GamesBeat

RuneScape, the world’s most popular free-to-play MMO, gets a facelift

Jagex has today announced a brand new website and logo for its free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), Runescape. The browser-based game currently has over 175 million registered accounts, and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s most popular free-to-play MMORPG.

The makeover is about how to keep users coming back, which in turns leads to better monetization. Despite being free-to-play, RuneScape offers players the option of purchasing a monthly membership, which provides a host of premium benefits. It also generates revenue through adverts that appear above the playing screen for free users. With many MMOs now rushing towards such free-to-play business models, including DC Universe Online, Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard has recently offered some words of caution: “It’s less about what’s the right model, less about how to take money from a customer’s wallet, and more about what kind of gameplay you have that’s conducive to that type of monetization mechanism.”

The new RuneScape website is described as a complete overhaul, and as well as providing a fresh look, it also offers players some features that have not been seen before:

- The RuneScape Wiki: The manual has now been moved over to the new, community-editable wiki. Even if you’ve never used or edited a wiki before, it’s really easy to do. Follow the link for details of the basic requirements for editing, and for guides on how to get started.

- The Events Section: There’s a whole new section devoted to the organisation and advertisement of events. The Jagex Community Engagement team, clans and individual members of the community can put up details on the events feed and place a location pin into the events map to direct prospective attendees.

- RuneScape News to the Fore: News, media and social networking activity feeds have been given pride of place on the new front page, ensuring that up-to-the-minute RuneScape information is readily available at all times.

Alongside the new look website, Jagex has also created a nifty new logo for its game, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in style this year, at the Runefest event in London.

With so many publishers starting to experiment with the free-to-play business model, in which just 3 percent of players typically spend money, Jagex is obviously hoping that RuneScape’s new look helps to keep it ahead of the game.


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