decision to erase the mod and even threatened to move to other MMOs in protest.

Yesterday, 117, the developer of the RuneLite HD mod, took to Reddit to share their disappointment over the message they received from Jagex Limited moments before their years of work was put to an end. RuneLite HD is a mod that was intended to improve the visual quality and clarity of RuneScape significantly. 117 also mentioned that they spent almost 2,000 hours over a duration of more than 2 years on the development of the mod.

RuneLite HD Mod
117’s work on the development of the RuneLite HD mod. | Source: @117scape/Twitter

“Yesterday, September 6, 2021, RuneLite HD would have been released. The code had been reviewed and bugs had been fixed – it was ready to go. You would have been playing with it right now. Yet, at the eleventh hour, Jagex contacted me asking me to take it down in light of the reveal that they have a similarly-themed graphical improvement project that is ‘relatively early in the exploration stages’,” they said.

117 also wrote that they “offered a compromise” to remove their project from RuneLite once they were ready to release theirs, and even allowed them the creative control over the visual direction of the project. However, the company declined this!

In a response to their tweet regarding the deletion of the RuneLite HD mod, 117 also told that the company had not contacted them before the deletion of their mod despite the announcement of the mod’s release being public for almost 2 years.

After this, Jagex Limited later confirmed this news in its own blog post. “Yesterday we contacted the developers of known HD projects and we asked them to stop development of their projects, because this is a project we are directly investigating at Jagex,” the company stated.

Of course, many players started an in-game protest in response to this decision. Some took to social media websites and online forums to criticise Jagex Limited’s decision regarding the deletion of the RuneLite HD mod, while others went in-game to start small riots in solidarity with 117. Either way, it’s obvious that most players aren’t satisfied with the decision!

As of now, it’s unknown as to how long Jagex Limited has been aware of the RuneLite HD mod. However, it seems obvious that the company doesn’t want any changes to the game that isn’t its own. It has been more than 8 years since the release of Old School RuneScape and we haven’t had any word from the company about an official HD update. While we do understand the decision to keep the creative control within the company, shutting down someone’s years worth of work moments before its release is just deplorable.

What do you think about this? Do tell us your opinions in the comments below!

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Huzaifa Khan

From writing short stories in my room to finding my true enthusiasm for video game and computer hardware journalism, I play video games and write about them.

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