Jagex has announced that RuneScape Classic will be going offline permanently in August, though naturally the modern version of the game will still be playable. Additionally, Old School RuneScape will also be continuing on, as that is the vehicle for Jagex's esports Deadman tournaments.
For some background, RuneScape Classic was the first version of RuneScape, released in 2001 and is likely the version of the game you remember. RuneScape Classic has been running continuously for 17 years, making it pretty damn old as far as games go.
As for the reasoning behind the shutdown, Jagex cites a technology compatibility problem that affects only the Classic version of the game.
From the RuneScape blog:
For many years we've left all of the content from the original game available to play. Whilst it's seemingly been happily plodding along since then, it is with great sadness that we have taken the difficult decision to say goodbye to RuneScape Classic, which we will be winding down over the next 3 months.
It has been amazing to see such dedication amongst those of you who have kept playing RuneScape Classic over the last few years, some of you have even managed to reach max total! However, it's not all fun and games.
With advancements in technology helping to further support both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, our tools are no longer compatible with Classic. This is particularly a problem with our community safety and macro detection tools. The game is now easily abused with the use of 3rd party macro tools, and botting has become an increasing issue.
We've not fully supported RuneScape Classic for years, so why are we suddenly seeing it as a problem now? The truth is that bots and lack of community safety tools are serious problems, however, we also feel that we can no longer offer long term service reliability due to the growing risk of unrecoverable game breaking bugs.
The number of bugs is getting worse, and we're gradually seeing the game breaking. It's important to highlight that these are bugs which we can't fix due to the unsupported nature of the game.
As such, rather than have the game break indefinitely without any warning, we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to have their last goodbyes.
For now, you can continue to play RuneScape Classic, as the servers will be going offline on August 6th, 2018 at 8 a.m. BST. After that, it will no longer be possible to log in to the game.