Brexit, the United Kingdom’s official withdrawal from the European Union, undoubtedly had, has, and will have various sociopolitical, historical, and economic implications. The move by Britain has affected not only the region and the whole world but also one specific gaming world. This is because RuneScape, one of the longest-running MMOs from British game development company Jagex, will be raising its membership and bond prices after a long time due to Brexit-related reasons. Thankfully, it hasn’t affected the price of OSRS gold.
Rise and Fall
The increase in membership and bond prices, however, are not directly the result of Brexit, but of the various effects of Brexit on the local, European, and global economies. One of the possible factors of Jagex’s move to raise prices would be the 10% drop in the value of the British Pound, which in turn means the rise of domestic operational costs. Since the British Pound is now weaker compared to other major currencies, especially the Euro and US Dollars, Jagex will now be spending more in case they need to spend money on something that isn’t in pounds.
Those effects above of Brexit on the economy, which in turn has finally affected RuneScape, is because of various countries’ uncertainty on trading with the UK now that it’s going to be out of the EU and will have to either come up with a trading agreement with or accept one from the EU. If the country refuses to go with either option, it will default to World Trade Organization regulations, which means other countries can put tariffs on UK goods and services for a wide variety of reasons. The still-unseen decision of UK is what’s prompted the price of several UK products and services to rise, which, of course, includes Jagex. As of now, however, the EU has offered a free trade agreement with the UK. While the UK wants a sweeter deal, what the EU is proposing is not bad. Still, it remains to be seen if the UK will take it.
Another result of Brexit that may have affected Jagex would be the change in policy regarding EU workers, as there is a risk that their right to free movement of labor in the UK could be revoked. If that were to happen, EU workers would be forced to become a UK citizen, be subject to more stringent UK laws, or outright leave. It’s unsure how many EU workers are in Jagex and how much they’re affected by these developments, but if they do have a sizeable number of EU workers as employees, they’ll be affected by Brexit.
The New Price to Pay
Due to any of those above or even unmentioned reasons, RuneScape membership prices are now as follows:
• 1 month: from $9.49/£5.99/€8.49 to $10.99 / £6.99 / €9.49
• 3 months: from $25.99/£16.49/€23.49 to $29.99 / £18.99 / €25.99
• 6 months: from $47.99/£29.99/€42.49 to $54.99 / £34.99 / €47.99
• 12 months: from $89.99/£53.99/€78.88 to $99.99 / £62.99 / €88.99
As for RuneScape bonds, in-game assets that are bought using real currency and can be redeemed for membership time, are now as follows:
• 1 bond: from $5.99/£3.59/€5.09 to $6.99 / £3.99 / €5.69
• 3 bonds: from $17.99/£10.79/€15.29 to $20.99 / £11.99 / €17.09
• 5 bonds: from $29.99/£17.99/€25.49 to $34.99 / £19.99 / €28.49
• 10 bonds: from $59.99/£35.99/€50.99 to $69.99 / £39.99 / €56.99
Rather hefty hikes, but according to Jagex, they’re both a necessity and proof that RuneScape will continue to provide its unique and quality brand of MMORPG fun for more years to come. Plus, the new membership prices will only apply to those who will avail of membership for the first time after June 4, the date when these new prices will be implemented, and those whose memberships have lapsed 14 days after the updated prices have been posted.
The world of Gielinor is not immune from real-world events and their implications. But despite Brexit shaking up the price of admission to the full RuneScape experience, the almost-twenty-year-old MMO remains among of the more affordable ones out there.