The upcoming mobile release of RuneScape in June prompted the Jagex team to a broader, cross-platform future for the game. While porting a menu-focused MMO to non-PC hardware does pose a few problems, it's a journey that is already underway. Finding as many ways as possible for onboard players is not a new design philosophy for Jagex, and it highlights the approach to future titles.
In a Game Rant interview with product manager Matt Casey and senior product director Liam Powney, they said the Mobile Development team has the potential to move to a wider cross-platform team. RuneScape focusing on more ambitious platforms is not surprising at all.
Ultimately, the title may have remained a desktop MMO, but movements like the upcoming mobile launch and continued Old School RuneScape support instead hint at a developer interested in respecting their game's history while keeping the title. keep him in the lead.
Player character remasters and future-proofing
On the way to creating an extended mobile port, the Jagex team finally reviewed and remastered many of the elements in the original game. Thus, development for a completely new platform improved the base game. It also prepared the game for further adaptation to consoles in the future. In addition to general accessibility issues such as text readability, the Jagex team realized that the plethora of textures and graphics in the iconic MMO could also use a new layer of digital paint.
Character models in particular needed to be remastered. According to Casey, making the game look good on mobile "provoked [Jagex] to look at some really basic things like how your avatar looks in the game." Due to "a lot of new players arriving" via mobile devices, the team "fixed some fine textures, resolutions and other things, meaning the overall game will be much, much better." These resolution tweaks also mean that the game should look better when played on a TV or monitor with an Xbox or PlayStation connected. It can even do it right on the Nintendo Switch, which would be a likely next step for an MMO.
It's been about five years since the project finally started rolling out RuneScape 3 on mobile devices. A lot of games had to change to get here, but thanks to this work on the mobile port, the release for other consoles may not be that far off. As the gaming-as-service model becomes more and more entrenched in consoles and constant innovations in console controllers, the obvious hurdles may be easier to overcome than expected.
The Future of RuneScape: Platform Agnosticism
Casey described the vision for the future of the game as "platform independent". He said he has recently had a particular interest in developing live games in the context of his MMO subscription.
This ongoing relationship between Jagex and his players is evident. From continued support for the 20-year-old version of RuneScape to over 1,000 updates throughout the game's lifetime, Jagex's dedication to gamers is key. In addition to relationships with players, there is also a desire to adapt to more modern market forces - meaning the RuneScape platform's agnosticism is not simply jumping off trends, but a coherent strategy for the game's future.
Powney agreed and discussed the preparation of the groundwork for future updates on various consoles. For him, RuneScape has always been about the "marathon", a long-term plan that naturally blends the game with emerging trends.
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