RuneScape ends ‘pay-to-win’ hero pass after player backlash

Finally, feedback matters.
An image of a bald character in Runescape
Image via Jagex

Only a month after its introduction, the “Hero Pass” is leaving RuneScape at the end of its  “Underworld” season in December following heavy backlash from players.

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In a note released on Oct. 6, developer Jagex acknowledged the results of a survey it conducted following the release of Hero Pass. Players voiced their concerns and discontent regarding some of its features.

Players were disgruntled over pay-to-win elements that were introduced. Namely, rewards that raised questions about future updates to the game.

It was heavily present in players’ daily gaming routines, making it hard to ignore, and would put those who choose to ignore it at a distinct disadvantage due to XP buffs. Most importantly, fans are convinced the pass doesn’t align with the spirit of RuneScape.

The developers reiterated their commitment to the community and building deeper connections with players. 

The note ends with an apology to the players, saying the new feature was a “misstep in the right direction towards including players’ opinion in the game.”

The Runescape community praised this decision, but skepticism remains. They fear these pay-to-win features will continue to be probed and tested as Jagex looks for ways to further monetize the game.

Either way, we are thankful to the Runescape developers who are taking on the feedback they receive from players. We hope more game development studios follow suit and put a stop to pay-to-win features that are alienating fanbases.

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Author
Elmaz Sabovic
Freelance Writer at Dot Esports. Covering AAA releases, indie games, and esports. Fell in love with video games at age 7, and never been the same since.