Over the weekend Mod MMG released a post on the RuneScape homepage discussing all the misconceptions surrounding bots, gold farmers, player demographics, as well as a few other things. It was a fascinating post and I encourage you to read it.
According to the released information it seems that bots are a thing of a past and gold farmers are quickly being shut down. He also posted a few graphs which I found very interesting but not satisfying. I feel like one of the biggest concerns regarding RuneScape is its popularity. While its been around for over 10 years, newer games have stepped up and are in competition with RuneScape. The fact that part of the RuneScape community is corrupted and that a great handful have quit is frightening. That’s the reason why I wasn’t content with the graphs and information they gave us. So I decided to come up with my own graphs to better determine the current state of RuneScape as a company and a game.
All these graphs were created using Google Trends, a handy tool for showing the popularity of trending searches.
This first graph is comparing how many searches of RuneScape, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends have been made since 2004.
RuneScape is blue, World of Warcraft is red, and League of Legends is represented in yellow.
So nothing a whole lot surprising there. Obviously around 2005 World of Warcraft skyrocketed as the game was released February 11th, 2005. The reason why World of Warcraft became more popular over RuneScape was due to the advanced graphics and gameplay it had during its early years. Since then other MMO’s have replaced it, thus the drop. The RuneScape line is depressing, as you can tell it peaked in 2007 and then slowly dropped to an all time low in late 2013. While I’m sure it’ll never reach the popularity of WoW I’m willing to guess it’ll rise in the next 2 years. League of Legends really surprised me. I’m aware its a relatively new game but with all the hype surrounding it I would have guessed it would have surpassed WoW. However, at the pace in which LoL is going in I’m sure it will in the next 2 years.
Now that you have the overall picture of the placement which RuneScape has against its competitive counterparts lets look at details behind the game itself. Here I’ve created a graph comparing RuneScape bots, RuneScape money making, and buy RuneScape gold.
RuneScape bots is represented in blue, RuneScape money making in red, and buy RuneScape gold in yellow.
This graph I found to be very fascinating. Looking at the RuneScape bot’s line you can tell it started gaining popularity in late 2009 and by 2011 it reached its all time high (February 2011). Then after RuneScape initially addressed this issue it dropped, however once a work around was found for the first anti-bot measures it regained popularity (peaked again in March 2013). But look what happened next! The searches for RuneScape bot’s has nerfed since the improvements to the anti-bot measures, soon its going to reach an all time low. I just threw RuneScape money making in there for comparison, no big surprises there. For buy RuneScape gold I was surprised, I would have thought the searches would have been a lot higher. As you can tell by the graph buy RuneScape gold peaked along with RuneScape bots, the two graphs actually mimic each other very closely. To me this graph is very encouraging, its showing that bots are not being searched for as much and that buying RuneScape gold mimics along the path of RuneScape bot.
RuneScape bots may seem like a pretty big graphed line, however to put it in perspective I graphed both RuneScape bots and just RuneScape.
RuneScape bot is represented in blue and RuneScape is in red.
As you can see, compared with the actual game searches RuneScape bot is practically nonexistent. This tells us that the vast majority of the player base does not know what bots are or if they do don’t have the desire to find out more information on them.
Lastly I graphed the overall game/community health. Searching for both RuneScape cheat and RuneScape hack, this is what I got.
RuneScape cheat is in blue while RuneScape hack is in red.
This was a fun little graph to look over. In the middle years of RuneScape both search quarries peaked as the game became more desirable as well as easier to tamper with. However, at the turn of the decade both searches quickly dropped as the game environment got stronger and more foolproof.
One more thing. The above map shows the countries (darker) that put out the most search quarries for RuneScape since 2004. Its a neat little gif and does a good job representing what countries and when were the most interested in RuneScape.
What To Get Out Of This?
So now that we have all that information what general conclusions can be made? Well, for one thing the popularity of RuneScape is sinking compared to current day market for free MMO games. However, the good news is that the health of the game is at its best. Bot searches have plummeted and no one is looking for RuneScape hacks/cheats for the game.
Overall, RuneScape has the capabilities to last another 10 years especially so if they can get HTML5 up and running soon. Now we just have to wait and see!