Jagex says RuneScape is peaking as it builds a new ‘next-gen MMO’ and plans RuneFest

    
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Jagex CEO Phil Mansell is making the press rounds this week, unloading interesting quotes on GIbiz, including the admission that Jagex felt it had neglected RuneScape when it was focusing on other projects that didn’t materialize. The good news is that the studio has turned it all around.

“A few weeks ago we had our highest peak concurrent user level for eight years,” he tells GIbiz. “In terms of subscription levels, it’s the highest for seven and a half years. Those games are going through a real renaissance, and not just as a one off. We’ve had four years of consistent growth now.”

That isn’t to say the company is giving up on other games, however. Mansell says Jagex is actually working on other stuff. One of them will ideally become a “mid-budget online title,” but the other? The other is a “next generation MMO” – a “living game” that “capitalizes” on what Jagex has learned from 17 years of RuneScape.

“Games have never been more multiplayer or online, but people don’t talk about MMOs very much anymore. That is actually a good thing, as it makes these games more accessible and less intimidating. That’s where we want to go as well. […] I think quite highly of what the shared world games have done. They’ve been offering a massive multiplayer experience with far fewer complications. In the early days of RuneScape, it was a phenomenally accessible game. It was pretty much the first big free-to-play game in the West. We used a lot of simple design language for its interactions, but it was deep underneath. Those are some of the principles we are going to go back to with our next MMO.”

In other RuneScape news, Jagex’s RuneScape fanstravaganza RuneFest is happening once again, this year on October 5th and 6th. The studio this week released an FAQ designed to explain why it’s been moved out of London to Farnborough. The answer is a good one for the game: It’s because way too many people want to attend, so it simply outgrew the London venue. Bonus? You can drive to it and park there, instead of dealing with the London snarl.

US fans, take heart: While Jagex can’t logistically move the event out of the UK, it does say it is “working on plans to bring community events to the USA (and other countries outside of the UK) in the future.”

Source: GIbiz, RuneFest
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Robert Mann

I’ll save any excitement for until we are at least discussing features and all. IF they make a quality product that is less static and fun, it might be very interesting… but that’s an if that has been culled too many times for hype.

notimpotent
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notimpotent

“next-gen MMO” ?

Great! Can’t wait to play it in 2022!

Seriously though I wish companies would stop pre-pre-pre-announcing games and just show up one day like, “BAM! Here’s a full-featured MMO for you to play!”

Veldan
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Veldan

Some people want the info early. It can be seen on this very website. There’s already speculation and discussion as soon as a trademark is registered, or a single dev hired.

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Robert Mann

Aye, impatience ruins so much of the magic though…

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Simon

Calling RuneScape accessible? I suppose so, but it was and still is pretty far from casual friendly. Of course, that’s in terms of time investment, not difficulty. Although there certainly is difficult content. However, I don’t think casual players should necessarily be able to do everything in the game. That just means the game is awfully easy, and for those who aren’t casual players, that experience would be horrible.
One thing I do think is quite bad in RuneScape is drop rates. While I understand that they don’t want to ruin the economy, I think they should simply make players unable to trade more equipment instead.

Veldan
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Veldan

Not casual friendly? What part of it isn’t?

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Lucas Leach

I stopped playing before EOC so I am talking from before that.

The Mithril Dragons were intense its a multi-combat area and just one can kill a max level player with the best of everything. In 12 years I managed to kill just 1.

Veldan
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Veldan

Well yeah, but the existence of high-end content does not mean the game is not casual friendly. There was (and still is) a lot of content that casuals can enjoy.

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Simon

Level balance, abandoned content, various other things. It’s casual friendly in the sense that it’s easy to pick up and you don’t really need to be good at the game to level up. However, it takes a really long time to do just about anything, including getting gear in any way that isn’t just buying it from players.
You’re required to spend insane amounts of time to get things done, the game really doesn’t tell you how valuable quests can be. For example, most veterans would do Waterfall Quest, Tree Gnome Village quest and a few more really early on because of the xp rewards greatly reducing wasted time.

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Oleg Chebeneev

So when we hear more about this next gen MMO?