RuneScape: Looking Back and Leaping Forward
While it’s common for MMOs to last for years, it’s rare for them to last for a decade and more. Some of those rarities are World of Warcraft and as the title suggests, RuneScape. So, how did RuneScape manage to last much longer than the world’s most popular MMO? Well, by tapping into both the past and future. Also, we can’t forget about RuneScape bonds.
The Basement at Mom’s House
Before we explore how the game was able to last the way it did successfully, let’s have a throwback to its humble beginnings. RuneScape’s roots are more modest in comparison to some MMOs out there. While most MMOs began in a proper game studio with some funding, RuneScape started in the basement of Andrew Gower’s parent’s home in 2001. What seems like a dream for a stereotypical teenage geek became a reality for Andrew. The game got big, and it’s a pioneer in MMO.
RuneScape managed to stand up against its big-budget competition by utilizing its strengths: simplicity, accessibility, and community. It didn’t have impressive graphics. Nevertheless, the primary visuals back then had charm and lower hardware requirements (a plus since PC parts were rather costly).
Against All AAA Odds
The community is one of Runescape’s main perks. It’s a stable society with millions of users. The PC gaming requirements are lighter compared to modern MMO’s. The subscription fee (only $5 back then) is cheap, and players are able to do things alone and with their fellow players.
Jagex, the small developer company behind RuneScape, decided to create other versions of the game to satisfy the demand of players. Aside from the main game, RuneScape 2, 2003’s updated version of the original RuneScape from 2001, was RuneScape Classic. The first game split into two versions: (1) free-to-play, and (2) pay-to-play. Why? Well, to attract players who prefer the free-to-play model, and those who are willing to shell out a few bucks every month for more content.
Similar to all MMO gamers, RuneScape players will eventually move on to more advanced MMOs. Still, RuneScape is a pioneer by sticking to its roots, adapting to modern technology, and listening to the different groups of its faithful player base. Jagex decided to retain only two versions of the game: the main version, which is now known as RuneScape 3, and Old School Runescape (OSRS), which is RuneScape 2 during 2007. While OSRS caters to those who want and need a gaming fix, RuneScape 3 is a step toward the future, featuring a new graphical engine that is more powerful with better graphics and regularly updated content.
Other than splitting the game into both the past and the present-future, Jagex has decided to scrap the subscription paywall for the main game, and instead, go with a premium membership model. Perhaps players won’t fell discouraged because with a subscription fee.
RuneScape bonds are a new addition to the game. Now you might be asking how bonds work. Simple: purchase them for a particular RuneScape bond price, and then use it to pay for a membership, or buy Runecoins and treasure hunter keys.
Although downloading is no longer a hassle, considering that it’s the day and age of high-speed broadband Internet and modern-day PCs won’t even struggle in running the game, there’s a sense of convenience of being able to play your favorite game without having a top PC.
In 2016, Jagex managed to gain $92.8 million! Now, that’s proof of RS3 moneymaking! RuneScape is alive and kicking. This article goes to show how important it is for MMOs to stay true to their beginnings, to never forget where they came from, and to look ahead toward the future.