The Acquisition of Jagex: A New Chapter Begins

The Acquisition of Jagex: A New Chapter Begins

Jagex, the renowned British developers behind the beloved fantasy MMO RuneScape, have recently revealed an unexpected turn of events. The company has been acquired by CVC Capital Partners, a private equity firm primarily known for its ownership of major sports brands such as Six Nations Rugby, LaLiga, Ligue de Football, and the Women’s Tennis Association. This groundbreaking deal, worth nearly a billion pounds, has sent shockwaves through the gaming community.

This acquisition comes after a series of ownership changes for Jagex. In 2021, the company was acquired by The Carlyle Group, who, following reports last September, expressed their intention to sell the Cambridge-based studio. Interestingly, Jagex also briefly passed through the hands of US global management company Macarthur Fortune Holding in 2020. Over the past eight years, the studio has had various Chinese and US investors. Despite these changes in ownership, Jagex has remained a formidable presence in the gaming industry, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

RuneScape, the flagship MMO developed by Jagex, has played a significant role in the studio’s success. Since its launch in 2001, RuneScape has evolved through multiple iterations, including the split into the modern game and Old School RuneScape. The game has also expanded beyond the digital realm, venturing into the world of board games and tabletop RPGs. Although Jagex has created other games over the years, such as spin-offs and looter-shooters, none have achieved the same level of success as RuneScape. With record-breaking numbers of subscribers last year, RuneScape has generated over $1.5 billion in revenue, solidifying its position as one of the most iconic MMOs of all time.

While the financial specifics of the deal remain undisclosed, reports suggest that Jagex had a price tag of £900 million. Jagex’s CEO, Phil Mansell, has expressed his enthusiasm for the acquisition, highlighting the opportunities it presents for the studio and its community. Mansell believes that this new partnership will enable Jagex to strengthen their existing “forever games” portfolio, continue to support and engage their dedicated community, and foster innovation to empower players. Furthermore, he envisions the creation of new “forever games” that capture the imaginations of gamers worldwide.

Despite the positive outlook presented by Jagex and CVC, some concerns have arisen within the gaming industry. With approximately 700 employees spread across different regions, the impact of such a significant acquisition raises questions about the future direction of the studio. The games industry has witnessed a growing trend of massive acquisitions by multibillion-dollar conglomerates, leading some to express apprehension about the potential consequences of these corporate shifts. However, only time will reveal the true outcomes and impact of this latest acquisition.

As Jagex embarks on this new chapter under the ownership of CVC Capital Partners, the gaming community eagerly awaits what lies ahead. With their rich history and commitment to delivering unforgettable gaming experiences, Jagex has proven time and again that they can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing industry. As they continue to innovate and create, the future looks promising for both Jagex and the passionate community of RuneScape enthusiasts.


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