RuneScape Mobile Interview With Producer John Colgrave

Runescape’s latest announcement left a lot to the imagination, so how well will it translate to mobile, and what can you expect? We go in depth with John Colgrave, the producer of Old School Runescape to find out!

RuneScape Mobile Interview


What kind of changes are you going to make to the interface on both Runescape and Old School Runescape to make the game more palatable on the mobile platform? 

Both RuneScape & Old School will feature optimized re-designs of the top-level interfaces on mobile. In terms of navigation systems, both games have always utilized traditional point-and-click rather than WASD to move around the game world, so the transition to touch interfaces – such as those found on mobile and tablet devices – work particularly well.


Given that the mobile version of virtually any MMO is a bit difficult to control, will mobile players have a disadvantage in PVP? 

I certainly wouldn’t say mobile players would be at a disadvantage in PvP, but the experience will of course be a new one to learn. Our players are excellent at mastering our game controls and mechanics in the most efficient way to suite their play style and we very much look forward to seeing how they adapt to the new controls and interface layout on mobile!


Gielinor is a big place, so is the smaller screen (like a phone) going to affect the player’s overall experience?

The world of RuneScape is indeed huge and we’ll be offering the same experience from desktop on mobile; the quests will remain as narratively immersive as they always have been on PC, the depth of the game world – not just in geographical scale – will remain deep. We’re really excited to bring such a rich and established MMORPG to mobile.

old school runescape Interview


I’m just going to say it — a lot of people I know, myself included, have had trouble loading the game even on robust machines. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, I’m just saying it’s a bit laggy at times. Are these problems going to transfer over to the mobile port? How well is it going to run?

I obviously can’t comment on the specifications of the particular PCs you refer to in your question, but accessibility has always been at the heart of RuneScape. It was, for most of its life, a browser-based game with system requirements with a very low barrier to entry. This enabled hundreds of millions of players to adventure across the games’ world of Gielinor, and that’s something we’ve continued via the NXT client since it launched last year. Ensuring a smooth gameplay experience is of course key for any game – on PC, console, or mobile – and it goes without saying that’s what we’re aiming to achieve with our mobile clients.


What devices will the game run on? Will it be supported older phones? Will we see it on both iOS and Android?

As with our PC clients, we’re working to ensure that both games will be supported on the widest possible number of handsets and tablets. And, as I mentioned above, we’ll confirm specific devices, in due course.


One of the biggest concerns we have when it comes to mobile MMO’s is data; how much is it going to suck up? Will it be ideal to play on a long road trip or is it something that we should leave for WiFi?

Game assets are pre-packaged and downloaded when you install the application to minimize continuous data transmission; however, we are looking at various options to reduce data consumption over mobile carrier networks.


How will updates between the platforms be handled? Will they be simultaneous, or will there be a waiting period between each one? 

We’re speaking to the platform carriers and so far, we’re entirely confident we can maintain our current game update frequency without disruption.

RuneScape 3


With the jump to mobile, I’m wondering, are we going to see any microtransactions, or will it mostly stay with the monthly payment system?

The mobile experiences will be no different to our current offerings, with membership & bond packages available for Old School RuneScape, and membership and the various in-game currency packages for RuneScape.


Finally, are you planning to adapt the current servers to work with mobile, or will there be an exclusive set? In other words will everyone be able to play together? 

Whether you’re a mobile or desktop player, the game worlds are the same and the experience will be entirely interoperable across all platforms with everyone playing together. It’s a key lynchpin of what we’re looking to achieve with these releases, and the reaction we’ve received in the media and from our player base has been overwhelmingly positive – we can’t wait to bring these games to mobile very soon!

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About Rissa Trent

Rissa grew up on a farm, playing shareware games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Operation Comat, Solar Winds, and Kingdom of Kroz. Later she would dabble in Real Time Strategy games, and eventually left home to go on a cross country adventure of self discovery where she found out absolutely nothing. Today she works as a copywriter and games journalist.