A crackdown by Jagex on gold farmers in RuneScape has cut the wealth generated from the practice by over 80 per cent.
The UK studio recently introduced a Bonds system into the fantasy MMO, which cost £3 ($5) each. Once purchased through the website, these can be redeemed for 14 days membership, 160 runecoins or traded for in-game items.
The initiative was brought about in part to tackle gold farming – the process of acquiring in-game currency with real-world cash – and steady the game’s economy.
"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 Jagex COO Riaan Hodgson.
“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."
RuneScape executive producer Phil Mansell added: “We’ve had a great response from the community since Bonds launched, and we are pleased to see the new features have had an immediate impact on the game. As well as seriously undermining gold farmers, Bonds open up exciting benefits for players, such as RuneScape membership, via ‘Pay-through-Play’.”