RuneScape makers Jagex say that the recent introduction of RuneScape Bonds into the long-running MMO has reduced gold farming activities by as much as 81 percent. Bonds were introduced into the game on September 26. A Bond in RuneScape cost $5, £3 or €4.25 each and can only be redeemed in-game. Bonds are redeemable for 14 days of RuneScape membership, eight Squeal of Fortune spins, or 160 RuneCoins. Multiple Bonds can also be redeemed for RuneFest tickets (RuneFest is a fan gathering that will take place at the Tobacco Dock in London on November 2). Jagex says that about ten percent of attendees have paid for entry into the event using bonds.
"Dishonest gold farming has had a detrimental effect on the online gaming space since its inception, and Jagex has worked tirelessly to limit the scope and consequence this activity has had on RuneScape over many years," said Riaan Hodgson, Chief Operations Officer at Jagex. "While we anticipated that the launch of Bonds would impact the flow of illegal wealth into the game, we are thrilled the initiative has resulted in such a strong and immediate impact. This action lays the foundations for RuneScape to continue going from strength to strength in its second successful decade!"
Gold farming is prohibited in RuneScape, though that hasn't stopped some players from engaging in the practice. In addition to dramatically reducing gold farming, Jagex says that Bonds are the "backbone" of its Pay-through-Play initiative. Players purchase bonds to access premium membership content, exchange it with other players for in-game items and wealth, or gift them to friends who play anywhere in the world.
Jagex says that the response to the Bonds system has been "great" and that this new system has "had an immediate impact on the game."
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