RuneQuest quickly established itself as the second most popular fantasy role-playing game, after Dungeons & Dragons. The first and second editions were set in the mythical world of Glorantha, while the 3rd edition in the mid 1980s was more generic and much less successful.
The game was sold to Avalon Hill who attempted to divest the game world Glorantha from the rules which could be used for pre-medieval historical roleplaying. The popularity of Runequest as a system seems to have been bound up in the popularity of its major game world, however, and a proposed 4th edition was shelved.
Glorantha is now served by a new rules system called Hero Wars and the fate of Runequest as an independent system seems uncertain.
The rules system developed in RuneQuest was widely reused by Chaosium and it is called the Basic Role-Playing System (BRP). It forms the basis of several of their other games including Call of Cthulhu, Stormbringer and Corum.