In what seems to be an unprecedented move, Jagex, the developers behind RuneScape have held a referendum allowing gamers to determine what content they would like in the browser-based MMO. Specifically, the devs asked whether or not they should reinstate Free Trade and Wilderness – and after 1.2 million votes were tallied up, a frightening 91% voted that both features should return.
The poll kicked off on December 24th, as part of RuneScape‘s 10th anniversary celebrations (yep, it’s still going), and three weeks later, the decision was made.
CEO of Jagex, Mark Gerhard, pulls no punches:
“We have the most incredible community of gamers and we wanted to demonstrate how much we value them by handing this game changing decision over to them.
“I firmly believe that the Wilderness represents the ultimate risk versus reward experience in any MMO and the incredible support for the campaign demonstrates that our players agree. It has been fantastic to watch the community mobilise in support of the update and we can now introduce these features certain in the knowledge that they are what our community want.”
The Wilderness of which he speaks is considered to be the most dangerous area in RuneScape. It offers players the chance to stake their resources, weapons and armour to defeat others. If you are victorious, you get to loot the other’s corpse. If you fail, they’ll take all your gear.
Free Trade, on the other hand, allows players the freedom to gift their wealth to friends, or to trade items with the general RuneScape community, rather than simply with vendors. On the surface, this sounds like a great idea – but in reality it can lead to gold-farming, which is apparently a risk the gamers are prepared to take.