If you have not already guessed by now, the title of this article refers to the whole "end of the world" fiasco. The story goes like so: some doomsayers extrapolated conclusions from the ending of the Mayan calender, leading many people to believe (or joke) that the world would end on December 21, 2012. Just as the world was predicted to end this year, many RuneScapers predicted the inevitable death of RuneScape due to the many money-grabbing schemes which emerged in 2012. However, 12/21/2012 has passed, the curtain is falling on 2012, and both the world and RuneScape are still alive and kicking. What happened?
Well, this is just another lesson to us: do not trust the words of doomsayers! For all the doom and gloom which emerges from their pessimistic lips, there is no definitive evidence which suggests that the end is near. The Squeal of Fortune and Solomon's General Store have been released, and they are clearly designed to boost revenue for Jagex. The doomsayers argue that Jagex would only release such blatant "money-grabbing schemes" if they were in dire need of some cold hard cash, thus proving that the game is dying. Still, let us take a step back and assess the situation.
Since the beginning of membership, RuneScape has always had an appeal to teenagers because of its low cost. Not only was there a vast free game, the price of membership was astonishingly low—a mere $5 per month. Furthermore, Jagex is not a stagnant company—in fact, you pretty much need to adapt quickly in the gaming industry. The Jagex of today is much different than Andrew Gower's office back then, and I am not talking about principles or ideals. Just by looking at the newly updated graphics such as Draynor Village and Al-Kharid, it is plain to see that Jagex has truly evolved. To me, it is not surprising in the least that an expanding company would need more revenue than $5 per month per customer.
Ultimately, this led to "micro-transactions" which, in my mind, signify the growth of a company more than its death. Indeed, it is hard to call these endeavors anything other than successes. I have no hard data, for I do not work for Jagex, but people are clearly buying extra spins and RuneCoins. Through these methods, Jagex has almost certainly increased their revenue, allowing for bigger and better updates in the future.
We have seen some of the results of an expanded company. The Evolution of Combat, though not everyone supports it, was an incredibly large project which was fully implemented, and Player Owned Ports has been enjoyed by many of the high level community. Looking at the special edition of Behind the Scenes that Jagex posted somewhat recently, 2013 also seems to be a big year for RuneScape, so we will just have to wait and see.
In contrast to those doomsayers, RuneScape is far from being a game on the verge of collapse. In fact, optimists would say its prospects look quite bright.