Runes of Magic Interview: Gameforge Discusses Commitment To Mitigate P2W Elements

The publisher is also open to explore "new possibilities for the franchise."

Story Highlights

  • Runes of Magic is an old MMORPG that was released on March 19, 2009.
  • The game recently celebrated its 15th anniversary, and more content is scheduled to be released soon. 
  • We spoke with Patrick Mathieu, Product Manager of RoM at Gameforge, over an email interview.

If we talk about some classic MMORPGs, we cannot forget Runes of Magic. It was released in 2009 and recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Despite being old, the game continues receiving post-launch support, as seen from the recent announcement of the Timeless Dungeon update. Although the title’s popularity has diminished over time, the nostalgia compels many gamers to return often to check out the new content.

It is clear that Runewaker Entertainment — the game’s developer — is very passionate about the title, and with support from Gameforge — the publisher — it will continue to support it for as long as there are players on the servers. In order to learn more about the team’s creative process and to get some insight into the game’s pay-to-win elements, we interviewed Patrick Mathieu, Product Manager of Runes of Magic at Gameforge, over email.

Runes of Magic
Boss Fight From Runes of Magic – via Gameforge.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your work on Runes of Magic?

Patrick: Certainly! I’m Patrick Mathieu, and I serve as the Product Manager for Runes of Magic (or RoM, as some call it) here at Gameforge. My role involves overseeing the strategic planning and implementation of various business initiatives within the game, including event planning, game improvements, and content updates.

I’ve been a player of RoM myself, starting with its Chapter 2 release in 2009. My background includes working in community management and game design, which has led me to be deeply passionate about engaging with our player community and ensuring that Runes of Magic continues to provide new and exciting experiences for both longtime fans and new players alike.

Runes of Magic recently celebrated its 15th Anniversary. That's a long time, and I want to know whether the studio had always expected to support the title for as long as it has.

Patrick: Runes of Magic is a passionate project for the developers, and the longevity of the game is a testament to its enduring appeal and the ongoing dedication of both Runewaker’s (the developer) team in Taiwan and our team here at Gameforge. While it’s rare for any game to maintain such longevity in the ever-evolving landscape of online gaming, we’ve always believed in the potential of Runes of Magic to continue providing engaging experiences for our players.

Our commitment to ongoing updates, community engagement, and responsive development has allowed us to sustain the game over the years and celebrate milestones like our 15th Anniversary (and many more to come!) with pride.

Runes of Magic
In-Game Screenshot From Runes of Magic – via Gameforge.

How much longer do you plan to support the game with content updates?

Patrick: We’re committed to supporting Runes of Magic for the foreseeable future, with plans for ongoing content updates, events, and community engagement initiatives. Our goal is to continue delivering exciting new experiences and challenges for our players to enjoy, ensuring that Runes of Magic remains a vibrant and engaging MMORPG for years to come.

That’s why my team and I came to start releasing new playable content developed by ourselves in 2023 – next to Runewaker’s own updates to the game; they also provided the tools & means to Gameforge to add new content to the game for players to enjoy. To great acclaim, as player reception and uptake for the new content has been really positive, and we’re looking forward to further content, improvements, balancing, and more – like the new dungeon this April for the 15th anniversary.

In what ways do you think the MMO games have evolved in the past decade and a half, and how has Runes of Magic contributed to the genre's growth? Also, how much do you think the game itself has changed since its release?

Patrick: The MMO genre has undergone significant evolution over the past decade and a half, with advancements in technology, gameplay mechanics, and player expectations shaping the landscape. Runes of Magic has played a notable role in this evolution by offering a rich and immersive fantasy world, innovative features such as a dual-class system, and engaging content updates such as the upcoming Timeless Dungeon addition that keep players coming back for more. Since its release, Runes of Magic has evolved to adapt to changing player preferences, introducing new content, hosting in-game events, refining gameplay mechanics, and enhancing the overall player experience while staying true to its core identity.

Runes of Magic
Screenshot Captured From Runes of Magic – via Gameforge.

What is the team's process of gathering community feedback and implementing it? Could you tell us about some of the game-changing additions that came about thanks to the fans?

Patrick: Community feedback is paramount to our development process, and we actively solicit input from our player base through various channels, including forums, social media, and the Discord community.

