Developer Jagex and Dark Horse have teamed up for RuneScape: The First 20 Years – An Illustrated History, a special bound hardcover that will visually guide the reader through the last twenty years of the landmark online videogame’s existence.
RuneScape: The First 20 Years will deliver interviews, illustrations and glimpses of every aspect of the landmark massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) from its humble beginnings to its record-breaking present. Veteran British games journalist Alex Calvin has written the tome.
There will be two versions of RuneScape – The First 20 Years available. A standard edition that you can chase down in all good online and offline comics stores and book shops from October 5 2021 – retailing for $39.99.
The RuneScape merchandise store, however, will have a special deluxe version of the book exclusively available for preorder. This premium edition will set you back $99.99 but will have lush gilded pages, a variant cover, a slipcase, a hardback folio of art prints and (most importantly) a ribbon page marker.
In a press release Jagex CEO Phil Mansell said:
“I am delighted Jagex is teaming up with Dark Horse, an illustrious company that shares our passion for delivering high-quality creative storytelling. 20 years of RuneScape is a massive milestone for Jagex and our games, and I thank our community for being on this incredible journey with us. RuneScape: The First 20 Years will provide our players with a unique insight into the story of the past two decades and a chance to explore RuneScape’s fantasy world of Gielinor like never before.”
Dark Horse has form in producing art books, companions and compendium editions for video games. This year alone it will release artbooks for The Mass Effect Trilogy, developer Supercell (celebrating their 10th anniversary), and Samurai Shodown.
RuneScape debuted in January 2001 as an internet browser game written in the Java code. The name of the company Jagex is derived from the company slogan “Java Gaming Experts”. The game is set in the fantasy world of Gielinor, where players are able to create their own avatar, explore, and meet other players.
The game was developed by brothers Andrew and Paul Gower. At the time, Andrew Gower was an undergraduate student at Cambridge University in the UK. The game was initially operated from a bedroom at their parents’ house in Nottingham. The company Jagex now employs 450 people and is headquartered in Cambridge.
Since it first debuted in beta form in early 2001, RuneScape has gone through multiple updates and iterations with over 300 million registered user accounts. It now exists in two playable games – the simply titled RuneScape (alternatively referred to as RuneScape 3), and a maintained Old School RuneScape. It is available on all computer operating systems, plus iOS and Android mobile devices.
RuneScape currently holds four Guinness World Records – Most Users of a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Videogame; Most Prolifically Updated MMORPG; Greatest Aggregate Time Playing an MMORPG (all players); Most Original Pieces of Music Included in a Videogame.