Videogame studio behind £1bn RuneScape franchise acquired
Posted on January 26, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox
Leading UK videogame studio Jagex has been acquired by global investor The Carlyle Group.
Jagex is the creator of RuneScape, which after 20 years is one of the world’s longest–running and most successful online videogame franchises.
Jagex, headquartered in Cambridge, employs more than 450 people and has grown role-playing game RuneScape into a £1 billion franchise having attracted almost 300 million player accounts since launch.
The titles, on PC and mobile, saw record numbers of subscribing players in 2020, more than half of which are in the United States.
The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest and most diversified global investment firms with $230 billion of assets under management. Listed on the Nasdaq, it said it will leverage its global network, expertise and resources to support Jagex as it continues to drive growth.
Jagex plans to invest in R&D and increased content release rates, as well as launching new titles to diversify its portfolio and engage with an even wider community of players.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“I am so proud that Jagex is teaming up with Carlyle, a prestigious investment group that believes in the potential of Jagex, our vision for growth, and will support us in accelerating our multi-year growth strategy,” said Jagex CEO Phil Mansell.
“We will continue to expand our game teams to create and deliver more great content for RuneScape and Old School RuneScape.
“We will continue to create exciting experiences for our players, grow our global communities, build new games to expand and further explore the RuneScape universe, lend our expertise to publish third-party games from like-minded online game developers, and invest in the incredible tech and talent that powers this all.”
Michael Wand, managing director at Carlyle, said: “RuneScape is one of the most enduring RPG franchises and has a fantastic and committed player base.
“We look forward to drawing on the full resources of Carlyle to support Phil and his team to continue to grow the existing RuneScape franchise as well as launching new, exciting ones.
“We believe with further investment and innovation, Jagex can build on its position as one of the most exciting video game developers for both existing and new generations of MMORPG players.”