RuneFest, arguably the most important event of the year for Jagex. Never before seen concept art, updates, and news about what is up and coming for the next year of updates. Obviously, Jagex wants a lot of people to come and see what is happening and participate in the event. Now the question is, with so many non-UK based players wanting to be there and not wanting to shell out the major bucks to fly all the way to London and stay in a hotel for a couple of days, not to mention the event ticket, how can they include everyone else?
Well, what seems like the couple of most viable options are either setting up a live stream, or recording events and posting them on YouTube later. Honestly, I personally wouldn’t be all that happy with the latter because I’d like to feel like I’m seeing what happens as it happens and I don’t want the severely edited version of events.
Now, if you aren’t familiar with live streaming video, I suggest that you check out the pandacam (if you’re into e-sports at all, there’s also Major League Gaming’s big tournament starting on the 14th of October). Using the example of MLG (Major League Gaming), when they have events, they have both a free lower quality and ad sustained stream, and a paid high-quality stream.
You may be wondering “Does Jagex have the capability to do so? Do they have the cash to pay for the bandwidth required and the equipment to record and stream the video?” The answer is yes, they do. They have already demonstrated that they can record and edit hi-quality video (such as the Dungeoneering behind the scenes video) and the bandwidth they already pay for for their server farms that host the website and all of the worlds. They could even contract with MLG to at least host and do the commentary on the clan tournament finals that are going to be happening. There is really no valid reason why they can’t do it.
What would be the optimal for this event would be multiple streams. One for workshops, one for the floor and the activities that would be free. Then another set that would be all paid and would include bits of the insider sessions and some of the question sessions and would all be high quality and high resolution streams.
Another good question is, if they don’t, why? Why would Jagex not put out a stream? Is there something that they want to hide? Do they want it to be completely exclusive just to attendees of the festival and not benefit from the added publicity of at least a couple thousand more eyes on the event? Not to mention even more revenue from plenty of people (including myself) that would pay for a premium service so we could watch what was happening at a better quality.
Just a question to ponder. Why is it that when the majority of RuneScape players don’t live in the UK, the major event of the year is held in London? I have talked about RuneFest and it’s need for and international presence, but there’s no word on it at all. I understand that they want to keep things close to home, but that justification is only good for the first few. When they say that this year they wanted to step the program up a notch, I assume that means focusing on having more people attend. If you want more and more people to attend, that means that you need a bigger venue with more people available to come out, i.e. that live relatively near to where the event is being held. You must also remember that even though, yes, there are the french and german servers and there are a bunch of french and german speaking countries near by, the event is being held primarily in english. Where is the highest concentration of english-speakers located in the world today? That’s right, North America.
It’s strange, it’s almost like Jagex is convention phobic. They don’t really have a presence at any type of games or comic convention (no E3, Gamescom, Tokyo Games Show, Comic Con, Emerald City Comic Con, etc.). Even Blizzard, that has Blizzcon, does have other events that it participates in (like when they showed off even more gameplay from Starcraft 2). Other MMO developers seem to be fine with the concept of conventions, such as Bioware that is developing Star Wars: The Old Republic.
On a similar topic, one of the other reasons that I would very much like to be able to watch what happens at RuneFest is that, much like the initial announcements of Starcraft 2, Diablo 2 and Cataclysm, I imagine that Jagex will announce the release date and/or show at least some kind of preview, extended trailer or videos of the actual game and it’s mechanics. Personally, I hope that Stellar Dawn will be the new project that fixes what is currently wrong in RuneScape that our dear ex p-mod friend Jiblix was so kind to point out in his last couple of RuneScape videos (I for one was not planning on voting again for Jagex in the Golden Joystiq awards before I even saw his videos).
RuneFest needs a live stream. RuneScape is an online game and most of it’s players live far away from where their headquarters are so please Jagex, make it accessible to us that don’t live in the UK.