The massively popular fantasy Multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPGs), i.e. Jagex Mobile RuneScape came out exactly a year ago this month. Since then, the game has gone from strength to strength, receiving fairly positive reviews from critics and fans alike. At GamingonPhone, we caught up with the Runescape Mobile Team Leaders namely Emma Hall (lead developer) and Matt Casey (Product Director) for an interview about the game’s journey over the past year and its future goals ahead.
What surprised you the most about the player base on mobile versus PC?
Emma: Honestly, what surprised me the most was how similar they can be. Playing an MMO or any game on a mobile device versus a desktop has inherent challenges, the same way I can’t play FPS games on a console, but I’m passable on office computer.
Yet even with these challenges, you see our players completing some of the higher tier content we have. You will frequently see screenshots of people killing our high level bosses. I already knew our player base was up for a challenge, but they constantly surprise me.
Are there things that mobile gamers spend more time in the world of Gielinor than PC gamers?
Emma: They become more familiar with the AFK and casual style gameplay that we offer. Your fishing, woodcutting, archaeology, etc. RuneScape has always been the game you can have on your second screen because you can play it quite easily while doing other things. In this way, moving the game to mobile has really resonated with our players, as it definitely lends itself more to that style of play.
Do you plan to add more automatic or idle systems for mobile players, or what is your position on this?
Emma: That’s an interesting idea. RuneScape has light and idle mechanics. We call it AFK or away from keyboard mechanics. However, it is important that these mechanisms work equally well on a desktop computer. One of our big goals with RS on mobile was to make sure it had as much parity with desktop gaming as possible.
Can you reveal anything about the sequel to Runescape on mobile?
Mast: We still have many improvements to make to the mobile user experience, which will help with user-friendliness, text readability, and other general quality-of-life fixes. We are improving the technology allowing players to use the mobile version of the game to stay connected to RuneScape.
For example, a suite of notification options for in-game events like “Your farming trees have finished growing” or “Your items sold in the Grand Exchange” would be helpful to players and would add another dimension of convenience and convenience. the accessibility of having the game in your pocket. More generally, we are exploring ways to introduce RuneScape to new audiences through related genre products that showcase the world of Gielinor as part of the expanding RuneScape franchise.
What is your opinion of Runescape succeeding where many other mobile MMORPGs fail?
Emma: In general, I think RuneScape has a huge nostalgia factor for a lot of people, and the great thing about it is that you can come back to the game after 6 months, a year, 10 years, and find a whole world that feels familiar. The content does not disappear. If you fished lobster 1 year ago, you can still fish lobster now.
Even in the stories. We have huge, epic storylines that started being developed five years ago, but are finally coming to fruition now. You come back to RuneScape and you will always find something you understand and remember.
For mobile in particular, you have this ease of playing RuneScape without giving it your full attention. You can work, take care of your family, read, whatever, and still play the game at the same time. Looking back, it seems to me that RuneScape was designed to be played on a mobile device one day. It’s my home there.
Mast: The cross-play capability is definitely a key success factor for RuneScape mobile. We knew it would be super difficult. We’ve taken 20 years of content from a full-fledged desktop MMORPG and rolled it all into a mobile game. We did it that way because ultimately that’s what our players wanted; not a lite version or a spin-off, but the whole thing. This is a very different approach, driven by our obsession with our community and aided with great support from our platform partners to create a unique and amazing mobile game.
Did you find this Runescape Mobile interview interesting after its 1st anniversary? Let us know in the comments below!