RuneScape developer teams up with Improbable on a brand-new project

RuneScape was, arguably, the most successful MMO ever made. Not only was it the first MMO to really hit public consciousness, but it was there well before bigger names such as World of Warcraft or EVE: Online hit the scene – and it’s still going strong today. But what does that mean for Jagex, the Cambridge-based company behind RuneScape’s success? According to news announced today, the next step is to partner up with Improbable and bring its powerful SpatialOS tech to Jagex’s new world.

Improbable, another UK-based tech company now valued at $1bn thanks to a $500m investment from SoftBank, is currently leading the way in helping companies build incredibly huge, persistent, massively multiplayer open worlds. It’s safe to say that Improbable’s ambition and Jagex’s prowess at MMO development make for a tantalising mix.

Jagex is keeping quiet on what project SpatialOS will be rolled out on, but as the press release simply states “future game production”, it could well be worked into a RuneScape update instead of a totally new IP.

“As a studio, we have online gaming at heart and we’ve always looked for technology that can help to deliver the best possible experience for our players,” said Phil Mansell, COO and acting CEO of Jagex, in a statement. “We’re looking forward to working with Improbable and discovering the advancements the SpatialOS platform can bring to multiplayer gaming.”

With Jagex’s heritage, and the crazy potential of SpatialOS – which can be seen in Bossa’s Worlds Adrift, Hello VR’s MetaWorld and Spilt Milk Studio’s Lazarus – the end result will be seriously interesting. With a persistent online world, and Jagex’s knowledge of tight environment building and compelling systems, we could see another success as big as RuneScape come from the UK studio once again.

“Jagex has already made RuneScape an iconic brand in online gaming, and it’s great to be partnering with them to bring new levels of depth and scale to Jagex’s future creations by providing SpatialOS as a platform,” explained Herman Narula, Improbable co-founder and CEO. “We’re excited to see what such an experienced team with this established and well-loved IP will be able to do with our platform.”

Whatever it is that comes next from Jagex, be it a totally new IP or just some more RuneScape, now is a great time to be interested in MMO worlds.

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