RuneScape, Jagex's classic MMO, has over 250 million player accounts, and after 17 years and three iterations, is still continuing to grow!
Jagex's CEO, Phil Mansell, spoke at a Develop conference early last week and stated that the free-to-play game has pulled in over $800 million in lifetime revenue, and even after 17 years, continues to steadily gain new players. This game is not only monetarily successful but with an astounding 250 million player accounts, its user base is still continuing to grow. Granted however that a fair amount of those accounts are probably inactive when you look at social media platforms, RuneScape has over 1.5 million followers over various social accounts and has a top 20 viewership on Twitch, showing that the game is still very much alive.
Mansell stated that a player's account is usually active for an average of seven years. When asked why he thinks the game has succeeded as well as it has, he put it down to the developer's ongoing support of the game and interactions with players in the community, often letting players take the lead on how development roadmaps will turn out.
Perhaps the biggest decision made with this game came five years ago when Jagex let fans vote whether or not they should split the MMO into two versions. The first being Old School which would be based on the old version, and the second being the regularly updated version. When the UK developer let the fans vote, almost half a million players voted to have an Old School version released.
However, as with all things old, the company wondered if it would just hold a novelty effect for some time, before eventually burning out again. But to the surprise of Jagex, players have stuck around in the Old School Version, creating two large communities in both games.
“We realized players might come for the game but they’re staying for the community,” Mansell said
Earlier this year, Jagex announced its (hard to make but necessary) decision to the shut down RuneScape Classic, the original version of the game, due to the increased difficulty supporting the platforms. However, the games second iteration in the form of Old School RuneScape remains active, along with the newer updated version of RuneScape as well.
A version of the Old School RuneScape has just been released in open beta on Android mobile devices.
Jagex is still working on the iOS release and hopes it will be ready to launch later this summer.