In a landmark, but all too common deal apparently, Jagex has once again been bought by a new owner. RuneScape developer Jagex was sold most recently Macarthur Fortune Holding last May. Before that, they were held by Chinese mining company Shandong Hongda. And of course, they have been on a rotating wheel of new owners for years.
Now, Washington D.C.-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group. That company paid a total of more than $530 million for the MMO developer. The Carlyle Group holds controlling or partial interests in a variety of companies, including Getty Images, Nielsen, Supreme, and Dunkin’ Brands. These companies have made the company astoundingly wealthy. Across its total portfolio, the company holds more than $230 billion of assets.
The actual terms of the deal for Jagex were not disclosed, but reports say that is expected to be worth around $530 million (£390 million).
So why did this happen? It probably has something to do with the fact that Jagex saw a record number of new subscribers come to RuneScape and Old School RuneScape in 2020. These games have been around for years and managed to retain users even now. It’s been 20 years since the game landed on PC, and it continues to enthrall millions of players.
The Carlyle Group said it will 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”.
Jagex boss Phil Mansell said when speaking of the deal that he is “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.”
Mansell also expanded on a bit of the plan that the partnership has in store for folks. And don’t be concerned, more content for RuneScape and Old School RuneScape is coming. “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,” said Mansell in the statement.