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Member Since 11 Dec 2005
Offline Last Active Jul 01 2019 03:23 AM

#5441080 Runescape Dying? [Discussion/Observation]

Posted by Aneron on 15 August 2013 - 05:14 PM

I started playing scape in 2004, and while I dislike the periodic 'RS is dying' dramas as much as the next guy, I don't think it's ever been closer to being true than now. I stopped playing regularly about 3 years ago (blame league of legends), and since then I feel like I've watched the average number of players online decrease slowly but continuously. Some of that is the removal of bots of course, but it used to make it to 200k at peak times (summer, evening). Right now it's summertime and there's like 50k people online; the most populous world has 1100 people in it. There's like 3 worlds over 1000. There were a lot of bots, but I'm pretty sure they didn't constitute the majority across the entire game. I would argue that the population drop also has a lot to do with people not wanting to play scape anymore.

I think people left for a lot of reasons: better free/cheap games, the removal of the successful PvP system (by the time it came back the community was largely gone), and a long period of time without many interesting updates. It felt like for multiple years Jagex was just trying to provide adequate replacements for the old Wilderness (volcano bounty hunter, clan wars, pvp servers, bounty hunter pvp servers, removal of pvp servers blah blah), and as a result worked really hard on content that really didn't satisfy the old pvp customers. As a result, people not interested in PvP, but rather quests and monster hunting (myself) went a long time without much new content (corp beast and nex were 2.5 years apart) and eventually moved on.

Jagex's new business model seems to be: small customer base, get lots of money per customer, instead of the old have a massive number of members all paying a little bit. Even though they're still making a lot of money, ultimately I don't see that ending well because you can't count on someone to shell out tons of money forever - they will need to recruit new players, and so far as I can see they aren't, really. The F2P is massively outclassed by other F2P games and they really need to spend time on it to make it competitive. Until then the attrition will continue.