RuneScape launched six years before the iPhone and seven years before the first Android device — but who says you can’t teach an old (or Old School) dog some new tricks?
Today, Jagex announced that its flagship MMORPG, RuneScape would be coming to mobile devices this winter, with its counterpart, Old School RuneScape, to follow. Promising “full interoperable play,” mobile RuneScape will be fully compatible with the desktop version, allowing players to switch from phone to PC to tablet as they wish.
Jagex Chief Operating Officer Phil Mansell had this to say:
“This is a real step change for MMORPGs and a signal of Jagex’s intent to continue to push the boundaries of live games. The RuneScape titles will become the first mainstream and established Western MMORPGs on mobile in full and the first to deliver interoperable play between PC and mobile platforms. We believe in taking our games to wherever our players want them; recent player surveys showed an overwhelming 90% of active players and 64% of former players telling us of their very high intent-to-play on mobile.”
RuneScape isn’t the most graphically intensive game, so its visuals should be easy enough to replicate on mobile devices. Given the numbers Mansell quotes, most fans have smartphones or tablets, so this move is sure to boost active player numbers, while maybe adding a few new ones or reacquiring lapsed players.
There still aren’t a whole lot of full-featured MMOs available on mobile devices, or even announced as coming to them — unless you count that hot announcement from earlier this month, of course — so Jagex is getting into a space where there’s still plenty of room to grow. All in all, it seems like a smart move.