Seventeen years worth of content will fit in the palm of your hand with RuneScape Mobile, so you can play on the subway while commuting to work, during one of those endless, boring meetings or even at the dentist office. There are no limits to RuneScape Mobile, so read on to find out about the pros, the cons and the behind the scenes story.
Why Go Mobile?
Is it that RuneScape, the game that won the Guinness World Records for being the world's most updated and largest free MMPORPG with over 200 million accounts was in need of more players? We don't think so, but then why make such a mammoth investment to create RuneScape Mobile? The simple and honest answer is that it is following the same path everything we know and love is: fitting in the screen of a smartphone. The world as we know it is changing and the almighty desktop and laptop computers we grew up drooling about are quickly losing terrain to the increasingly powerful cellphones and tablets, teenagers drool about today. RuneScape Mobile is Jagex answer to this turn of events in the world, and they surely took their time to do it. According to the company, they had been waiting for the ideal time to do it, but had the idea in mind for a long time. So, RuneScape Mobile is the answer to catching up with the future generations of players.
What will be available in the Mobile version?
Jagex has stated that there will be two versions of the game: RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape (no, they will not bring Darkscape back to life, man!). Jagex CEO Phil Mansell confirmed earlier this year that their will be interoperability between the desktop version and the mobile version. This means that you can stop playing, eat breakfast, clean your teeth and pickup exactly where you left but on the back of the bus while commuting to work. Mansell explains that this quality was something they were looking forward to achieving with RuneScape Mobile in order to please those old-school hardcore gamers who grew up playing Runescape in their teen years. He says their lives have changed, which often mean less time to lock down and play nonstop. RuneScape Mobile will allow them to continue their teenage dream in their spare time, so take a chance and don't ever look back, don't ever look back!
Mobile and Desktop will use the same worlds
Besides interoperability, there will be no specific worlds for the mobile version, which mean that mobile and desktop gamers will be able to interact with each other, so you better train those thumbs to avoid XP wasting while playing on mobile. Another great thing about RuneScape Mobile is that it will be absolutely free to all users. Don't worry about your wallet or credit card, they are safe and sound in your pocket. Runescape mobile will be free to download in the Google Play Store and App Store. Jagex stuck with their traditional business model of keeping the game free to play. According to Mansell, RuneScape has 260 million active users today and last decade has seen a big increase in that number, which could mean that the game is more alive than ever.
Beta Testing anyone?
The company has granted access to some early versions of each game, RuneScape Mobile and Old School RuneScape Mobile to a few thousand players who are veteran to the game. Jagex Product Management VP Neil McClarty has found through market research that many old hardcore players are interested in getting back into touch with the community, but don't have the time to do so anymore. Many of them were enthusiastic about the RuneScape Mobile Beta testing and could be seen playing the game while sitting at the bar or posting about it on social media.
From a Hobby to a Lifestyle
Mansell stated that they have already seen people who played RuneScape Mobile preparing meetups on their own without any involvement from Jagex or anyone affiliated with the company. He claims that once players start interacting with the game in their day to day life it goes from a hobby to a lifestyle. Although the idea behind beta testing RuneScape Mobile was getting free feedback from veteran users to fix bugs, misses and fails of the user interface, it turned out to be quite an event and those who received the email to participate and download the beta versions were seen as the chosen ones by all the other not-so-lucky players who will have to wait to check out RuneScape Mobile. According to McClarty, these are “small closed betas” and the company is planning to do some more live testing before releasing the full version of RuneScape Mobile and Old School RuneScape to the market in a definite way.
