Jagex is Still Failing the Real World Trade Problem

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This is uk parliament’s digital culture media and sport committee this is a player who uh a member of public who said his son built up debts of over 17 000 pounds and this is jagex’s vp of growth and product services and this is the director of player experience okay my final question because there are links that we’re exploring in terms of future regulation with

The gambling industry we don’t view ourselves as a gambling company they’re here to give evidence into an inquiry about immersive and addictive technologies not being an expert in gaming in those examples there’s the real world the real money element to that which isn’t the case for a game like runescape the thing is the committee’s not buying it in their final

Report they included written evidence from somebody who spent 300 and 20 minutes on in-game wealth through bonds and lost it instantly to gambling at the dual arena people running up colossal amounts of debt you know you do have a responsibility you can’t be a passive bystander in this can you i’ve got a whole argument to make here about why jagex has failed and

Continues to fail the real world trade problem that i think is especially important to talk about because right now it kind of looks like they’re tackling it if you’re not aware it’s been an awful month and a half for anyone involved in the real world trade market on the 23rd of september they announced the dual arena will be removed from the game gold sellers

Are freaking out because stakers are a huge portion of their revenue then on the 13th of october jagex announced that they’ll now be banning players who buy gold this is a historic move they’ve never really done this before and it’s huge because the inconvenient truth is that our research has recently highlighted 40 to 50 percent of our current active player

Base on any given month are buying gold from gold farmers and since then they really have been issuing bans i see the customers complaining not only on secondary market forms about it but jagex put out this tweet confirming it and it only gets worse for the sellers because jagex has trademarked the term old school runescape gold and in the midst of all this two

Big gold sites have now shut down alchin are too pleasant these are huge businesses by the way and i’ve heard rumors that jagex is once again sending out cease and desist letters to gold sites like they did in 2019 when bugle gold was shut down that said neither of these sites have confirmed that a legal request is the reason that they are closing their doors but

Regardless some folks involved in these markets are dubbing at the end of the real world trade golden age now despite all of this i think jagex is actually still failing the real world trade problem i think their current changes kind of go back to this you do have a responsibility you can’t be a passive bystander in this can you that is they’ve been called out for

Having gambling in their game and it only being legal because of a technicality that will likely become illegal once uk law catches up with the games industry so they’re removing the dual arena and now actively enforcing their policy against rwt items that kind of obtained through purchases or through gameplay that are confined within the game they can’t then be

Cashed out and sold for uh real money and the problem i have is that i think there’s real problems created by rwt that they’re missing look i get this question all the time and it’s a good question and of course if real world trade is so bad then why is jagex selling bonds people comment that too well the fact of the matter is is that the problems created by rural

Trade affect everyone regardless of your participation and what is frustrating is that jegics has failed and still fails to tackle these problems because at their core it is a customer service issue and what’s worse is i think there’s real financial incentive for them to do so so today if you smack that like button get us the 90 000 subscribers we’re so close and

Check out our runescape statues that are going fast as christmas approaches link below then i’m going to lay out my arguments for this failure and the financial incentive for them to do better so when we think about real world trade there’s two sides of the equation how it affects jagex’s wallet aka the investment group that owns them and then how it affects us

As the players let’s start with their wallet so the interesting thing is rwt only really happens in games with persistent worlds and characters i mean you’ll be hard-pressed to find a secondary market for skyrim among us any of the grand theft autos besides five games where rwt takes place are typically as is for jagex subscription based they make their revenue

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By getting players to play for a long amount of time absolute um key kind of metric that we focus on is game retention and engagement people keep playing because their friends are there or there’s stuff to do and so anything that impacts people staying around for a while costs jagex huge amounts of money i mean think about it it might take 50 hours to beat breath

Of the wild but in a persistent world mmo people expect to be able to play 50 hours a month in some cases 50 hours a week no developer has the resources to put out 50 hours of quality content a month so instead they lure us in with grind based goals which take a really long time to complete and are also hopefully enjoyable along the way looking at you runecrafting

It’s all about getting a cool gate getting a cool set of armor pooping yourself for rank 2 and smithing whatever because the only thing that they can really give us that engages us for that amount of time is kinda cool rewards that are hard to get it’s character building it’s the rpg at the end of mmo this is how runescape makes its money it’s subscription for the

Health of your company it’s in your interest for them to be on your gauge for as long as possible for as many years as possible so the problem with real world trade for jagex is that it’s actually a way to shortcut time if you purchase max gear well you have nothing left to grind for purchase an inferno cape that’s another huge chunk of content you’ll never put your

