8Realms: the New Project from the Developer of Runescape

I’m pretty sure that most of the people who are reading this now are more than interested in trying the latest project from the developer of Runescape. In fact, some of you have probably had a chance to participate in the game’s closed beta which has been going on for some time now. For all the rest who aren’t much familiar with the title, here’s some basic information about it and the company which has developed it.

For those who don’t know, 8realms is an HTML-based persistent real-time strategy game developed by Jagex Game Studio. The company has previously worked on another massively multiplayer online RTS called War of Legends, which was set in a world of Chinese mythology. The latter also marked their first time that the Cambridge-based company used microtransactions and the first game not to be written in Java. Currently, War of Legend’s business model is still free to play, so players can choose to buy additional items through WoLCash (Jagex’s microtransaction system.)

Additionally, the 8Realms closed beta started on May 5, 2011 and players could access it by receiving an invitation or through the game’s official Facebook page. The gameplay is very similar to other titles of the same genre where progress is determined by researching, constructing or by gaining “culture.” To do so, luxurious are required to be captured and these are scattered around the map and once a given culture has reached 100 % players move on to the next age. As the name clearly indicates, there are 8 different ages: Ancient, Classical, Feudal, Renaissance, Imperial, Industrial, Modern and Future (the last one is not available in the beta yet.)

The developer, Jagex Game Studio, is a Cambridge-based company and is currently considered the largest UK independent developer and publisher of online titles. They are quite well-known for developing Runescape, the biggest free-to-play role-playing game. The fantasy MMO was released in January 2001 and quickly became huge because it could easily be played from almost any browser as it implemented Java and basic 3D rendering. Since then, the game grew steadily, having around 10 million active users and more than 156 registered accounts. The Guinness World Records has recognized Runescape as the most popular free RPG that has ever existed.

Moreover, Jagex has released more than 40 casual games through their portal named FunOrb, which is expected to expand to the mobile phones market any time soon. The company is also expected to publish Heretopia, a flash-based MMORPG which has been developed by an American developer called Herotainment. Finally, Jagex is working on other projects including: Stellar Dawn, Transformers Universe (thanks to a partnership with Hasbro) and of course 8Realms.

As usual, if you have any clarification, correction or if you’ve tried the title and want to share your experience, please write it in the comments section.

 

For more information visit the games’ official websites:

8Realms

Runescape

War of Legends

FunOrb Portal