Not alone in the wilderness
RuneScape, the browser-based massively multiplayer game from Jagex, now has a million paying subscribers, the company reported today. Just $5 a month gets players “exclusive quests, skills and a huge map of the fantasy world Gielenor, to explore.” The fact that it’s being shelled out by a million kids (or their parents; the RuneScape demographic is reportedly very young) is fairly impressive. Among Western MMOs, only World of Warcraft can boast more than a million paying subscribers. (Most MMO subscribers, including WoWs, pay around $15 a month.) And, as Matt Mihaly pointed out some time ago (in asking whether RuneScape would reach 1 millions subs), the game reportedly has some 5 million players, including those who play for free, and concurrency rates above 200,000. Jagex says they have 150 support staff devoted to the game, if that’s any gauge. [UPDATE: Matt has more details from an interview with the Jagex dude, Andrew Gowan.] I think it’s pretty significant to the future of media that there are a million young teens paying for this game, and four million more playing it from time to time. More evidence that 3D multiuser environments are here to stay as part of the media landscape. Most readers of this blog don’t need to be convinced of that, but there are many, many people out there who aren’t yet clued in. Successes like Jagex’s should help with that.