Effort into by people selling you gold early on in the game jagex is actually restricted in the rewards they can give us along the way so the incentive to keep playing is cut down there’s less to do less challenges ahead and thus they get less membership out of us because people don’t spend as long playing now bonds to jagex are actually a wonderful solution to this

Problem because they mitigate and actually profit off of this lost time they don’t care if you’ve skipped a month grinding bandos by purchasing the armor with bonds in fact i’m sure the investors love it because you just spent fifty dollars versus the eleven dollars they would have got from you a membership bonds bring the secondary market into jagex’s pocket and

I would argue this is actually a good thing i mean there’s a huge integrity issue with rich kid syndrome right nobody likes to see somebody pay their way to max gear and it can actually kind of ruin other players experiences you know you’d like to do with max gear into your raid but it turns out he sucks at pvm or worse you’re competing for high score ranks well

How do you compete with the rich guy that’s funding all his post 99 xp with rl cash so there is integrity issues but the thing is when jagex is the ones real world trading at the very least it’s them profiting and not the secondary markets and i would argue this is a good thing because these secondary markets is where the second problem real world trade creates is

Manifested so the problem with rwt is the second you get real money involved there’s crime i mean i run a whole runescape abuse series on my channel talking about these guys the game is laden with scammers hackers fishers boughters dupers you name it since there’s a dollar to be made people are constantly innovating ways to make a quick buck to the detriment of

Other players purchasing gold from secondary markets you know not jagex is directly supporting these activities now for jagex what all this hacking scamming so on and so forth creates for them is a huge customer service issue if someone calls in and their items have been stolen that is not a 30 second fix and i think it’s partly for this reason jagex has decided

Just to have absolutely no customer support they don’t want to invest into it because to realistically do it well you need a very big customer support team it’s a shame though because all these negative consequences of rwt affect the game’s community and customer support would really help with this think about it if someone gets hacked and they can’t get support

For it do you think they’re going to keep playing keep paying 11 a month and what happens to that stolen gold while it gets sold on the secondary market which is short-circuiting someone else’s playtime it’s multifaceted it’s a huge lost profit for jagex one that is not immediately obvious and hackers fishers lures aside the problem only gets worse in a much more

Visible way when you consider that runescape is primarily a north american and european market somewheres around the world someone else’s time will always be significantly cheaper than yours and there will always be people who will pay for convenience so come the bots and the gold farmers and don’t get me wrong i understand some of these people are just trying to

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Make a living and that’s more important than a stupid little game but what happens is huge infrastructure gets set up to support them and very quickly now you have these bots and gold farmers flooding the game ruining the economy disturbing players and this i think is the most visible problem that rwt creates one that every player has experience with not everybody

Has been hacked or lured or fished but you’ve certainly run into bots or gold farmers in game how much of a better experience would it be if you never got a spam message again never had to worry about your account being stolen or someone clearing out the group iron man chest and selling it off when it comes to these things there’s a lot of potential for one guy

Trying to make a quick dollar to make a lot of players unhappy so when we talk about solutions number one i think what jagex has done over the last month and a half has been really good at the first part that we talked about that is servicing jagex’s wallet if nothing else punishing buyers is really effective for bond sales we can see since the announcement bonds

Have been steadily decreasing in price because more and more people have been turning the bonds to purchase gold now there’s kind of like an aside problem with this as the price of bonds decline i think this creates more temptation for people to turn back to the secondary market where a dollar will get them more gp but with continual banning as they’ve done so

Far it certainly will keep many away people that really value their account and as we’ve discussed before when jagex is the one selling gold this is a good thing because it takes profit and thus incentive away from cyber delinquents but this is not a complete solution because not everybody has turned to bonds gold sellers are still alive and well people always

Say ban gold sellers but they do trillions of gp since may 17th the problem is they’ve been banning gold sellers for years i’ve done a few interviews with these guys in the past and there’s tons of creative solutions they use to minimize their losses they’re like cockroaches you can’t kill them and when we consider non-traditional gold sellers you know hijackers

Lures etc if they get banned with gold before they unload it their net loss is really zero since unlike traditional gold sellers they haven’t paid anything for the gold to begin with bans don’t hurt them enough what jagex has done so far is not enough now as for big gold sites closing down because of legal takedown request well here’s what a gold seller had to

Say in an interview i did when boogalo gold got shut down in 2019 the worst thing that’s gonna happen is the the big websites get taken down and us us little guys eat more he’s right the demand doesn’t disappear on top of that according to former mod matt k these legal takedowns are less about stopping rwt and more about protecting jagex’s intellectual property

The other aspect of um real world trading as a whole uh which people forget about an awful lot you’ve got how it impacts the people you’ve also got how it impacts jagex it’s quite potentially that if you’re allowing people for real world trade um you are allowing people to infringe your right your ip your intellectual property and if you don’t do anything about it

