Jagex, the developers of the infamous web-browser MMORPG RuneScape, has decided that it’s time to put Java away and welcome in HTML5. The game developer knew that in order for the next sequel of RuneScape, RuneScape 3, to be successful, it needed to transition into a new engine. It considered Adobe Flash, but Flash didn’t enough power to run the game, and it thought of Microsoft Silverlight, but Silverlight is limited only to Internet Explorer.
The only other option for Jagex to choose was HTML5. While HTML5 is still deemed “unready” by many developers, Jagex viewed it as the only viable option to launch their next biggest game. According to Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard, “there were no easy answers”, and HTML5 began to look more and more appealing. Gerhard knows that HTML5 isn’t ready yet, and that early adopters of RuneScape 3 may suffer, but as the game’s developers worked more and more with HTML5, they began to grow fond of it.
Jagex got in touch with both Google and Mozilla to work on HTML5, and both companies were helpful in working with the developer to optimize RuneScape for HTML5. Google provided a couple of HTML5 releases to guide Jagex along the way, and Mozilla worked with Jagex to “company proof Firefox” and make it more capable of handling the game. However, development on Internet Explorer has yet to begin.
According to Gerhard, high-end machines are capable of handling RuneScape 3, and currently, 70% of all RuneScape players will be able to handle the new game. While 70% is a good number, Jagex is looking to make the game capable of running smoothly at at least 30 FPS for all players when it officially launches over the summer. Also on the plus side of working with HTML5, there is a possibility that RuneScape 3 could be brought to mobile devices in the future, however, we’ll have to wait and see.