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Jagex to shutter 8 Realms, job losses expected

Game apparently only attracted 10% of audience necessary to turn profit

GamesIndustry International has learned from an anonymous source that Jagex will be closing down its browser-based, free-to-play strategy title 8 Realms after the game failed to prove itself to be economically viable.

The source reports that 8 Realms only reached a ten per cent share of the player figures it would need to turn a profit. As a result of the forthcoming closure, several jobs are expected to be lost.

Whilst Jagex is attempting to re-home as many employees from the 8 Realms team as possible, a consultation period has apparently been under way at the American-owned developer for three weeks as decisions are made over who will be let go. This was allegedly kept under wraps in order to prevent recruiters from approaching key staff with other job offers.

"Jagex has always been committed to creating fun and compelling games," said Jagex's Daniel Clough. "During the 8Realms beta it has become clear that the game doesn't meet our high expectations for success and we are therefore channelling our focus on other exciting opportunities in the pipeline."

8 Realms' beta launched on May 5, 2011: Jagex's first foray into cross-platform HTML development and funded by the phenomenal success of Runescape. Gameplay is based around maturing a civilisation from "Caveman to Spaceman", in competition with other players from around the world.

Monetisation for the game comes from in-game purchases of currency items, which can be bought with either cash or Jagex's bespoke J Coins.

After Runescape's runaway popularity and profitability, Jagex has struggled to find a second hit, despite a well stocked catalogue of titles and the FunOrb flash game portal.

Latest comments (8)

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
Sad.
But it is incredibly difficult to make the transition from being a single IP publisher.
With the talent they have they will no doubt achieve this.
Meanwhile it was a brave decision to cut their losses with 8Realms.
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 4 years ago
That's a shame, I did try it during beta and for a short while after launch but it just didn't keep my interest unfortunately.
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An alternative is to try lots of small micro games and see if any have good uptake as a indicator to develop it as a browser MMO of sorts
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Show all comments (8)
Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve4 years ago
Some of this could have came down to marketing, I keep up with a lot of gaming news but I've never heard of it until now. If someone who reads about games every day doesn't hear about this game, how is Joe Public supposed to hear about it?
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gi biz ;,pgc.eu 4 years ago
@Thomas: same here.
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Carl Silvers Researcher, Electronic Arts4 years ago
Sad news indeed, but I would be happy to have an informal discussion with any of the affected staff about roles both nationally and internationally.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 4 years ago
@Thomas Dolby

zero marketing =zero sales.
Jagex have invested a lot recently in their marketing department as they make the transition from being a one hit publisher.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster4 years ago
I'm getting worried about Jagex' ability to launch successful new IP. This is one thing but then you have the abrupt cancellation of Stellar Dawn.
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