Technology

Zapak launches MMORPG RuneScape

MUMBAI: Reliance Entertainment’s online gaming portal Zapak has launched the fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Game (MMORPG) RuneScape. It has tied up with Jagex Games Studio which developed the game.


Zapak is the marketing and distribution partner of the game in India.


RuneScape is a graphical browser game implemented on Java and incorporating 3D rendering. The game has 104 million active accounts and is recognised by the Guinness World Records as the world’s most popular free MMORPG. Jagex which is based in the UK had launched this game back in 2001.


Zapak Digital Entertainment COO Rohit Sharma says that the company is looking at launching another four to five MMOG titles over the next 12-18 months. “We feel that Indian gamers will move from casual games to MMOGs. Online gaming is one of the fastest growing verticals in the gaming space. MMOG is the stickiest form of online gaming. Crazy Kart was the first MMOG that we launched last year. We have 150 gaming cafes across the country. This will rise to 500 over the next 12-18 months. We also sold 300,000 PC games in the last quarter. We are looking to double our revenue for the year. With 3G coming in, the uptake of online games will rise,” said Sharma.


Jagex Games Studio COO Rob Smith says that RuneScape has been developed to appeal to multiple demographics. While most of the company’s revenue comes from the US, Europe and Canada the company is looking at opportunities in the Asia Pacific. India is one of the key markets and he feels that this is the time right time for the company to come into the country.


"RuneScape currently has over five million unique players a month including over one million paying subscribers. The game is updated weekly with a new content, quest, skills or events which means there are always new challenge to face whenever players log on," added Smith.


RuneScape can be accessed at www.runescape.in. The game costs Rs. 150 a month for subscribers. In the US it costs over $5. There is a standard version of the game which offers hundreds of hours of game play. The premium version of the game offers quest, skills and houses and looks to advance social interaction. Sharma says that Zapak will look to organise fan events around the game as time goes on.


Music broadcaster MTV has also associated with the game through its show Roadies. The first seven levels of RuneScape have Roadies branding. RuneScape is the gaming partner of Roadies.


Viacom18 Media senior VP strategy and business development Anuj Poddar says, "Roadies and RuneScape share several values including adventure, youth, excitement, twists, danger and competition. MTV Roadies is a brand in itself and we see a great fit of our flagship show with Runescape as both target adventure and youth."


RuneScape takes place in the game world of Gielinor, a fantasy realm divided into several different kingdoms, regions, and cities. Players can travel throughout Gielinor on foot, by using magical teleportation spells and devices, or by using mechanical means of transportation. Each region offers different types of monsters, resources, and quests to challenge players. The game‘s fictional universe has also been explored through a tie-in video game and novel, Betrayal at Falador.


Players are represented in the game as customizable avatars. RuneScape does not follow a linear storyline; players set their own goals and objectives. Players can fight NPC monsters, complete quests, or increase their experience in any of the available skills. Players interact with each other through trading, chatting, or by participating in both combative and cooperative minigames and activities.

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