In what is probably best described as an “unexpected” move, Jagex, the creators of popular browser MMO Runescape, have teamed up with the World Wildlife Fund to create content for both Runescape versions (main and classic) intending to raise awareness for the plight of big cats in the wild.
The main game will receive a quest given by an NPC named “Conservationist Rohit Sharma”, which will invite them to take part in a “Big Cats Quiz”, where players can compete to earn points and adopt the tiger cub and jaguar companions the questline brings. Players will also be able to donate to the Conservationist, granting players the ability to adopt lion and snow leopard cubs. All proceeds from these donations will go to the WWF in support of their global conservation efforts.
Classic Runescape’s version of the Conservationist takes the player to a new land inhabited by a multitude of big cats, where the player must work to both reinvigorate and protect said cats’ habitats against hordes of dwarves. Players will also be able to adopt virtual big cat toys, as well as donate “Old School RuneScape Bonds” that Jagex will convert into a real-world contribution.
Ed Partridge, digital corporate partnership manager for the WWF, had this to say on the partnership with Jagex:
“WWF is really excited to be working on this project with Jagex… It’s a great opportunity for us to reach out to an engaged audience of RuneScape gamers and raise awareness of the threats facing some of the worlds’ most endangered big cats in a fun and entertaining way. WWF would like to thank all RuneScape gamers; the response so far has been incredible!”
This is definitely a novel method for spreading the message of a charity like the WWF, and here’s hoping it continues to be a success.