Games Geek / Technical Marketing/Business

World of What?

This past weekend, my girlfriend and I went to a barbecue. One of her cousins was on the computer, so I went in to say hello.

“What are you doing?”
“Playing Runescape.”
“Oh, I remember when I played that game. It looks much better than I remember it.”
“Yeah, I’m at max level for wood cutting.”
“Did you know that there are more people playing Runescape than World of Warcraft?”
“What’s World of Warcraft?”

Oh, yeah. There are people who haven’t heard of one of of the biggest names in video games.

Oh, and if you’re wondering, last I checked, Runescape had one million more people playing it than World of Warcraft did. You’ll note that when people talk about WoW‘s size, they can never call it the largest. They always talk about revenue. WoW makes much more money than Runescape, but Runescape has more people playing.

And apparently some of them have never heard of World of Warcraft. This map of online communities is slightly inaccurate in the same way that Alaska always looks smaller than it really is on a world map.

Anyway, I think it is interesting when you can’t depend on people knowing who you are, no matter how big of a gorilla you are. Before Runescape, he was playing on Club Penguin. Maybe one day he’ll discover games such as World of Warcraft and Vendetta Online, but for now, he has no idea that you even exist.

7 replies on “World of What?” only tells you about active subscriptions. All of the players of WoW have a subscription. Not all of the Runescape players are paying subscribers. When you take into account all of the people playing, Runescape is bigger.

You know, it’s important for people to know that my cousin is only 8, and so his not knowing WOW is not as impressive as you think it is. 😛

Hi, yes you are correct, I did not know this about Runescape that it had a hybrid plan. But, it’s difficult to determine how much people are playing, or regularly playing.

Also hard to make a comparison to a free java based game that anyone can play, to a $60 subscription based game, I’m sure free flash jewlquest has more players then all of them.

What really catches my attention in this conversation is the following line:

“Yeah, I’m at max level for wood cutting.”

I suppose the player had to cut thousands of trees… I don’t think many players above 25-or-so years can have much fun chopping trees, tailoring clothes, mining rocks, etc. I can’t,].

It seems that skills like that on MMOs are around since Ultima Online, and it is always incredibly boring. Why game designers sunstain such a bad idea like that?

Actually you’d have to cut a couple hundred thousand logs before you could reach 99 in woodcutting =p

Do you actually know that persons under the age of 13 aren’t alloud to play runescape without supervision?

Jagex says:

If you are under the age of 13, you must not create an account. We don’t knowingly permit anyone under 13 to use any of our websites. Nor do we knowingly collect any personally identifiable information from preteens. Internet safety experts have advised that preteens do not fully appreciate the risk of providing too much personal information online or communicating with strangers they encounter online. And the game difficulty level is for teenagers and older. While we appreciate that many preteens would want to use our websites, we urge parents to instruct their children not to lie about their age so as to be able to use our websites before they are old enough. Instead, we recommend that parents set up an account and play together with their preteens who are otherwise too young to play the Game or our other games. Many parents have reported that playing our games as a family is fun and rewarding. Then when your children are 13 they will be ready for their own account.

In the meantime, we want to remind parents that they need to spend time with their children and teens and take an active role in their safety online and offline. They should work to help teach them not to give out their real names, addresses or phone numbers, without permission, when using the Internet. We are working closely with Parry Aftab and in helping teach all users how to protect themselves and others online and use all interactive technologies responsibly. This will include guidance for parents on safer use of our websites. You can access our internet safety materials here and select materials from by clicking here.

If you are under 18, by using our website you are representing that you have permission from your parents or legal guardian to use our sites and to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. We reserve the right to Terminate any account if we are not satisfied that such permission has been given.

If we are notified by a parent that their preteen has lied about their age when registering on our websites, we will Terminate the account provided we have confirmation which satisfies us that the reporting person is indeed the parent.

Parents can reach us by emailing

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