Eurogamer has a long article titled “After RuneScape‘s controversial 2019, Jagex plots ‘direct and deliberate’ changes for 2020.” The first half of the piece mostly rehashes what Jagex has been up to for most of the decade, focusing on the microtransactions that have been added to RuneScape over that time and their less-than-warm welcome from players.
The article then delves into the controversy involving a player who reportedly spent 50,000 GBP (roughly $62,000) on microtransactions in RuneScape. Jagex said it was “unable to entirely corroborate the details” of that account and that the figure was actually closer to 17,000 GBP/$22,000. Even so, the company is listening to the government committee that produced the original figure and is “in a strong position already to answer many of the suggestions they may make.”
Some changes have already occurred, like the Yak Track, a kind of season pass that offers players choices in how to progress. You can also partially preview your next Treasure Hunter loot box, a procedure we’ve had mixed feelings about here at MMOBomb. It’s part of what Jagex calls its efforts in “evolving our model, moving away from a standard loot crate system.”
Despite all that money coming in, there was a relative dearth of content throughout 2019, with the Land out of Time update providing the only major addition of content for the year’s first 11 months. The Ranch Out of Time added to that, and Jagex is looking to add more quests in 2020, adding more resources so it can “align each of the efforts from Episodic Content, Core Experience and Live Ops, so they actually feed into each other and they make sense to each other.”
Monetization is still going to be the major question regarding RuneScape in 2020. With the government — not only of the UK, but of several nations — taking a closer look at loot boxes, and RuneScape’s in particular, Jagex will likely have to make some adjustments to how it does business if it wants to stay relevant throughout its third decade.