RuneScape Devs Discuss Monetization, a.k.a., The $62,000 Question


Remember a couple months ago when the British government specifically called out Jagex in one of its reports on video games, due to a player who reportedly spent $62,000 on microtransactions in RuneScape? Jagex certainly did, and in response, the developers hosted a livestream last week to discuss both that incident and their plans for the future.

The video is embedded below, but if you don’t have the patience to sit through it for an hour and a half, it’s been helpfully summarized on Reddit. According to that, Jagex reached out to Parliament following the report of the $62,000 player, and the committee said it will get back to them with recommendations, though there’s also a line that says “Rather than waiting for them to tell us what we need to do, we will look at what we can do to bring it back ourselves in line.”

Jagex said that about 55% of its revenue derives from microtransactions — higher than the “one-third” quoted in the report (memberships account for the other 45%) — and that money is invested back into the game. In general, membership at its current price isn’t enough to sustain the game, which leads to more microtransactions, which the staff views as optional. Overall, the dev team feels it needs to do better at communicating and hitting deadlines and plans to release a roadmap for 2020.

The video currently has about a six-to-one downvote-upvote ratio on YouTube and the responders on Reddit seem less than satisfied with the answers. This is especially the case when one of the mods, asked if Jagex is “milking” its players, responds with “I don’t know why anyone would think we would be.” I don’t play RuneScape, so I won’t speak to how its microtransactions are, but if someone’s working in the gaming industry and doesn’t think that players might have a negative attitude about a cash shop, I’d advise them to perhaps educate themselves, at the very least, so as not to appear flippant and dismissive of players’ concerns.


  1. Love how this blows up I don’t think this is jagex fault they didn’t hold a gun to the guy’s head telling him to spend that amount of money on the game if anything it’s his own and that of his parents… Self control should have played a huge roll in his spending this game has been around for a long time of course there is going to be an open shop for it’s players to buy things now a days get over it people and have some God damn self control and learn how to manage ur God damn money on video games

    • I’m a compulsive spender. If I have the money, I just spend it. Thats why I’m broke. Compulsive buying disorder (CBD) is a real disease that wrecks a lot of people lives.
      I’m a huge fan of video games, I’ve been a gamer since the 90’s but I had to stop this hobby in recent years because almost every game that releases is akin to gambling or have an insane microtrsaction shop that is optional on the surface but mandatory if you want to be competitive or even have fun. Microtransactions ruined me and the Industry doesn’t care in the last.
      They’re not making game for fun anymore, games are just to make money and only people who have money to spend can have fun.

  2. you can not compete with your own game oldschool runescape, WoW cant even compete with its Classic version….and for the last time its not Nostalgia. They are just simply better versions of the game that have no need for cash shops. If oldschool runescape adds MTX its game over for jagex unless there new game coming up is something really special. Honestly I feel there is no saving grace for runescape 3 other than a little blip called mobile which wont last long because no doubt the osrs community will bomb the reviews and the only people playing it will be existing members.


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