I've only been a player since 2003, but have done some thinking into how Jagex have managed their time/resources over the last couple of years.
As of today, Jagex have over 350 employees and own 3 offices (all of which are in the UK)
Roughly half our team work on providing our players with support, answering queries and assisting with disputes or lost passwords. Most of the remaining half work directly or indirectly on RuneScape - scriptwriting, coding, graphics, audio and testing all make up the giant development effort required to keep RuneScape frequently updated.
Note:That quote didn't really talk about servers, advertising or language translation... Where are the employees that deal with those major parts of the business?
Obviously a few years ago Jagex had less staff to work on projects, but one would have thought as the years progressed updates would have become more frequent and more in content. This is a small timeline i made with notable events...
2000 - 7 Quests released
2001 - 10 Quests released. 3 New skills (Crafting, Prayer and Fishing)
2002 - 23 Quests released. P2P introduced. 4 New skills (Herblore, Fletching, Theiving and Agility)
2003 - 11 Quests released. Release of RS2.
2004 - 15 Quests released. 1 New skill (Runecrafting)
2005 - 29 Quests released. 2 New skills (Slayer, Farming)
2006 - 21 Quests released. 2 New skills (Construction, Hunter)
2007 - 14 Quests released. Funorb in the making. Mass ban on macros/RWTs, fixing problems associated with this.
2008 - 19 Quests released. 1 New skill (Summoning) Funorb released. Runescape HD released.
2009 - 3 Quests released. Mechscape?
Notice the patterns, less new quests are usually accompanied with a new skill or 2, plus a large update (ie RSHD, RS2) to compensate.
So basically 175 employees deal with customers whilst the other 175 deal with developing the game.
For me, '05 and '06 were rather productive years compared with others introducing on average just below 1 quest a week plus the addition of 4 skills.
However even before then updates seemed to be large, there were still a decent amount of additions to the game.
It's just that since 2006 Jagex have slightly dissapointed me in their content. For a company that is supposed to be expanding in numbers and content this doesn't seem to be the case.
In 07/08 we didn't have as many quests, or skills as in previous years.... But this was because of Funorb (and would i be fair in saying that not alot of people care about it?) and the development of the complete graphical update.
Am i fair in saying that Jagex aren't exactly performing well as a company? Runescapers demand content and attention from Jagex but their efforts seem to be concentrated on other areas of the buisness.
With Funorb and now Mechscape taking up Jagex's time, it feels Runescape is being pushed aside.
Or is it?
RSHD was kept quite quiet, and was a surprise to everyone when it was released (more of a relief for me, i wondered what on earth they were wasting time on in the last 12 months)
Summoning wasn't announced till a few weeks before when we had Development Diaries...
So should we be expecting a big update anytime soon? There have been no real references to new skills, perhaps this is being kept quiet aswell?
Don't get me wrong, i think Development diaries are a good read, and i think it's good that Jagex keeps us updated about certain things - but they don't do this enough in my opinion, i don't really like surprises and hence are losing interest in the game because of the lack of updates.
Edit: The PDF file on this page is also a good read.
Thanks for reading. What do you guys think?