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Was it really EoC that ruined RuneScape?


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#1
@Dan3HitU
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I was thinking the other night, was it really EoC that has actually hurt RuneScape as a brand and in terms of membership revenue? (could someone provide pictures/flow charts/pie charts?)

 

I mean, I remember when on a Friday/Saturday night at UK 8-10pm time (ther most popular time for all countries to log in) there were over 120K people playing. Whereas now I only see around 60K max, which in my opinion is slightly concerning given that OSRS has 20K, which is only 1/3 of their proper game with full updates (by full I mean very frequent).

 

Given that OSRS is currently hosting 1/3 of accounts to that of RS3, do you think that maybe the way of "Legacy" is too late and trying to revive a dying product? Or is opening OSRS with a support team their way of trying to claw back members that they once had?

 

If it's the latter, do you think that within a few years the OSRS will be renamed/re-branded and have a full dedicated team the size of RS3?

 

Finally, the question I would like answering:

When did you first start to notice the falling numbers of online players and what do you think caused it?

 

EDIT :

To target a new audience, do any of you think it's about time they made RuneScape playable through tablets? I mean, with low detail/safe mode obviously, otherwise the tablets will overheat and break.



#2
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Of course EoC didn't ruin RuneScape.



#3
Steph
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2009 or so and started falling after miniclip generation grew up
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#4
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You are forgetting two major things. First there are virtually no bots now, and for the past year at least. Second, f2p is no where near as large as it used to be. The second I may be wrong on, but I was under the impression that f2p was scaled back significantly into more of a demo and less of a game. At any rate, f2p was much more popular years ago for sure.

 

You should also keep in mind that a very large portion of those on osrs are playing rs3 at the same time. Your 1/3 ratio of players on osrs to rs3 is probably closer to 1/6.

 

If there are less players, it's not by much.

 

Now, for arguments sake, let's say all your numbers are correct. Even if there are half the players, profits are (unsure of exact figures) probably quadrupled. Runescape is a game to us, but a business to Jagex and it's investors. From a business standpoint, they'd much rather cater to a small percentage of the gaming market for four times the profits. I am making these figures up to illustrate a point; they sell a service for 500% profit to one million people, why lower margins to 200% to gain 500k-1m more members?

 

I am typing this up in a rush, so hopefully I conveyed my point correctly.

 

I personally do not think runescape has died or is in the process of such.


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#5
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I really think that the numbers falling are due to the number of bots going way down to basically being nonexistent now. I honestly can't even think of where I see bots anymore, if I see them at all. 

 

Also, money wise, consider that Treasure Hunter/Solomon's General Store/Bonds also provide a revenue stream, and that kind of thing can turn out to be more profitable than subscriptions. As an example, I don't buy membership using real money unless there's some sort of discount, but every bond that I buy was paid for with real money, and on top of that, more than they would get from me for membership in the first place. 

 

And what Artemis said is exactly on the right track - the real money comes from a small number of players who pay a lot, not a large number who pay just a little. 


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#6
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FYI the 60k number you see on RS3 home page includes the 20k you see on OSRS home page, so actually there's 40k to 20k, not 60k to 20k players. I might be wrong about this, correct me if so. It's just what I've been told by others.

 

Like the poster above me said in more words, Jagex is more concerned about getting more money out of the players they already have than attracting new players who are mostly only willing to pay a measly monthly subscription of $6 or $7/mo.


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#7
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IMO the only reason they are even thinking of legacy mode isnt because PTP voting system and all....its because they know that they need to somehow bring back the pre-eoc game to make more money that they need to survive and keep this game going. You can refer to the reddit post about how the income of jagex from RS declined over the years.


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#8
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In my humble opinion, EoC did not ruin RuneScape. However, there was far too opposition for it to have been released without a viable alternative. Legacy Mode should've been available from day 1.


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#9
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Nothing wrong with EoC, just the players blindsighted by memories. Horrible really but hey, they got what they want. The bad, the ugly, and the good; by every step we go forward we take two steps back.


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#10
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I thought the first decline was when they stripped free trade out of the game


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#11
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It was.

 

I'm also pretty sure that many/most MMOs have been in decline for a while, though, but I don't have much more hard evidence than a Battle.net forum post I read months ago where a WoW player complained about the decline in his own game.



#12
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I thought the first decline was when they stripped free trade out of the game

I had completely forgotten about that but I totally agree with you having remembered.

 

 

In my humble opinion, EoC did not ruin RuneScape. However, there was far too opposition for it to have been released without a viable alternative. Legacy Mode should've been available from day 1.

 

Couldn't agree more.



#13
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For me EoC has nothing to do with 'ruining' runescape, it may not be perfect but it opened interesting doors for progress.

 

What really hit runescape was multiple things:

The rise of bots, just wrecked shop and gave overinflated ideas of play figures.

The free trade removal killed pking in a way it's never really recovered from.

The evolution of the games market since around 2010 has seen a decline in the mmo "craze" of the 00s

The moment Jagex gave in to Nostalgia-scape whiners.

 

I'd say in terms of active players we aren't actually that far away from where runescape was at its peak - though vocal the pk crowd where always much smaller than the general populace. Overall I'd say maybe we running 5-10k lower player figures for ACTUAL players than the peak.

