Melvor Idle and RuneScape
It launched earlier this month as well as the Early Access version proved this formula was popular with RPG players, having been downloaded over 600,000 times across Steam and both major smartphone app stores. This far exceeded what Malcolm's expectations were when he first set out. Naturally, he was hoping that his strategy would succeed but it wasn't a 'finisher for his game in mind.
"Luckily the enjoyment that fueled these early days remains with me over the years of development. Being capable of working closely with Jagex personally on this is an absolute dream come true," he says. "I never imagined that I'd ever get support from the same studio that inspired me in the first place..
Making the transition from hobby to fan project was definitely terrifying, but looking at where I've ended up, and the assistance I've received from the beginning of Games by Malcs as an young and promising studio, it's surely worked out for the best."
Despite the close connection to Melvor Idle and RuneScape, and the direct involvement of Jagex, the publisher opted to keep the game an original IP instead of making it an official RuneScape spin-off. This was in part an acknowledgement of the fact that Malcolm had succeeded where Jagex was failing.
"We actually considered the idea of creating an idle RuneScape game a few years ago in the form of RuneScape: Idle Adventures," Pfeiffer explains. "In Alpha, we stopped development to focus our efforts to the core RuneScape games.
We've always believed in that RuneScape's game has potential in the space of idle and Melvor Idle has proven that RuneScape can be a great idle game. But Melvor Idle stands up on its own merits as well, in addition to our desire to stay faithful to the idea of Melvor Idle that Brendan did when he first started creating Melvor Idle."
Pfeiffer also mentions the popularity of Melvor Idle as evidence that potential talent can arise from the community of any game and this is something Jagex has discovered already. "We've always been able to find to be able to count on the RuneScape group to be a great opportunity for talent at Jagex not just terms of game developers but all the roles in a studio for games," the director says. "RuneScape has seen more than 300 million accounts created in more than 20 years. So the amount of talented people that have played the game is huge."
Following the success of the partnership together with Games By Malcs, Pfeiffer says he's looking forward to working more work with indie developers around the world if they're developing ideas that "align with the RuneScape design philosophy and Jagex's fundamental values", and he's hoping Melvor's success will motivate more indie developers to reach out to the studio.
With version 1.0 of Melvor Idle, it is now available. Games By Malcs and Jagex collaborate on the development of future features, and additional titles to be set within the Melvor universe. Malcolm continues to be grateful to Jagex for its continuous support, especially in the area of reaching new players.
"They are also excellent at making sure that Melvor will reach more people than could have been able to reach on my own, both players in the RuneScape community and over the horizon," he says. "With the full launch out in the near future, I'm excited to working with Jagex to make Melvor Idle an even bigger success, as well as on future projects."
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