Jagex made use of E3's mass exposure to issue a press release announcing the launch of their "High Detail" version of RuneScape.
6M+ Player MMO Gets Graphic, Full Screen Upgrades for Today's Roaming Audience
LOS ANGELES from E3 Media & Business Summit July 14, 2008 Jagex, Ltd., the largest independent game developer in United Kingdom, today announced the release of RuneScape High Detail (HD) from the expo floor at the E3 Media & Business Summit. With RuneScape HD, a full graphics re-launch of the hit massively multiplayer online (MMO) game, Jagex is redefining immersive online gaming and providing the first full-screen MMO experience with the "click-and-play" accessibility of a browser-based game. In addition to adding full-screen play, RuneScape HD includes new features that significantly enhance the game's graphics.
RuneScape remains one of the largest and most recognized MMOs in the world, with more than 6 million gamers worldwide. With this new release, the game will run like a premium off-the-shelf title, while maintaining the ease and accessibility its players have always enjoyed. A new lighting system and procedural texturing introduce a new level of quality bring graphics to a new level of quality for online gaming, far beyond anything offered in a browser today. Incredibly, the new release of the game still runs below 256MB RAM on most machines, and plays easily on the same computers that first accessed the original game, released in 2001.
(Today's gamers have evolved into a '˜roaming' audience, and expect quick and easy access to their favorite games,) said Geoff Iddison, CEO of Jagex. (RuneScape offers players a full-screen experience from any computer, anytime, which attracts a wide demographic ranging from casual players to enthusiast gamers of all ages. The developers at Jagex have a long-standing history of delivering cutting edge online games, and RuneScape High Detail will be no exception.)
RuneScape HD provides a character-based experience in which players can choose any path they like as they explore and travel across the massive world, weekly updates to content and characters, and more than 100 quest opportunities.
New features include:
New tutorial Full screen mode
New chat heads Improved body kits
Procedural texturing Enhanced blending
Atmospheric lighting Realistic water effects
PC gaming is experiencing an upward trend, and is positioned to overtake the console business in coming years, proving the sustainability and mass adoption of MMOs and other online games properties. Analysts have confirmed that even hard-core console gamers spend more time playing games online on PC than they do on the consoles. Further, Yankee Group estimates that online games in North America generated $1.6 billion in 2007, and by 2012 revenue will grow to more than $3.8 billion. Given that Jagex has already cornered a large portion of the global online games market with previous versions of RuneScape, the HD release is expected to bring a fresh and growing audience to the game's user base.