 

The last point on my list I see as a ruinous issue because Jagex did it once and it opens the flood gate - now rather than stfu and get on with adapting to change people just whine more often and louder knowing if they do it enough Jagex will cave in and waste dev time finding ways to attempt and please them which can stunt progress. Don't get me wrong EoC was launched too soon - how it is (or will be) after the last round of beta stuff arrives is probably how it should've been from day 1 - but even if revolution and momentum suped up with a cosmetic override pretending to be some angelic fix for all the wrongs (aka legacy) had existed and the balancing had of been where it is now and specials had come you'd of still got the same barrage of refusal to adapt and notion that it 'ruined' the game.


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#14
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I think people in this thread are missing the bigger picture.

 

MMORPG as a genre is dying. The game type lost its novelty a while ago and really just isn't nearly as fun as any other types of games on the market. A lot of other games give gratification/fun without having to grind and do mind numbing tasks and are just as affordable if not cheaper than RS. And even the end game content that people try and grind for isn't as fun as playing other games. Runescape's game content just isn't good enough to foster a competitive growth or have enough of a reason for players to want to spend their time on it. The only players left are the minority who prefer playing MMORPG's and the hardcore RS fans.

 

I mean if you take away nostalgia and community and just look at game content alone the game has definitely improved and no one in their right minds would prefer grinding on OSRS over current RS. EOC might've been part of the decline, but the idea was to create a game that was more complex because the old combat system was archaic and the game would never grow from how it was. Great idea, bad execution. But ultimately is still a minor factor in the reason why RS has declined compared to macro trends. 

 

The first decline I've ever noticed was the free trade wild removal in 2007, but I don't think the game started dying until steam games and other free games like League of Legends overtook runescape in popularity. The games biggest weakness was the fact that it's entire brand is that it's simple and playable in your browser. It was great back in 2001 and through 2007 when people were less technologically capable of running application based games efficiently. Now it's just a development handicap to making a competitive game.



#15
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It didn't 'ruin' RS per se. I have supported EoC from the start, and throughout all of it, but it cannot be denied that it was implemented very lazily by Jagex, who were very stubborn and quite lazy and refused to acknowledge various basic and simple problems until well over a year and a half into EoC. Furthermore, it also cannot be denied (regardless of one happens to think about EoC - I happen to like it and prefer it to what was there before) that it has alienated and driven away a large amount of the player-base away. 



#16
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IMO the only reason they are even thinking of legacy mode isnt because PTP voting system and all....its because they know that they need to somehow bring back the pre-eoc game to make more money that they need to survive and keep this game going. You can refer to the reddit post about how the income of jagex from RS declined over the years.

 

It declined from around 2007 (when free trade went), but the last profits they posted (post-free trade return) were some of their biggest to date before reinvestment; the idea their income is declining is nonsense - Their income is growing enough that they have not only started other big projects (successfully for once) they have drastically increased the number of employees in the runescape team too. Companies in financial decline don't do mass hirings and start branch projects.


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#17
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They are not in financial decline, but the playerbase has shrunken undeniably and that can't be good. Yes they are making profit, but they are making that profit from a shrinking number of customers, so essentially they are making more per person, or from each person than before. Nothing to write home about.



#18
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The decline in new players entering the game is what is ruining RuneScape, right now it's almost only the old loyal fanbase that is playing. RuneScape can't attract that many kids anymore, because of its crappy image moest have of the game, and because MMO's in general are getting extinct.

There is a big development team budy making the early experiences of new players as comfortable as possible, but I doubt it would help to attract new players.

Sure, Jagex has enough wealth coming at them through the microtransactions, but how long will the old playerbase remain? Not everybody will have a career, a loving husband/wife, children and a maxed runescape character they will still play on.



#19
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The decline in new players entering the game is what is ruining RuneScape, right now it's almost only the old loyal fanbase that is playing. RuneScape can't attract that many kids anymore, because of its crappy image moest have of the game, and because MMO's in general are getting extinct.

There is a big development team budy making the early experiences of new players as comfortable as possible, but I doubt it would help to attract new players.

Sure, Jagex has enough wealth coming at them through the microtransactions, but how long will the old playerbase remain? Not everybody will have a career, a loving husband/wife, children and a maxed runescape character they will still play on.

 

I think the success of transformers will play a big part in new players influx potential.

That franchise, along with the hasbro name has the potential to draw in a lot of new blood and do well and through that help build Jagex's rep which could overcome some of the issues of runescapes pr history in terms of people giving it a go.

 

But it is true in pr terms runescape has a kinda crappy image and an image it just can't shake when the most vocal about it are the quitters and the haters and Jagex makes so many missteps in marketing it well. For example I'd call RS3 launch kind of a massive [rooster] up due to the fact html 5 did not work and did not launch, after all that pr work with the castle and the interviews and the general good buzz the transition to rs3 was almost nothing really - an interface redesign, a combat system that had already launched and was still needing work and an unplayable (for most) beta of the html 5 engine that was the big selling point of rs3.

 

But yeah I think TUO might be a way to bypass that because if that game does well then people will be willing to give the developers other franchises a chance based on customer loyalty etc. Though of course it doesn't deal with the declining MMO market, though personally I think that trend may be one that turns around (though whether Rs and other mmos can last til it does its another matter), after all the gaming world does tend to have hot phases and cold phases for different markets - it just happens to be right now is a quick-play mobile phase leaving long investment returners in the cold for a while. 


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#20
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I thought the first decline was when they stripped free trade out of the game

Preventing unbalanced trades was probably the best thing they could do to prevent RWTing and scamming, though.




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