Jagex's New Survival Runescape Game Could Be Amazing

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There Aren't Too Many Survival Games
Credit: Jagex

Jagex working on new projects has become a meme, considering the developer's long history of canceling upcoming stuff, but nonetheless, Jagex's recent announcement the company is working on a new Survival game set in the Runescape world could mean big things for gamers. So, in this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about why Jagex's new survival Runescape game could be amazing.

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There Aren't Too Many Survival Games

There Aren't Too Many Survival Games
Credit: Jagex

A common criticism you'll hear about this new game from Jagex comes down to the idea that there are already a lot of survival games around, so making a new one is boring and lame and not worth doing. In some ways, it's true survival games are popular so there are a lot of them, but there are a lot fewer options than you might think.

See, survival is kind of a weird genre of gaming. It's one of the most popular genres ever, just look at Minecraft as the best-selling video game of all time, but there are almost no big AAA survival games, period. Even Minecraft started as a small-scale indie game and still, in a lot of ways, looks and feels like that.

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Even popular survival games, like ARK, Rust, Valheim, The Forest, and more, are not especially big budget games from major developers, and they often have pretty big caveats, too, that stop them from ever becoming nearly as big and popular as something like Call of Duty or Fortnite. Rust is a hardcore PvP-heavy always-online game, while Valheim is being developed by a tiny team, so you'll have to wait years and years for it to be finished, not to mention its combat system is nothing special.

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It's a strange situation where, in many ways, survival games have been the most popular games (as a genre) for a number of years, but there's never really been (outside of Minecraft) a huge survival game, and there haven't ever been huge AAA survival games developed by major companies.

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This is why the announcement that Blizzard was working on a survival game was such a positive announcement for many, even if it was Blizzard because there just doesn't really exist a AAA survival game. All of this goes to show you that even if there are a lot of survival games out there, a survival game with tons of content and polish made by an established player with a big development team, like could be made by Jagex, would do extremely well.

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Survival Is A Perfect Genre For Jagex

There Aren't Too Many Survival Games
Credit: Jagex

In practical terms, the only kind of Jagex has experience making is an MMORPG. That's what they've been successful with. However, Runescape has never been known for its graphics or its combat. Both are dated and relatively simple, even if they can be considered beautiful in their own right.

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For one, Unreal Engine 5 will solve the graphical issues. with a modern, advanced engine, Jagex is fully capable of creating beautiful, modern-looking games, no question. But how can Jagex take advantage of its unique skillset as a developer outside of pure MMOs?

Well, they can make a survival game. The biggest problems with survival games come down to them not having enough content and not getting enough polish. Of course, these are largely budgetary concerns. Jagex is well-equipped to solve all these problems. They don't have money problems, and they've spent 20 years learning how to keep a game packed with content.

What's more is that survival games often have relatively simple combat systems. In general, they aren't trying to be Starcraft levels of mechanically complex. Look at a game like Minecraft with its relatively simple combat system that's still insanely successful. These kinds of games don't necessarily need Jagex to be at a GGG level of making combat feel satisfying and fun.

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Moreover, look at a popular game like Valheim. What's its most consistent issue? Since launch, it's been how much content the game has and the pace at which new content is added. A huge studio like Jagex, especially one familiar with releasing regular content, would be the perfect fit to make sure a survival game has loads of content.

Survival Games Can Play Like MMOs If You Want

There Aren't Too Many Survival Games
Credit: Jagex

Lastly, the divide between a survival game and an MMO is oftentimes less stark than you might think. Look at Minecraft and its many modded servers, for one. There are, right now, literal MMOs that exist within Minecraft. Then, look at something like Valheim with servers that can host a bunch of different people simultaneously.

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In many ways, a survival game can be structured like an MMO or just actually be an MMO in so many words. Jagex can go in this direction with the new game. It doesn't have to be an MMO to play like one or even be called an MMO. This is, of course, a great fit for a company like Jagex that's been working on the same MMO for over two decades at this point.

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