How many times have you thought “Oh man, if I was running this show things would be so much better!” You hear this from all sorts or people referring to all sorts of things. The phrase “If only I had the chance” is pondered by all sorts of people: Gamers think that they could make the ultimate game, jocks think they could be the best quarterback, guys think they could be the hot girl’s best possible boyfriend, and politicians think they could be history’s best president. But for some reason around here one company gets more criticism thrown at it than anyone else: Jagex.
Java gaming experts, creators of Runescape. It would seem strange that the players of a game could be so critical of the game’s very creators, but it would seem that there is no shortage of people who wish to take a shot at Jagex. Let’s take a look at the problem from both sides, first starting with the viewpoint of an average Runescape player, and then looking at it from Jagex’s side.
You play Runescape. It doesn’t take you long to find an annoyance in the game. Walk out of Falador and you will see the cluster of level 3s cutting down tree after tree without even flinching. Surly it can’t be too hard to ban those people? And how about customer support, why does it take 48+ hours to get a simple response from the staff? Clearly Jagex must simply not care about the game, or else they would do something to help alleviate the situation.
Okay, now let’s say your Andrew Gower. You started this game by yourself and just when you start making some money of this game you realize you need to buy new servers. Pretty soon those servers are paid for but now you need to hire some staff. Staff are expensive, about fifty thousand dollars a year. That’s fifty thousand dollars that would have been yours if you didn’t need to hire them, but you want the game to prosper so you hire them. The years progress and the game grows, but so do the problems. People are complaining that they want new quests and new skills, but they are also complaining that it takes more than 24 hours to hear back from the company. Who do you hire? While there are only about 30 game programmers, Jagex has hired over 105 people, full-time, just to deal with Customer Service emails. Not to mention there are an additional 25 people working on just “Ban Appeal”. Current levels of customer service costs Jagex about 6.3 million dollars a year. That’s six million dollars that could have been in your pocket. Is it really worth it to double that number just to cut customer service reply time in half? Not to mention adding more moderators won’t fix the problem; the problem is that people keep paying for RS gold with real cash. Sheesh, can’t these players follow the game’s rules?!
See the problem? Personally, I think Jagex is actually doing a lot more than they are really required to. For starters, members pay a measly 5 dollars a month to play Runescape. By comparison games like World of Warcraft cost twenty dollars a month, plus you have to buy the game disks. Another point is the vast majority of Runescapers are free version players. Is it really fair for someone to complain that the company is only spending six million dollars a year on customer support, all while they haven’t paid a dime to play their game?
Now I’m not saying that the Jagex staff are flawless, but I find it funny that people think they could do a better job if given the chance. I don’t doubt that those people would try their best to improve the game, but don’t you think the game’s very creators are trying their best as well? This isn’t just true for Runescape mind you, but for any field no matter how large scale. Not to generalize but it seems that many people (including the Editor) naturally seem to feel that they could fix the problems if only they were the ones in charge. Unfortunately, it isn't that easy.
Once we realize that the person in charge and the people we are against are just like us, I think then we can really understand what the problems are, why they are still around, and how we can really fix them.
Did You Know...
... that the name of the sherpa that shows you the secret route to the death plateau has the same name as the sherpa who led Edmund Hillary on the first succesfull expedition to the top of the Mount Everest.
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