Our company is a tech and games studio. Our 400 staff includes 250 technical people. We create our own tools to meet everything we need. So we do a lot in research and development. Our challenge was to create a software package which would use our program from 360, Wii, or PS3 and convert it into an C# program.
This was actually one of my main goals as I started at Jagex. We discovered that we could implement our code onto consoles. Technically, it’s possible. But how do platform holders see the model of free-to-use? That’s an excellent point. It’s exactly where we’re currently facing issues and this is the issue we’re trying to resolve with the platform owners.
My aim is to create an entirely free game for every console, while keeping the current free-to play model. While I think this is the best method for the industry to progress, I doubt that they are going this direction. But, everything on WiiWare or PSN comes with a cost.
I think that free-to-play games will be charged at a minimal fee. That means that you will have to pay to download it, and if desired you could purchase the premium version. That’s the way it appears to be right now. But, the situation is constantly changing. Of course, I would prefer to contact these companies to inform them that the tastes are changing and to provide free games that will help you compete in this area.
How much is your success pitching the free-to play model to each platform holder. I’m unable to provide any specifics. We’re still talking about things, so I won’t talk about specific companies.
The former Jagex CEO Geoff Iddison said that he was looking to combine the premium subscription model and micropayments. What do you think of this idea? I’m not sure you could use a game similar to Runescape and retrofit microtransactions into it. It’s too large, and I don’t think it will add value to our players. While the system could be more lucrative, I believe it will increase the cost of a player’s experience.
What is the reason why MMOs are often associated with free-to-play games? A lot of people believe that playing an MMO will require you to spend significant time on the product. I believe that free-to-play models are a great alternative because they allow players to ask themselves if they want to invest a lot of time in it.
In the past that you were looking to expand to Asia. What is the progress? Runescape is able to accommodate a variety of languages. The next step is commercial. We’re currently considering where we should go next. The truth is that the jury’s not out.
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