“First!” proudly exclaims that guy in the comments, even if he’s the third to respond. So it also tends to go with press releases and other marketing materials, where companies lay claim to being the “best” or “#1,” which can be often be open to interpretation. Calling World of Warcraft the “#1 MMORPG of all time” generally won’t get too much pushback, even if a game like RuneScape can technically claim more players. Claiming “first” in gaming is a little more easily verifiable, though even that can be subjective at times — especially in today’s early access/alpha/beta/soft launch/full launch environment.
Speaking of RuneScape, a few days ago Jagex issued a press release for its mobile plans that included the claim that RuneScape would be “the first mainstream and established Western MMORPGs on mobile in full and the first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile platforms.”
As someone pointed out to us in an email, that’s not quite the case, as a few MMORPGs — not “MMO-type” games that offer cross-platform play, like Hearthstone, but full RPGs — already offer such benefits. We’ve identified three:
AdventureQuest 3D, which is technically in open beta, but for a free-to-play game, that’s essentially “launched.”
With regards to Jagex’s claim, you could debate the “mainstream and established” status of those three games, but that’s sort of the opposite case of claiming “We’re #1”; rather, it’s more like saying “They’re #1,000.” It’s still subjective.
Jagex might have gone a little overboard with its claim of “first” in the cross-platform mobile space. That said, even Villagers & Heroes boasts of “unparallelled scope and depth compared to any other mobile MMO on the market,” so it’s not as if everyone doesn’t exaggerate a little bit in their marketing. When we contacted Jagex to ask if they had any additional content on the matter, they responded:
“RuneScape is one of the most successful mainstream MMORPG titles, with over 16 years of established content. We’ve welcomed hundreds of millions of players during that time, and we’re seeing multi-year subscriber growth. We are thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive response from our player base, both past and current, to our announcement that we’re bringing RuneScape and Old School RuneScape to mobile and tablet devices – with PC interoperability – over the coming months.”
Hey, at least they backed down on the “first” claim. Try getting someone in the comments section to do the same.