Jagex: We're putting an end to 'hobby' projects

Jagex: We're putting an end to 'hobby' projects
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

July 25th 2012 at 11:08AM

Studio boss Mark Gerhard speaks candidly about the Cambridge outfit's failed games

Many of Jagex’s previous development initiatives outside of RuneScape were treated as hobbies by the studio’s founders, claims the developer’s CEO.

In a frank interview with Develop, Mark Gerhard said users met games such as 8Realms with the appropriate response after development was not taken seriously enough.

Jagex announced in May that it was closing ithe MMO, which reportedly had only managed to attract ten per cent of the user figures needed to turn a profit.

As a result of the game's closure, a number of staff lost their jobs whlist others were move to other positions within the company.

With other projects such as MechScape cancelled and development on Stellar Dawn suspended, he said that Jagex was now focusing solely on the projects that matter.

“Candidly, our previous development initiatives were very much hobby projects from the founders, and I think they were met with an appropriate response by the community and prospective customers,” said Gerhard.

“I think the historic focus was only RuneScape really, and everything else was a little bit of a blue sky distraction. ‘Hey this will be fun, lets dabble in this, let’s go do that’. I think it’s like anything in life, unless you take it very seriously and you make the right decisions, the necessary efforts, or appropriate investment, you can’t expect success.

“I think to other projects, like 8Realms and things like that, I think that was one of the last hobby projects that we carried through, and obviously that was evident. Now it’s just working on the projects that matter.”

Jagex is now working on games such as Transformers Universe, which it hopes to release in beta by the end of the year.