OSRS’ Fresh Start Worlds A Cash-Grab for Jagex?

Is the fresh start worlds merely a ploy for Jagex to milk more money out of their community?

OSRS is a game that never grows too old for players to enjoy and keep the grind up. This is partly because of its fantastic beauty, complexity, and polled new content that keeps being brought into the game. The new content allows players to experiment with new skilling methods, minigames, or OSRS GP methods. Other new content comes in the form of temporary game modes such as Leagues which can make you earn some cosmetics or OSRS gold for your main, or temporary Deadman mode, where the winners will even get membership or cash prizes.

What is OSRS’ Fresh Start Worlds?

Fresh start worlds is a new game mode that was designed by Jagex earlier this year. This game mode features a brand new economy. This means that on launch, there is no OSRS item on the Grand Exchange, nor do players have the OSRS GP to buy anything. Every piece of OSRS gold and item dropped that enters the economy will be freshly obtained by someone.

This can be huge for players with a lot of time to spend on the grind and can get to certain account milestones first, from the first magic logs on the market to the first bow. OSRS account progression becomes a race rather than the usual marathon from the regular servers. However, because the game mode was designed for members only, it has received criticism for being too costly.

Why is OSRS’ Fresh Start Worlds Considered A Cash-Grab Opportunity for Jagex?

One argument is that you will need to pay cash for membership without the possibility to give yourself a bond like when creating an ironman account or have your membership extended to the game mode (in the case of Leagues or DMM). However, this is a natural consequence of the game mode being designed so that you can transfer your character into the normal game mode after six months.

Many consider this a cash-grab opportunity because the game mode appeals to old veterans who want to relive the game rather than new players who would take time to learn the game from scratch. Others argue that Jagex designed the fresh start worlds like this to replace microtransactions, which are a no go for OSRS players.

This comes after a recent increase in membership price earlier this year, which was controversial enough amongst players, but pushed under the carpet because the continuous subscriptions were allowed to go at the previously established price and only affected new members.

It has become apparent that Jagex wants to earn more money from OSRS and if increasing their rates wasn’t enough, increasing the number of members could be the solution. Another valid argument relates to how much dev work goes into a regular new temporary game mode—such as Leagues—compared to fresh worlds, which are pretty easy to implement and take less creativity to design rewards and new game rules.

Counter Argument

On a different note, the cash grab arguments can be countered by the fact that the fresh start world is designed as a race for very active players. This means that players would dedicate most of their playtime to the fresh start world rather than the regular game, so anyone will be less incentivized to hold two memberships at once.

Another counterargument to this is the membership plans in themselves, as the cheapest monthly plan per month is the yearly one, which means that many players might still have an active membership. On top of this, other dedicated players with active annual ongoing membership might not be willing to stop or cancel their subscription not to lose their old rate.

OSRS’ Fresh Start Worlds Appeals to Competitive Players

The fresh start world membership could be linked with the membership cost increase and permanently making the yearly membership the cheapest version. However, the cash-grab opportunity is not limited to Jagex. Fresh start worlds appeal to players who want to enter the race and be the first to certain account milestones, enabling them to earn a considerable amount of OSRS GP that will be transferable to the normal game mode after six months. While the influx of OSRS gold on the normal game servers will not likely destabilize the economy, it will undoubtedly make much space for RMT. This is on top of the potential for RMT, which some players will refer to within the new game mode because they will want an unfair advantage in the race for account milestones.