News

Wilderness and Free Trade Vote

Hi everyone,

As we near the end of another big year for Jagex, I feel very proud and truly amazed at what we’ve achieved together since RuneScape was conceived a decade ago. Together we’ve been part of the growth of one of the biggest free games in the world, not to mention the best, most vibrant online community in history. The Jagex family has grown to well over 400, we’ve picked up a number of Guinness World Records along the way (and counting), and for the second year running we’ve won the Golden Joystick Awards as best UK developer. This is all thanks to you, the players.

As you know, we try to keep our updates close to our chest, so that you will be pleasantly surprised; however, I can promise you that 2011 will be one of our most exciting update years ever.

When considering big game-changing decisions, it’s always with our players’ ultimate game experience firmly in mind; your feedback helps shape our decisions and, ultimately, the fun entertainment we produce. Creating content that you enjoy and appreciate is what drives our passionate teams. We regularly listen to you on the fan sites, our forums, in game and, for the first time ever, face to face at our live player celebration: RuneFest 2010. Your voice counts hugely, because we know you are as passionate about playing RuneScape as we are about making it.

It’s never lost on me what an incredible privilege it is to be able to serve such a wonderful community as well as the incredible team at Jagex. I’ve had an astonishing time over the past two years that I’ve been CEO of Jagex and, during that time, have had to make some rather difficult decisions. Today, however, I’d like to ask every one of our players, past and present, for your help in making one of the biggest decisions regarding the future of RuneScape...

I regularly hear from both the community and the Jagex team that we should reintroduce free trade and the excitement of the old Wilderness, warts and all. As you know, we removed free trade and the Wilderness in 2007 to combat botting, gold farming and item scamming. Since then, we have produced new content that provides comparable gameplay and mechanics to allow increased trade limits with long-term friends; however, we are still regularly being told that something is missing from the 'good old days' of RuneScape.

We’ve been shutting down bot-makers all around the world and prosecuting people for stealing accounts, and we’ve evolved our systems to quickly detect cheating; however, we will have to accept that we will never completely eradicate cheating so long as there is an incentive and method to do so. Bringing back free trade and the original Wilderness will certainly make this a bigger issue than it is today, though I can pledge that we will never stop trying to combat it.

So, the big question is, are the passionate voices we hear on this topic truly representative of the majority of the player community or just a rather vocal minority? Do you want to see a return of free trade and the original Wilderness? If the vast majority of our players vote in favour of it, then we will do exactly that.

Please tell us what you think by visiting this page and registering your vote. As ever, we’ll read your feedback and listen to your thoughts and opinions, so please do feel free to discuss and debate this on the forums.

In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for a fantastic 2010. I look forward to celebrating ten years of RuneScape with you in January.

Have fun!

Take care,
Mark Gerhard