According to a GamesIndustry International report RuneScape maker Jagex Software will shut down its latest free-to-play MMO 8 Realms and lay off employees it can't relocate to other teams within the company. Apparently the company will shut down the game because it only garnered 10 percent of the amount of players needed to make the game profitable.
The public got its first taste of the cross-platform HTML game in May of 2011 when the game went into public beta. The way in which Jagex hoped to make money was via in-game purchases, but with a less-than-expected user base the company must have deemed profitability unattainable. The game never officially launched beyond the beta.
"Jagex has always been committed to creating fun and compelling games," said Jagex's Daniel Clough. "During the 8Realms beta it has become clear that the game doesn't meet our high expectations for success and we are therefore channelling our focus on other exciting opportunities in the pipeline."
Whilst Jagex is attempting to relocate as many employees from the 8 Realms team as it can, all the employees of Jagex's American studio are being evaluated, according to GamesIndustry International. The process was allegedly being kept secret to keep recruiters from stealing staff away with job offers.
We will have more on this story as it develops.
Source: GamesIndustry International