Fantasy becomes reality for RuneScape player
Virtual currency gives real-world reward as fan secures
all expenses paid trip to annual convention
Jagex, makers of the multi-award winning fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape, is delighted to report on the continued success of RuneScape Bonds, one year after the game introduced the ‘pay through play’ initiative. Since their launch, Bonds have allowed players to access premium membership content, exchange them with other community members for in-game items and wealth, and gift them to friends anywhere in the world.
This year, trading Bonds for real-world benefits has been greatly expanded upon; Aaron James and one of his friends from Missouri, United States, are the first RuneScape players to use Bonds to fund every aspect of their transatlantic trip to this year’s RuneFest fan convention, which takes place on Saturday 11th October at London’s Tobacco Dock. The two exchanged their Bonds for flights to and from the UK, a hotel room, a RuneFest ticket each, and spending money – Crystal Coins – for the event itself, all without spending a single cent of real world money!
“I cannot describe the relief and realisation that our dream of coming to the UK and to RuneFest is going to happen. Without being able to buy the flight, hotel, and crystal coins with Bonds, this was never going to be realistic for us because it would be too expensive,” said Aaron James, from Missouri, United States. “We’re just tremendously excited, and looking forward to meeting the J-Mods and some of our fellow RuneScape players next month.”
Since their September 2013 debut, around 2.3 million Bonds have been purchased; more than 80 percent of those Bonds have been redeemed for membership, with 27.6 million membership days obtained to date. The introduction of Bonds also had a swift and dramatic effect on the levels of gold-farming in the game, which plummeted by 81 percent within weeks, and also helped bring a more stable in-game economy for players. Over the past year, more than 316.5 billion in-game gold pieces have been sunk into Bond trades by the community.
“Our community responded fantastically to the introduction of Bonds a year ago, which resulted in many millions of Bonds being purchased and redeemed. A year later, nearly 20% of RuneScape players pay for their membership subscription through their in-game efforts and half of the premium RuneCoin currency comes from bond redemptions”, said Phil Mansell, vice president of RuneScape. “This has also helped bring greater stability to the game economy, and has reduced incidents of gold farming and botting to an all-time low.”