Bungie and Epic veterans join legendary British studio Jagex to work across multiple titles in its flagship franchise
Left to right: Ryan Ward, Rob Hendry and Gavin Irby
Cambridge, UK – Thursday 24th October 2019 – Jagex has welcomed new senior leadership to its development teams, with three key hires across the organisation. Ryan Ward and Rob Hendry become the new Executive Producers of RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, while Gavin Irby joins as Creative Director working on the company’s unannounced online action role-playing game.
The appointments come as Jagex reveals a further all-time high for the RuneScape franchise. RuneScape and Old School RuneScape combined achieved their highest-ever membership peak the summer, with more than 1.1 million players. In addition, Old School RuneScape saw a surge in popularity with daily active users reaching their highest ever point in the game’s six-year history. New content and game modes for both titles were recently announced, further expanding the rich RuneScape fantasy world.
Phil Mansell, Jagex CEO, said: “The huge talent we’ve managed to capture from across the industry, in development of course but across all parts of the business, is just one of the many highlights of 2019. As well as hitting a number of records for RuneScape in its 19th year, the success of Old School Mobile on iOS and Android has been awesome, pioneering the full MMO experience on mobile, achieving more than 8million installs, and winning both BAFTA and Develop awards. We are confident we can build on that with the launch of RuneScape Mobile, which launches in Early Access later this year.
“Thanks to all of this and the ongoing support of our amazing community and the new players coming into the RuneScape world, we’re excited about the future of RuneScape and confident in the teams at Jagex to continue building a great place to work, not just in the games industry but in any industry, anywhere.”
Introduced to the RuneScape community at this year’s RuneFest, Ryan Ward joins Jagex as the new Executive Producer of RuneScape and brings a wealth of experience working in living games. Ryan most recently worked at Blizzard Entertainment as Product Director of Overwatch. He was previously Director of Product at Epic Games and a Producer at Nexon, LucasArts, CCP and Bioware working on Fortnite, Star Wars titles, EVE Online and the Mass Effect franchise among others.
Ryan Ward, Executive Producer of RuneScape, said: “Jagex is a very special place for me – not only do I get to lead a team that that has created one of the world’s most successful online games but I get work alongside a team of artisans and game makers, a perfect mix of new and veteran talent. I like to say it’s a ‘peanut butter and chocolate a-ha!’ kind of moment, and I’m committed to working on things right now that our amazing players will benefit from in the years to come.”
Rob Hendry has been appointed Executive Producer of Old School RuneScape. Rob has more than 20 years’ experience in the games industry, having started his career at Warthog Studios UK working as Designer and Producer on the critically acclaimed Starlancer. Previously, Rob was Head of Studio at Ideaworks, where he managed the mobile game teams working on a range of IPs such as Call of Duty, The Sims, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, and Final Fantasy. He was most recently Head of Studio London at NaturalMotion.
Rob Hendry, Executive Producer of Old School RuneScape, said: “I’m very excited to join the Jagex team and have the opportunity to work with the studio’s leadership and the incredibly talented developers here to help build on the success and heritage of a franchise like RuneScape which has such a passionate community of players. I’ve been in games for more than 20 years and there’s a genuine focus and appreciation here at Jagex that puts the player at the centre of the way we think and create great gaming experiences and I look forward to building on that core DNA with the teams here.”
Gavin Irby joins Jagex from Bungie where he was Design Lead for Destiny 2, having previously worked on Destiny as Lead Raid Designer and Senior Designer. His prior roles include Lead Content Designer for RIFT at Trion Worlds, and a stint at Carbine Studios and Flying Lab Software.
Creative Director Gavin Irby said: “I’m honoured to be here at the home of living games and have the opportunity to help bring RuneScape to a new audience. Jagex has been very supportive, and I believe we’re going to be able to deliver an action-packed, substantive and meaningful new experience to our players.”
Nick Beliaeff, SVP Publishing, added: “I’m proud and honoured to work with the world-class talent Ryan, Rob, and Gavin represent. Ryan’s leadership on RuneScape and Rob’s on Old School give our flagship titles the bespoke focus and attention our players deserve and show our commitment to the continued growth of both games. Gavin’s product vision coupled with the rich history of RuneScape foretell an exciting step forward for the franchise from Jagex.”
To find out more about further career opportunities at Jagex, visit the studios careers portal, www.jagex.com/careers
About Jagex: A leader in creating deep and engaging live games on PC and mobile, Jagex’s flagship MMORPG, RuneScape, has welcomed more than 270 million player accounts to its world and is a $1bn 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, new IP and, in 2018 launched Jagex Partners, delivering third-party publishing and operational services exclusively for live games, to bring life to the living games of the future. Jagex employs over 360 people at its Cambridge headquarters. Jagex is part of Fukong Interactive Entertainment, a global games group publicly listed in China. Career information can be found at www.jagex.com/careers