British video game developer and publisher Jagex has once again changed ownership. The studio best known for its popular MMORPG RuneScape and Old School RuneScape has been acquired by an American private equity company by the name of The Carlyle Group. Just last year, Jagex was sold by Fukong Interactive to Macarthur Fortune Holding for $530 million.
“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,” says Jagex CEO Phil Mansell in a press release.
“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.”
As we celebrate #20YearsOfRuneScape, making it one of the world’s longest-running and most successful online video games franchises, we are delighted to announce that @Jagex has a new, prestigious owner in @OneCarlyle, one of the world’s largest global investment firms. pic.twitter.com/PRedtbsnjp
— Jagex (@Jagex) January 25, 2021
RuneScape celebrated its 20 year anniversary earlier this month. Two decades after release, the game has surprisingly held its spot as one of the most popular MMORPGs. The previous year was one of the most successful ones for the game as both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape set a new all-time high record of player count.
As for what the deal means for the game, Carlyle’s resources will be invested into RuneScape so that Jagex can “continue to grow the existing RuneScape franchise” and potentially expand to bigger projects.
“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,” states Carlyle’s Managing Director Michael Wand.
Jagex was sold to a Chinese mining company in 2016, before being sold to Macarthur Fortune Holding last year and now the studio is in the hands of The Carlyle Group.