Behind the scenes of Runescape Mobile
According to sources close to the company, major development for RuneScape Mobile didn't start until late March – early April of 2017 and it was only done in-house. One month later, in May of last year, personnel from Jagex met with a moderate number of streamers, creators and alike in Cambridge, England at the main company headquarters. During that meeting this elite team of people were able to test drive RuneScape Mobile and check the work Jagex engineers had done so far. The response from them was positive and the development of the platform reached a new moment at the RuneFest in September 2017 where attendees were allowed to test RuneScape Mobile during the whole event. After the major data collection in September, there was another major testing for RuneScape Mobile in the form of a closed technical test that lasted six days, froom October 24th to October 30th and for which lucky testers were sent invites from the Message Centre and email. The next step was to let some work-in-progress images of RuneScape Mobile be seen through a company´s Twitter account on November 7th with a huge response from players and fans. A testing of RuneScape Mobile for iOS was carried out last May 3rd to some select people who declared interest (and own an iPhone), but results have not yet transcended. The definite release of RuneScape Mobileis supposed to be later on 2018 but there´s no date yet from Jagex. As for Old School RuneScape, some technical difficulties from the company itself delayed the first beta testing from December 2017 to February 2nd to 8th of this year involving 2,000 carefully selected players. A second test for iOS players was done from April 10th to 19th involving 5,431 lucky participants. Release date for Old School RuneScape is yet to be confirmed too, but it will be after RuneScape Mobile has hit the Apps Store.
Playability and User Interface
Judging by Social Media information and pictures, RuneScape Mobile User Interface is quite friendly with all controls spread on the screen left to right and the touch screen resembling the left clicks of the mouse. Other hand movements allow for the screen to be moved, changing player´s perspective within RuneScape Mobile. According to Mods Shauny & Asherz, whose review of the game came on the RuneScape official YouTube Channel on March 21st, for highly experienced players like them took a while to rebuild their chops on RuneScape Mobile because those thumbs are not as well-trained as the mouse hand is. During the testing in live streaming, a glitch appeared and the player (who was on an iPhone 6s) ended up dying while he couldn´t see the enemies and textures disappeared almost completely on the RuneScape Mobile world he was in. This could mean that the beta version of RuneScape Mobile is still facing some major issues like this kind of anomaly and it's not ready to be launched to the world yet. This is not a minor issue, since players can buy Runescape Gold with real money. Just imagine what would happen if hundreds of thousands of RuneScape Mobile players around the world start complaining and filing claims to get the gold they lost because of a game's bug. Jagex would be in big trouble; therefore, they made the wise decision to wait until RuneScape Mobile is strong enough to let it out to a massive audience.
How much Battery and Data will Runescape Mobile use?
Another concern many players have is how much battery and data RuneScape Mobile will consume. As for mobile data consumption rates, the initial answer from Jagex was that RuneScape Mobile would use an astonishing 103MB an hour, which is frankly a lot and would restrict most players to use WiFi only. This defeats the main purpose of RuneScape Mobile, which is to give players the freedom to play anywhere. Latest communication from the company calmed fans around the world by clarifying that RuneScape Mobile used around 500k to 2MB of data per hour. During a stream, a Jagex moderator advised players to use the app on WiFi the first few times so they can download every contextual menu and then run the footprint of RuneScape Mobile on their mobile data for smooth playing hours. These numbers are more pocket-friendly than the initial ones the company revealed and will undoubtedly make RuneScape Mobile an instant hit. As for battery life, which is another major topic, there has been no official communication from the company itself, but Jagex representative have stated that “it's not that bad.” Battery usage is a lot harder to measure because it depends largely on the type of phone that you use. For example, an old iPhone 4 will obviously run out of battery quite quickly will you venture through Glienor. On the other hand, a more expensive device like the Google Pixel 2 or iPhone X will last a lot longer.
Audio and Interaction with other Apps
RuneScape Mobile will have audio as the PC game does, but the player can still listen to his favorite tunes from Spotify or the memory of their phone if network, cellphone memory and bandwidth allow them to. RuneScape Mobile´s own music will stream, it won´t be stored in your phone to save space. If another app is brought to the front like a phone call, for example, the character goes idle and stays still on the spot, but RuneScape Mobile can be integrated with other applications like taking a screenshot of how good you are to impress your buddies and post it to Instagram, Twitter or Facebook right away.
RuneScape has become more than a game for a lot of people and it currently has 260 million active users in every corner of the world. With mobile gaming accounting for more than 50% of the global gaming market, it was only a matter of time before Runescape was forced to adapt. Jagex plans to leverage Mobile to market to the next-generation of gamers that grew up playing Candy Crush and Angry Birds. Hopefully their success will open the door for other developers to follow in their footsteps with games like World of Warcraft. According to the company's CEO Phil Mansell, RuneScape Mobile is only one of the three major projects he is currently working on for the mobile platform. Growing up in the projects, he learned to never count on just one source of income. If your only income stream ends, "there are no helping hands, just gang signs."