Jagex isn’t content to be “just the RuneScape studio” these days. The company announced today that it is preparing to move into the publishing space with Jagex Partners, a “third-party publishing initiative for live games.”
Jagex Partners is hoping to attract all sorts of live games and will support them with a whole suite of tools and services that Jagex has used to keep RuneScape up and running over all these years. This new publishing arm has attracted former talent from NCsoft, EA, Trion Worlds, and CCP. We’ll be hearing more about this initiative next week at Gamescom.
“Jagex Partners is so much more than a go-to-market publishing experience,” said SVP Publishing John Burns in a press release. “It’s the entire toolkit to launch and run a game in live operations, backed by years of experience.”
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Old School RuneScape, Worlds Adrift, Destiny 2, Starfall Online, Survived By, Hyper Universe, Elsword, Pirate101, War of Rights, Ragnarok Online, Perfect World Mobile, OrbusVR, SMITE, and Prosperous Universe, all waiting for you after the break!
I experienced a couple firsts recently that you may not have expected from me, and they can both be summed up in two words: Old School RuneScape mobile. Why so unexpected? Well for one, you might not have expected me to try OSRS (can I call it that?) because I started playing RuneScape only recently; I had no nostalgic draw to the game back in that iteration. Two, I am not a mobile player. I just don’t play any games on mobile, preferring my gaming time to be at my PC. But hey, doing the unexpected can be fun, and I am all for new experiences! This experience included sitting down with Jagex’s Senior Communications Manager Jon Wilcox and Product Manager John Colgrave, who shared info and answered questions as we worked our way through the tutorial together.
Now the question is, how was the experience? Would I continue to play on mobile even though the full cross-platform play allows me to move my game seamlessly back to the PC whenever I want? That’s what we are here to answer.
You know what gets me excited about upcoming MMOs? It’s certainly not the list of expected systems and features that have since become standard for most games in this genre. Good-looking fantasy online RPG? Neato, that’s terrific, but what else are you selling?
No, what truly grabs my attention is when a dev team uses its imagination and comes up with a creative feature that makes me sit back and say, “Wow, I wish they all had this!”
It’s a shame that we have seen plenty of these systems over the years that were tried maybe once or twice but never adapted into the greater sphere. Today we’re going to come up with 10 examples of such features that truly did try something revolutionary (or at least pretty cool) but haven’t seen follow-ups in games since.
Crowds of players turned out to mark the final hours of RuneScape Classic yesterday, celebrating the impact that this initial version of the popular free-to-play MMORPG had on their lives.
RuneScape Classic — known back then as simply RuneScape — launched back in 2001. This version was overtaken in 2004 by the launch of a much improved RuneScape 2, but Jagex renamed the first version RuneScape Classic and kept its servers running.
Syfy posted a sentimental retrospective covering RuneScape Classic and its affect on both players and the MMO industry over the years that’s highly worth reading.
Jagex announced back in May that it would have to sunset this long-running MMO due to instability and bugs that couldn’t be easily fixed. To pile on the hurts, the studio also shut down Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, a CCG, yesterday as well. The death of Classic is by no means the end of the game franchise, as both Old School RuneScape and RuneScape are still operating.
The communities for MMORPGs are what keep these games vibrant and awesome, and today we want to shine a spotlight on various projects and activities that players are running this week.
The MMO Bookclub has decided that it will be gathering its community together to play World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth during the month of August. Well, the second half of the month, at least.
Over at Secret World Legends, the community is putting on a benefit fashion show on August 4th to raise money for Lupus awareness. It’s a good excuse as any to spend hours pouring over cosmetic options! (Thanks, Hikari!)
Jagex is revving up one of its biggest RuneScape promotions in recent memory. From now through September 6th, anyone with access to Twitch Prime can grab a free bundle of goodies for the game.
And when we say “bundle,” we’re not talking a few little trinkets here. It’s a really, really huge amount of useful stuff, starting with a free month of subscription to both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape. It goes on, too: You’ll get Umbral armor and a flame blade, a companion pet, two Umbral chests, 15 treasure hunter keys, 200 RuneCoins, and a Twitch purple player skin.
