Thursday, November 3, 2011

Now THAT is a banhammer!

Jagex reports that their new software to ban bots from the Runescape servers was so successful that player activity dropped by 60%. As 90% of these botters were playing for free that isn't much of a loss for Jagex, but in consequence they are merging server, bringing the total number down from 172 to 139.

I knew Runescape had bot problems for many years, but I wasn't aware of the size of the problem. If more than half of their server load came from bots, it is surprising that they didn't write that bot-removal software earlier. There is maybe in lesson in this story that games with a Free2Play business model are more susceptible to bots, because the botters can set up a lot of accounts for free.

On the other hand I've always said that the very best way to prevent botting problems is to make a game which isn't repetitive enough to be played by bots. Everybody wins!

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