After inviting players to vote on RuneScape
's direction and receiving over 1.2 million ballots, developer and publisher Jagex will reinstate Wilderness and Free Trade features in the MMORPG.
The company removed these features -- which allowed for unrestricted trade of virtual goods/money and player-versus-player combat -- in 2007 to "combat botting, gold farming, and item scamming."
Since then, Jagex claims it has since evolved its systems to quickly detect cheating, and invited players last month to decide whether the features should return. The company received over 1.2 million votes in under three weeks, with 91 percent of players supporting the features' restoration.
The developer will add unrestricted trade and the Wilderness area to the free-to-play online game (RuneScape
also features a paid monthly subscription option with access to more features and content, and no advertising) starting February 1.
"I firmly believe that the Wilderness represents the ultimate risk versus reward experience in any MMO and the incredible support for the campaign demonstrates that our players agree," says Jagex CEO Mark Gehard.
Gerhard adds, "It has been fantastic to watch the community mobilize in support of the update and we can now introduce these features certain in the knowledge that they are what our community want.”