The freemium MMORPG RuneScape recently held an open vote that allowed the game’s player community to decide whether or not certain features cut years ago would be reinstated. Ballots were cast by 1.2 million RuneScape players. A majority of 91% voted to reinstate the Free Trading and Wilderness features. Both features were initially removed in 2007. Free Trading allowed users to trade RuneScape’s virtual goods and currency without restrictions, while Wilderness allowed player-versus-player combat.
“We have the most incredible community of gamers and we wanted to demonstrate how much we value them by handing this game changing decision over to them,” said Mark Gerhard, CEO of Jagex, in a press statement. “I firmly believe that the Wilderness represents the ultimate risk versus reward experience in any MMO and the incredible support for the campaign demonstrates that our players agree. It has been fantastic to watch the community mobilise in support of the update and we can now introduce these features certain in the knowledge that they are what our community want.”
RuneScape developer Jagex said both features were cut in 2007 because they enabled “botting, gold farming, and item scamming.” (In the Wilderness area, players could lose and gain items based on the outcome of PvP fights, which lead to its removal.) Jagex is willing to reinstate the features now because it has developed systems that can more easily detect cheating. The new features will go live in RuneScape on February 1. Jagex began the player referendum on December 24.
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