Then they’re allowed to continue doing it the impact of that is it affects the shareholder price holder price has bigger global impacts um on that so that is i’m not entirely sure how that works but that is another angle to be aware of because the ceo’s job of jagex is to protect the shareholders so there’s this whole part too that they’re missing i mean you can

Point to examples where they’ve done some work on these problems in the past jagex is by no means a complete failure but all of these things are still big issues in the game today so what’s the solution well truthfully nobody has figured this out i can’t think of any games that have completely eliminated these issues and that’s really because it’s mostly a game

Of cat and mouse it doesn’t matter what restrictions they implement these cockroaches will find a way around them so the solution becomes while playing this game of cat and mouse how can we minimize the impact these people have on players and some companies are certainly doing this better than jagex and jagex can learn from them for example world of warcraft gets

Touted as this company with amazing support if your account gets hacked they have tools and staff that can get your account back and reinstate your items in old school just getting your account back can be questionable so for the hacking fishing luring side of things good customer support real people to look into these incidents issue punishments and reinstate

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Items would be huge would the cost of customer support be offset by the improved player retention i’m not sure and at the end of the day all the investors care about is a better bottom line so if cost prohibit us from getting support then at the very least improve account security it was promised years ago and it helps with these issues there’s some gaping flaws

Here’s a reddit post that outlines many of them feel free to pause and take a read at this um i’m in a lot of black market runescape discord servers these flaws are being abused every day to steal people’s wealth as for the botting in the gold farming one thing world of warcraft did and i think this was bad was make gold almost valueless there’s a bunch of bind

On pickup items they essentially try to prevent people from short-circuiting grinds by removing the ability to buy or trade cool items you have to go and get them yourself jagex has done a similar thing with the inferno cape pets or even iron man mode in a way and of course account services like in my last video pop up because of this but truth be told they don’t

Create huge issues like rwt this said i think a move towards more bound items ruins the economy and altruism of the game so it’s not a good solution that just leaves better bot detection in more gold farmer bands i think the anti-cheating team has been doing a commendable job with this so far but their main challenge is that they’re tackling a mountain with a

Horrendously small team the anti-cheating team does not generate profit for jagex in fact by banning bots they lose money so higher ups whose job it is to service the investors likely want to spend as little as possible on it they’re spreading the team too thin across too many problems more spend on anti-cheating would of course give jagex a better advantage in

The cat and mouse game now on top of this a long-term solution for botting in specific is updating the game client to make botting less feasible this is a whole conversation in itself and there’s a lot of reasons as to why it would be hard to do like rune light couldn’t be a thing anymore my friend zort did an entire video on the subject link in the description

But in short it makes the current meta of botting not viable anymore so bottas would have to resort to older technologies like color detection which you can’t build super complicated scripts with not like the ones we see now like gambling bots for example as for the last defenders dupers i don’t even know i still find it mind-boggling that there is actual dupes

In this game i mean obviously the solution is to fix the core bug with safe states on world crashes to prevent dupes entirely but jagex knows this already and rendy has shown that the old school runescape code base is pure spaghetti obviously the fix isn’t so easy otherwise they would have patched it by now you know this tweet i’ve been tossing around showing that

They’ve banned 8 trillion gp since may that seems like a lot of gp right i wonder how much of that gp was actually duped gold before it had a chance to go into the market from what i’ve seen they’ve been trying to handle dupes by banning offenders as it happens and making patches to prevent world crashes as they find them i guess if they can’t fix the core bug

That’s all they can really do a lot of people are losing their jobs with the dual arena removal and i don’t think they’re gonna go get real employment i think they’re gonna spread into other areas of the game i think the changes we’ve seen recently like the dual arena removal and banning buyers is out of jagex’s own interest that’s to say they’re not doing it for

The betterment of the community they’re doing it because you can’t have gambling in a children’s game and that’s a good reason to remove it but it’s not enough because there’s this rampant other side of rear world trade that’s being missed one that should be addressed for the betterment of the community and i think this side will only grow now that the dual arena

Cash cow is gone these problems are frustrating because their effects on the entire community could certainly be dampened if jagex would take a hit on their 50 percent profit margin seriously in 2019 they grossed 110 million pounds and net at 48.9 million of that that’s 65 million dollars usd and profit or 5.5 million monthly they can afford to do better so this

Has been very opinion filled i’m sure i got a lot wrong and i’m sure you’re going to tell me in the comments section below so i look forward to seeing all of your thoughts i’ll see you in the next one

Transcribed from video
Jagex is Still Failing the Real World Trade Problem By Crumb