My name is Ryan and known as Mod Warden, new to Jagex and the Executive Producer for RuneScape. What does an Executive Producer do? Basically, I’m the person who is most responsible for all things RuneScape – the overarching vision and strategy, the game and developing the team behind it, our relationship with our players, and the commercial plans that will allow us keep making the game for many years to come.
The New Guy!
Being the new face on the team has its pros and cons, but one of the big advantages is getting to look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes, and asking countless questions. I’ve spent my first few weeks getting to know my team, the initiatives and projects, priorities, learning how our team operates and getting a read on the sentiment of our players. There’s lots of history to understand and perspectives to consider. I also found a way to join you all at RuneFest this year, which was a lot of fun!
First off, I would like to kick-off a new era of building a relationship with you all! We need to greatly improve our understanding of your priorities and concerns, and build a better level of trust around things such as content plans, quality of life improvements, commitments, communication, transparency, duty of care with our players, account security and our business model, specifically around MTX.
Today, I would like to share a bit on how the teams are structured and get moving on the transparency front.
The Current Dev Structure
The Episodic Content team is hopefully pretty self-explanatory. This is the team that focuses on mainline content and core gameplay. Their job is to make exciting quests, to advance our epic stories and bring new areas to life for exploration, and even re-working older or unfinished ideas.
Live Ops focuses on a very different type of player experience. Their work is what keeps Gielinor thriving and alive in the day-to-day engagement activities. There should always be something new to experience in RuneScape. Live Ops is also the team that drives the game’s commercial activities. There’s more on this very sensitive subject below.
The Core Experience team drives much of the quality of life and user experience improvements, to make sure that RuneScape is as great to play as it can be. One of the keys to this is improving the technology that underpins our game, a big part of which is RuneScape Mobile. The Mobile release will open up the world of Gielinor to more players than ever before, but it’s about so much more than that – all the work that has gone into improving the Mobile experience also benefits our desktop players. It is important to note that desktop is our primary development platform. There is no trade-off against other development efforts – I have the teams to do both.
Monetisation and The Task Ahead
I know that monetisation is a very hot topic among our players. I see it as my job to ensure that monetisation takes a form that adds to your experience, not detracts from it. The truth is that membership alone is not sufficient to keep the game healthy and evolving. However, it is vital that any monetisation strategy justifies its existence – it needs to be fun, balanced, worth your time and rewarding. We need a monetisation strategy that we can talk about openly and proudly, and you need to know not just what we’re doing but why we’re doing it. Our commercial content can’t sit apart from the world of Gielinor – it must feel authentically a part of it, while giving the players more choice.
We have a far more detailed look at monetisation on the way next week, but I want to make sure that our players understand that I am entirely committed to transparency and trust. We need you all to have a complete understanding of what our monetisation means, and I want you to trust how we’re handling it.
Saying that, I’m also acutely aware that the worst thing I can do right now is rush out a reactionary strategy, or to make shallow promises that won’t help any of us. We know we’ve got a long way to go on this, and I am absolutely committed to hearing and responding to your thoughts, but I want a greater understanding before I do. Have we correctly understood your concerns? Is what we’re doing making things better? We have a number of plans in place and some new ideas we will begin to test with you very soon. While late to the party that dialogue with me begins now.
A big thanks to those of you I already met at RuneFest, and a big hello to the rest of you. I can’t wait for what lays ahead and my job is to do everything I can to make sure you feel the same.
I’ve set up a brand new email address that will allow each and every one of you to speak directly to me. Has a new quest delighted you? Or frustrated you? Is our latest MTX good value? Or do you hate it? Did we bust your action bars again? Has a new tech tweak improved the game? Or did you prefer it before? In any of these cases you can reach out directly to me at AskModWarden@jagex.com. I won’t always be able to respond directly, and it’s not a player support avenue, but I promise you that I will hear every word.
We’ll speak again soon. Hopefully I’ll bump into you in Gielinor in the meantime.