Brimmk’s Kommentary – Me, Mobile?

posted by on 30th March 2011, at 3:24pm

The age of the smart device has come, mobile computing is on a huge rise, and more and more market-share is being dedicated to the platform. Angry Birds is probably the most popular mobile game to date, and more and more people are playing games on their Droids* and iPhones* (sorry Windows Phone 7 and Blackberry* users). The whole concept of “There’s an App for that” was born in the last few years with the popularity of (especially) the iPhone. Unfortunately, in regards to Runescape there isn’t an app for it. The mobile market is growing at a break-neck pace, and even though JaGeX has released a few mobile games, their flagship is being left in the dust. Runescape probably could be translated to a degree into the mobile standard (of course, I’m no professional to say whether or not it’s possible). RuneScape and FunOrb, with as many users as they do, don’t have any type of official (JaGeX made), mobile platform for their content. Their FunOrb games and RuneScape would translate well to at least the iPad or other tablet devices with relative ease as with the case of Plants vs. Zombies. For Example, Armies of Gielinor and Arcanists would make great mobile games, as RuneScape itself probably would. I hope that they are at least thinking about it, as the mobile arena is constantly growing and gets harder every day to make an impact on.

The very fact that JaGeX does have mobile apps and games confirms the fact that they have the capability to do something on the platform. Although, if they don’t release the full client for the game, the very least they could do was provide an easy to access terminal from which one could check the knowledge base, the Grand Exchange, the latest news, post-bag from the hedge, players’ gallery, etc. Another thing to do, is regardless of app development, is that JaGeX make a mobile version of the site. I have recently purchased an iTouch and attempted to use the main site. Failure is the word that comes to mind upon navigating to the site, directly followed by ignorance and finally laziness. The site is almost unusable by mobile devices, to do anything you have to zoom in to be able to click. The point is: “There is no mobile version for any aspect of the Runescape site.”

Really? The site doesn’t have a mobile version of any of their features? Why? Does JaGeX not care about mobile users, or have they “not gotten around to it”? History has shown that those that don’t adapt eventually fail and go out of business, for example, Blockbuster. I personally, don’t want JaGeX to do too little too late for mobile users. They are missing out on a huge market, they could probably increase the number of hits per day and so boost their ad revenue. I don’t blame relatively small sites sites lie RSBANDB for not having a mobile version, but a site and company as big as Runescape and JaGeX should. The mobile platform is the future of most of our browsing, and as such, should be regarded with much greater importance, as should all technologies that grow as fast. This may have taken the form of a tiny little rant. I’d just like to say that it’s something that needs doing (in my mind at least) to get the site up to date. So it can be relevant to the way that consumer technology appears to be going. Cloud and mobile computing seem to be where the future is, and that needs to be recognized by the makers of our beloved game.

Thanks, Asa

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  • Duke Juker Says:
    11th April 2011, at 12:46am

    Good article. In response, I think Jagex isn’t in any immediate danger of being left behind. Their competition, to my knowledge, hasn’t done the same either and that keeps Jagex from worrying too much. I will say the idea of playing Runescape on a mobile phone doesn’t seem appealing. RPGs aren’t meant for small screens. The same can be said of many different game types such as FPS and RTS. It’s just not as fun or complete as playing on a larger screen and with better graphics. I think Jagex will be fine to put off a mobile phone app until their competition starts working on it. Until that point, Runescape will just be less accessible, which to me isn’t that big of a deal. To each his own. 😉

  • Philip Whitehouse Says:
    7th May 2011, at 6:48pm

    @Duke Juker
    Lots of them do. World of Warcraft has the Armoury (Item DB) and remote access to their equivalent of the GE for example. Zynga from Facebook has apps on mobile devices. The sad truth is that it is already happening.
    Also, there’s no reason FunOrb can’t be on all the Social Networks. Heck most of the games are far better. War of Legends would also work (Facebook’s credit system would mesh nicely with WoL’s).
    Actually there’s no reason not to put RS on their either.