Acquisition announced as Jagex celebrates 20 years of RuneScape, making it one of the world’s longest running and most successful online video game franchises
Monday 25th January, 12pm GMT – Cambridge, UK: Global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) today announced it has acquired Jagex, a leading developer and publisher of video games. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and employing more than 450 people, Jagex is one of the largest and most successful British video game studios, developing and publishing video games on PC and mobile. The company is best known for its online role-playing living game franchise RuneScape, which has attracted almost 300million player accounts since its launch 20 years ago. Jagex has grown its RuneScape titles to a $1billion franchise (total revenue since inception). The titles, which are played by a vibrant community of millions all around the world, are currently enjoying peak global popularity. 2020 saw record numbers of subscribing players, 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 $230billion of assets under management. Carlyle will leverage its global network, expertise and resources to support Jagex as it continues to drive growth by evolving the core RuneScape franchise through investment 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. Equity for the investment was provided by Carlyle Partners (CP) VII and Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV funds.
Phil Mansell, CEO of Jagex, said: “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. 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.”
Patrick McCarter, Managing Director at Carlyle, added: “The global video games market is large and growing, and within this the global massively multiplayer online role-playing game sub-sector is particularly attractive. We have been impressed with Jagex’s market position, strong track record of revenue and market share growth, as well as the experience and passion of the team.”
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.”
Notes to Editors:
2020 represented a marquee year for Jagex:
- RuneScape and Old School RuneScape achieved peak popularity and a new all-time high of online subscribers with more than 1.2million members joining the further millions of players who enjoy RuneScape for free
- Jagex continued to invest in the creation of new content for the RuneScape franchise, commenced early-stage production of new games, and hired top-tier game development and publishing talent. This created more than 70 new job openings that grew headcount c.20% year-on-year
2021 marks the 20th anniversary of RuneScape live game operations:
- Epic 20th anniversary-themed content added to both games
- RuneScape will also launch on mobile devices for both iOS and Android, and deliver cross-play functionality between the PC and mobile platforms
- Jagex will continue building out its game production teams for the development of new online games, in addition to expanding its publishing services for live games created by partner game studios under its third-party publishing division, Jagex Partners
- The first Jagex Partners title will be published later this year
About Jagex: A leader in creating deep and engaging live games on PC and mobile, Jagex’s flagship MMORPG, RuneScape, has welcomed almost 300million player accounts to its world and is a $1billion lifetime revenue franchise. Today the RuneScape franchise exists beyond running games in live operations; our titles are living games that connect and inspire millions of players, with content and experiences both inside and outside of inexhaustible game worlds. Both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, on PC and mobile, offer ever-evolving, highly active worlds and our community-focussed development ethos empowers players to have a real say in how each game is shaped. Now we’re expanding and extending our portfolio with fresh franchise titles and new IP to bring life to the living games of the future. Jagex employs more than 450 people at its Cambridge headquarters. Career information can be found at www.jagex.com/careers
About The Carlyle Group: The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global investment firm with deep industry expertise that deploys private capital across three business segments: Global Private Equity, Global Credit and Investment Solutions. With $230billion of assets under management as of 30th September 2020, Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, portfolio companies and the communities in which we live and invest. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,800 people in 30 offices across six continents. Further information is available at www.carlyle.com. Follow The Carlyle Group on Twitter @OneCarlyle.