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Jagex CEO Discusses Carlyle Group Acquisition And Future of RuneScape Studio In New Interview

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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Jagex has seen its fair share of acquisitions of late, with the company being acquired by MacArthur Fortune  back in April 2020, and then last week's news it was changing hands again with The Carlyle Group purchasing the studio. Jagex CEO Phil Mansell spoke with GamesIndustry.biz in a recent interview about the new acquisition and the RuneScape studio's vision long-term as the dust settles from this new move.

Speaking with the site, Mansell stresses that the RuneScape dev has been able to "push forward" and expand in ways "it has always wanted to." 

Speaking to GI.biz, Mansell said that the important thing was to get a investor who "buys into the company."

"The most important thing for us was can we get to a long-term investor who really buys into the company and the things we want to be doing. Despite some of the distractions in recent years, we have been able to continue to build and get the right things done."

Mansell says that Jagex has grown year-on-year, and through all of the acquisitions and such, the company has grown to roughly double its size from just a few years ago.

"The company has grown consistently year-on-year, whether it's our customer base or our financials, for the last four or five years. We're roughly double the size as a company in terms of revenue and community from four or five years ago."

As far as what this means for the games the RuneScape developer is working on, Mansell hits on new platforms and marketplaces the 20-year-old MMO could be seen, including potentially consoles.

"We have started development for platforms beyond mobile, but we're not quite ready for announcements yet."

Old School RuneScape was just announced to be coming to Steam, and after the success of last years release of RuneScape on the platform, it makes sense that the company would look to expand to new marketplaces. The MMO is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, a huge milestone for any game, let alone an MMO. Mansell also hints that there could be a future for the IP outside the MMORPG itself, options that the team is exploring.

"We've had nearly 300 million players come through so we know there's a level of fondness for this universe and the adventures players have had within it -- but not everyone plays MMORPGs any more. There are different ways of realising those adventures and characters, and that's what we're exploring. We're looking forward to getting those towards announcements and launches in the coming years."

Be sure to check out the full interview on GI.biz here.  Recently, RuneScape was announced to be receiving a player avatar refresh, detailed on a recent stream by the developers. Additionally, Ninja Strike saw some improvements, as well as much-needed quality of life features hitting the MMO in the most recent patch.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore