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Jagex Confirms 'Expensive' MechScape Cancellation

Jagex has canceled its in-the-works web-based MMO Runescape follow-up, Mechscape, because it wasn't meeting standards -- and the move cost the company "tens of millions of pounds."
UK developer Jagex has canceled its in-the-works web-based MMO Runescape follow-up, Mechscape, because it wasn't meeting standards -- and the move cost the company "tens of millions of pounds." CEO Mark Gerhard told GamesIndustry.biz that the company aimed to incorporate four years' worth of Runescape design lessons in its new MMO, but "it got near completion and we discovered, oops, it didn't do all of those things that we wanted it to," Gerhard said. "So we went back to the original design document and said 'let's do it again'." "It's a luxury that we are doing well and we can afford to make the decision," adds Gerhard, who took over as CEO in January of this year, following the resignation of Geoff Iddison. "I didn't make the decision lightly, because it's effectively cost us tens of millions of pounds," he added. "Maybe more." "It's crucial to me we don't just ship a title because we've built it," the CEO adds. "The previous game wasn't a game that we want to play... it wasn't a game ready for launch." "It was expensive. I hope never again to have to make the same decision twice. But it was the right decision." Gerhard told GamesIndustry.biz that the scrapped project's engine and much of its design will be used in Jagex's next project currently in development. He noted in particular that the team was glad to get rid of a project that wasn't working, and is feeling energized about the new plans.

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