Our dedicated multilingual community management team ensures that player feedback is collected from all our players, analyzed, and communicated to our internal team, which informs decision-making processes for future updates and content additions.

Many significant additions and improvements to Runes of Magic have been directly influenced by player feedback, starting with the new content we added, as well as many quality-of-life enhancements and balance adjustments that reflect the wants and needs of our community.

Speaking of additions, how does the team add new content that caters to the older players while also being suited for new ones?

Patrick: Balancing new content to appeal to both veteran players and newcomers is a top priority for us. We achieve this by offering a blend of challenging endgame content for experienced players, such as the upcoming Timeless Dungeons update, while also providing accessible entry points for new players to explore and enjoy the game, as well as seasonal and monthly in-game events with different dynamics and rewards our players can enjoy together or solo. Our goal is to maintain a diverse range of content that caters to players of all skill levels and play styles, ensuring that there’s always something exciting for everyone to experience in Runes of Magic.

Runes of Magic
Screenshot From Runes of Magic – via Gameforge.

Runes of Magic has a certain reputation as being very P2W (Pay to Win), an aspect of the game that has mostly stayed the same over the years. Have there ever been considerations to make the game more F2P (free-to-play) friendly?

Patrick: We understand the importance of fostering a fair and balanced gaming environment, and we continuously evaluate our monetization strategies to ensure that they align with player expectations and values. While Runes of Magic offers optional in-game purchases to enhance the gameplay experience, we’re committed to maintaining a level playing field for all players and mitigating any pay-to-win elements that may disrupt the integrity of the game. Our ongoing focus is on providing value-driven monetization options that enhance player enjoyment without compromising game balance or fairness.

Considering the game was, at one point, extremely popular in the MMO community, has the studio ever thought of making a spin-off or sequel to expand the IP and take full advantage of the nostalgia while utilizing the latest hardware?

Patrick: Of course, we can’t speak on behalf of the development team in Taiwan, but for us as Gameforge, the priority remains on delivering high-quality content and enjoyable experiences within the existing Runes of Magic universe. Given our good partnership with Runewaker, we’re open to exploring new possibilities for the franchise in the future to evolve and leverage its rich lore and remarkable world-building potential.

Runes of Magic
Gameplay Screenshot From Runes of Magic – via Gameforge.

What are the benefits of having a long-running MMO with decades of support compared to several titles building upon each other with fewer years of support?

Patrick: The longevity of a game like Runes of Magic brings numerous benefits, including a dedicated and passionate player community, a deep understanding of the game’s strengths and weaknesses, and a wealth of historical content and lore to draw upon for future updates. Additionally, a long-running MMO provides opportunities for ongoing engagement and retention, as players invest time and effort into progressing their characters and exploring new content over an extended period. These factors contribute to a sense of continuity and immersion that enriches the player experience and fosters a strong sense of community among players.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers? Something we haven't touched upon yet.

Patrick: I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the incredible Runes of Magic community for their unwavering support and passion over the past 15 years. It’s been an incredible journey, and we’re thrilled to celebrate this milestone with all of you. We have many exciting plans in store for the future of Runes of Magic, including the upcoming Timeless Dungeon update and all related changes around the new “Shadows over the Altar” Dungeon! We look forward to sharing these adventures with you and continuing to explore the world of Taborea together. Thank you for being a part of the Runes of Magic family!

Beyond this, Runes of Magic continues to improve based on player feedback, with topics including Peak EXP and Leveling, Public World Bosses, and Class Balancing addressed in the latest PM Letter here.

YouTube video

Runes of Magic is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Runewaker Entertainment and published by Gameforge. The game was released on PC on March 19, 2009. We appreciate Patrick Mathieu for answering our questions, and Jasmine James for assisting with the interview.

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Mudassir is a seasoned journalist with a passion for uncovering the stories behind our favorite virtual worlds. Armed with a trusty notepad and a keen curiosity, he dives headfirst into the gaming industry's most exciting personalities. His knack for insightful questions and his ability to connect with developers and gamers alike makes his interviews a must-read. While on the lookout for the next person to interview, Mudassir keeps himself busy by writing news surrounding the gaming universe. Experience: 4+ Years || Senior Journalist || Education: Bachelor's in Psychology.

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