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RuneScape “well placed” to expand onto consoles, says Jagex CEO

RuneScape – the low-tech, high-density browser-based MMO – is poised to expand its audience to consoles, says Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard. The reason the move hasn't happened sooner is because of politics at play between console gatekeepers Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The title, whose in-game stock exchange commands its own economy, had to remain free-to-play – and audiences couldn't be segregated by platform. But now, Gerhard says the game is “well placed to be on all devices soon, so we can have a global community...”

 “People get [Runescape] for free,” continued Gerhard in an interview with Develop. According to Gerhard, charging players an admission fee for RuneScape would’ve been like “shooting yourself in the foot.”

But the notion of uniting all players in an unrestricted One World Userbase is still one to which Gerhard says encountered a lot of resistance. “All three said, 'we won’t let our console play online with any other',” explained Gerhard, referring to Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.

Still, Gerhard sees no technical reason why this should be the case: “It’s not a game where any extra computational power from the consoles will help. It would have been the same experience on all consoles – in fact everything would have worked through the cloud. ‘But yeah’, they said, ‘we cannot let the Microsoft community play with the Sony community’. Okay fine then, we said, we just won’t do it.”

Without going into specifics, Gerhard remained optimistic about a happy ending for a multiplatform RuneScape.  “I think they [Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo] will open up their platforms a bit more, liberate them a bit more. It’s just a matter of time... But we’re well placed to be on all devices soon, so we can have a global community.”

Often looked down upon as a poor man’s MMO, RuneScape continues to thrive through the free-to-play boom with millions of users around the world. You can find out more about RuneScape, and who’s still playing it in our interview with the lead designer Mark Ogilvie.

Aug 30, 2011

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13 comments

  • chilarome - August 31, 2011 8:06 p.m.

    This could be a good thing... maybe I would play it more. This is kind of exciting!!
  • ParagonT - August 31, 2011 6:59 a.m.

    Botscape.
  • lewis-barclay - August 30, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    God. I completely forgot runscape even existed. I Havent logged onto my account since 10th grade. I'd try it if it came out on XBLA. Especially for free. It couldnt hurt could it?
  • justinbanda - August 30, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    Two words: iOS, Android.
  • SumthingStupid - August 30, 2011 6:31 p.m.

    i used to play this game a lot but wouldnt it be wierd with the menus they have? too bad they wont let all 3 systems play with and against one another
  • ThatGuyFromTV - August 30, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    ...what are they gonna port it to? the N64? I'm not gonna argue that it's a bad game, I used to play it myself, but it was, and I'm sure I'm quoting GR themselves on this one, the game with "graphics that time forgot". I would say the graphics need to be at least comparable to WoW for the game to be taken seriously at all on consoles.
  • ThatGuyFromTV - August 30, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    And now just so i sound like an RS nerd... JAGEX IF YOU"RE READING THIS MAKE A BETTER FREE WAY TO FISH LOBSTERS, FERRYING BACK AND FORTH FROM KARAMJA SUCKS ASS. AND FIX THE WILDERNESS, I MISS DOING EDGEVILLE WILDY HIT-AND-RUNS. AND GIVE FORMER MEMBERS THEIR BANK SPACE BACK SO WE CAN ACTUALLY STORE STUFF AGAIN. i think that's it... oh yeah one more thing MAKE ANOTHER GRAND EXCHANGE OR MAKE IT FULLY ACCESSIBLE FROM ANYWHERE, I'M SICK OF VARROCK GOD DAMMIT! okay, i think thats it...
  • bigwill1221 - August 30, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    It still cost money to get the fun stuff... members only lol
  • UberNoob - August 30, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    I remember spending hours playing RS. It was fun and addictive...UNTIL I GOT HACKED AND LOST ALL MY STUFF! I LOST 10M, AN ABBY WHIP AND A SARADOMIN SWORD! THAT TOOK ME FOREVER TO GET! I eventually got over it and started playing MapleStory. Anyway, I'm not sure whether an MMO on consoles will work. Previous ones didn't turn out so well, but then again, this is RS, so I may be wrong.
  • taokaka - August 30, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    I also got hacked a few times but I was only ever free to play so I only lost a set of rune armour each time plus 1mil
  • UberNoob - August 30, 2011 11:10 p.m.

    I was a member for a year. I quit soon after I was hacked...
  • Cheepdude - August 30, 2011 2:51 p.m.

    Yay!
  • F4G1TR0N - August 30, 2011 1:31 p.m.

    This is actually exciting for me, I love Runescape

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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