All in all, the bundle is a reported $50 value that can be snagged for nothing. Jagex also produced a new RuneScape trailer, which you can watch after the break!
RuneScape is excited about its new elite dungeons, but the team isn’t quite satisfied with the performance of the second one to push it to live. Therefore, Jagex has decided to delay the Dragonkin Laboratory to work on it some more. The team said that it should be out on August 13th.
A small patch released this past week will allow players to track down the little critter that they most adore (or finish up their collection). “Added full unlock hints for over 70 pets in the pet interface,” Jagex wrote in the patch notes. “This should make it easier to work towards the pet you really want to get.”
Meanwhile, over at Old School RuneScape, the studio is expanding and restructuring its team for this “flourishing” MMO to accommodate faster and more responsive releases. “We’re making a few changes to the structure of our team which will complement large releases by allowing us the resource to move quickly when met with good suggestions and requests,” the studio said.
Time for a huge RuneScape progress update, so let’s cover all our bases with one energetic post, shall we? Starting with the signature game, Jagex is preparing player-owned farms for the first week in September. This isn’t a piddly little flower garden, either; RuneScape’s farms are huge and deeply involving, as you can read for yourself.
Meanwhile, RuneScape Mobile is being run through playtests on both iOS and Android, and the studio is generally pleased with the results and demographics from the testing so far. “While the technical challenges of bringing RuneScape onto mobile have been huge, we are getting closer by the week to having an experience that feels satisfying,” Jagex said.
Old School RuneScape on mobile is running a beta test this month as well, so you are going to have your pick of mobile sandbox fun this year, it looks like!
Old School RuneScape had a bit of a hiccup this week as the game was suddenly taken offline to allow Jagex to investigate a potentially economy-breaking bug, ultimately resulting in an unprecedented server rollback. Although the bug in question was initially unspecified while the team set about fixing it, Jagex has since provided some details on what exactly went wrong. The short version is that the code for the pickpocketing update, released earlier today, included an undetected logic error that allowed players to use pickpocketed coin pouches to convert other items into massive amounts of coin. Because the effects of this bug were so far-reaching, the devs had no choice but to initiate a server rollback, the first in Old School RuneScape’s history, which the devs describe as “an immense undertaking.”
Jagex acknowledges that, although the bug was its fault, it quickly became aware that a number of players were exploiting it to line their coffers with ill-gotten gains, with many using the funny money to buy bonds to redeem for membership subscriptions. As such, Jagex will be removing these illegitimately purchased memberships from players’ accounts, and those players “will also see action taken against their accounts and will temporarily be removed from the game.” The servers have since been brought back up, though the devpost notes that some players may be temporarily unable to log into the game. The devs are working hard to remedy the issue on affected accounts and ask that players remain patient while they iron the problem out.
It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.
Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:
You might think that people who’d play the “Old School” version of a game like RuneScape might not be the right demographic for a mobile port, but maybe that’s just because there are so few really great MMORPGs on mobile. And as of today, Jagex is expanding the game’s testing on Android devices.
“Closed testing on Android has been incredibly important and beneficial to us, but the time is ripe to get it into the hands of more players,” says Jagex. “Today’s initial release effectively doubles the number of players with access to mobile! If we’re happy with the progress then we expect to be increasing that number early next week. We’ll then continue to increase the number of installs available as and when we’re confident with the build. Sign-ups are not needed, and access to this test is purely on a first-come first-served basis, however, players with access to the current closed test will continue to be able to access Old School RuneScape.”
Do note that to jump in, you’ll need a decent Android phone running Lollipop or better. You’s also need need an OS RuneScape account to try to play. Existing testers are automatically included, and the cash shop on mobile is currently closed. Don’t use Android? iOS development reportedly continues; Jagex says it’s shooting for “later in summer.”
Source: Official site
, Android. With thanks to Secrets and James.