Runescape, the free-to-play in-browser MMO by Jagex, has started down a road that could possibly hinder the game. Runescape's oh-so-popular squeal of fortune has had everyone excited each day for new spins. The wheel gives you a free spin each day, with a chance to win some very valuable items if you're lucky. Jagex has now announced that you can buy “spin packages” with your cold hard cash. These packages are not expensive and with the odds in your favour can be a good idea for those hardcore players.
Although Jagex might have started down a slippery slope. Originally the game had thrived off its monthly subscriber fees, but this doesn't seem to be enough. Although disguising the sale of spins with other free ways to gain them the heart of the update is money driven. We have seen games like Perfect World International die from the greed of its developers. Once Jagex gets an idea of the cash flow they will obtain from these “spin packages," it's possibly that they will not be able to resist putting more and more items up for sale with real life money. We will have to wait and see what happens but for now Jagex would do well to hold off on beginning to use microtransactions.
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