For years Jagex has been trying to keep their players safe. Safe not just in the virtual world, but with their real life personal information too. They've added security measures like the Account Guardian, bank pinns and required email addresses to maintain an account. They even built two strongholds into the game whose specific purpose is to warn players how to be safe in game and online! They had an excellent track record of caring and being proactive about player's accounts and safety online. However with Jagex's new partnership with SuperSonic Ads you can forget about all of that. Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing the downfall of Jagex's credibility and good business standards. If you thought Yelps and the micro-transactions were bad, prepare to be appalled.
On March 28th, Jagex partnered with Supersonic Ads as a way to "earn" Runecoins to use in Solomon's General Store. You probably know of Supersonic Ads and companies like them through other free games, like those on Facebook or mobile games in which you get in game items/currency for filling out surveys, sitting through ads, or downloading programs. To explain it simply, you are basically selling your information to fuel your game addiction so you can plant one more row of corn in Farmville or have a few more spins on that slot machine game. At its core, it is profiting off of people's desperation to get better in a game quicker in order to make money. Now I expect this out of Zanga, but my beloved Jagex? How could they? I feel so used! I feel so... dirty.
Make no mistake, the only thing that's Supersonic about this service is how fast they screw you by selling your information to advertisers. That's the whole point. Nothing is free and Supersonic has built a business on cashing in on anyone stupid enough to supply information so they can sell it to whoever willing to pay. Other companies also pay them to push their product, so there's actually two ways that they make money. All they need is a game or website with a userbase that's ripe for the picking. They then pay that company to get their users to view ads and supply their information so they can spam their email or junk mail. And they do it in the scuzzies way - by using click bait and misleading or even fake offers to get people to go along. Sorry to break it to you, but that lifetime supply of Dr. Pepper more than likely doesn't exist. Sorry, but thanks for your email!
So that's pretty bad, but by far isn't the worst part. When Runescape rolled this program out there were downloadable programs and searchbars that knowingly contained malware and adware aplenty, along with a good chance of viruses. A few days after receiving hundreds of complaints, Jagex contacted Supersonic to remove those offers that required downloading anything. Though this corrected that fault, Jagex is far from being seen as squeaky clean on this. They are still getting paid by these dishonest people that pray on their own players. It is the textbook definition of selling out and whoring out your player base.
When you click the Earn button on Solomon's store, the fine print below all the offers reads as follows:
Can't guarantee that the offers will be virus free?! If you can't guarantee that, why would you partner with a company like this? What kind of Public Relations suicide are you committing just by having to put this disclaimer up? After receiving so many complaints, many Jmods have had to come back and defend the decisions made by the higher ups in the company. The standard response seems to be along the lines of "Please do remember that participating in SuperSonicAds is down to an individual player's choice." Right - it's the individual's choice to download viruses on their computers. They are obviously doing that willingly. These individuals, who are most likely under the age of legal consent and can't afford other means of buying Runecoins are opting to subject their personal information to be used in whatever way the third party sees fit. Jagex's defence of this is weak and naive. They know perfectly well that they are having 15 year olds fill out surveys for business credit cards and mail order diabetes medication.
Lastly is the matter of this breaking Jagex's own rules of Real World Trading. In previous cases Jagex said that things like Bonds and Treasure Hunter/Squeal of Fortune did not break that rule because all entities involved were owned and controlled by Jagex. You can't real world trade with Jagex as they own everything in the game and can control the commodities in whatever way they see fit. With Supersonic this is not the case. If you have an issue receiving Runecoins (and if you do this, you most likely will) you talk to Supersonic about it - not Jagex. Supersonic decides whether or not you get your Runecoins. If they so wished, they can grant (or not grant) Runecoins to anyone. This makes Jagex no longer in control of this commodity. Supersonic, who in some cases requires purchases to give Runecoins, are indeed selling that currency whether it's with real money or via information. This is Real World Trading based on the definitions Jagex themselves supply.
So shame on you, Jagex. Not for being sellouts, but for denying that is what you are. After being such protectors of your players for so long you are now profiting off of their ignorance. Worst still, you know those who are at the most risk, kids with no money, are the ones most likely to be participating. With multiple public addresses from Mod MMG on other topics, I implore MMG to address this. Not because I want to read him try to spin this, but because I want him to acknowledge that they know how dangerous this is, yet they are continuing to do business from this deplorable company. I want confirmation that they are indeed aware of the risks but still continuing to take Supersonic's money. There's no way to save face Jagex. You are tainted and you should be ashamed, and there's no way to defend that.
This was originally posted as an Informer Runescape