Jagex Hires Real World Economists In RuneScape

And they have some economy suggestions.

RuneScape is an MMO with a heavy focus on player economy, so naturally it only makes sense that after 21 years Jagex has finally gone out and hired a few economists to look at how the economy runs. In the latest dev blog for Old School RuneScape, the folks at Jagex are talking about the game’s rampant inflation and how to combat it.

Being a very financially literate lot, you’ve been asking us to pay close attention to the game’s economic health – so we went and hired some actual real world economists to help us! We had a really good series of discussions with them, and today we’re going to talk about our findings.

First idea? A Grand Exchange tax.

The Grand Exchange is OSRS’s auction house and the vast majority of player-to-player trades take place here. It is currently untaxed, but to help remove wealth from the game and slow the rate of inflation, we’d like to explore taxing items that are sold on the Grand Exchange. You know what they say – in Old School nothing is certain… except PKing and taxes. We’re thinking of adding a tax amount of 2% that would be removed from the final sale value. This means there would be no change to what the buyer pays, as the tax cost is always passed on to the seller.

This idea fits into idea #2 which is to actually have the game purchase items from players using tax collected from the Grand Exchange, and simply deleting those items. A literal item sink.

With the introduction of a Grand Exchange tax, there is a huge opportunity to introduce effective and scalable item sinks. How will we achieve that? Well, we could use the tax collected from Grand Exchange sales to purchase items from other players with the simple intention of deleting said items once the purchase is complete.

The third idea offers buyable bank spaces increasing the total amount from 800 to 1160 for roughly 888 million gold total. And the fourth is for a literal gold sink, as in a sink made of gold that players can spend a huge amount on to put in their house as a show of wealth.

As always, Jagex is putting these ideas up to a vote where they will need to pass if they want to be added into the game. The grand exchange tax and item reduction, being an integral part of fixing the economy, won’t be polled but will be left open to feedback for potential changes.

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