Jagex, the renowned developer behind the iconic online game RuneScape, has been acquired by CVC, the private equity backer of Six Nations Rugby, from Carlyle Group in a deal valued at £910 million.
Established in 2000 and headquartered in Cambridge, Jagex boasts approximately 700 employees. Over its two-decade history, RuneScape has amassed a staggering 300 million players, with 2.4 million active subscribers and an additional one million free-to-play users.
Regarded as one of the pioneers of modern massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), RuneScape laid the foundation for subsequent titles like World of Warcraft. The game’s enduring popularity was further solidified with the introduction of Old School RuneScape, which witnessed a resurgence in recent years, reaching a milestone of 200,000 concurrent players in November 2023.
Under the ownership of Carlyle Group since January 2021, Jagex underwent notable transformations, including strategic acquisitions of Gamepires and Pipeworks Studios in 2022. These acquisitions, particularly Gamepires, developer of the open-world survival game SCUM, bolstered Jagex’s portfolio and expansion efforts.
Now, Jagex will transition to being owned by CVC Capital Partners fund VIII and Haveli Investments. While the specific financial terms of the acquisition remain undisclosed, reports suggest the deal is valued at £910 million, in line with earlier projections by Sky News.
Phil Mansell, CEO of Jagex, expressed optimism about the company’s future under its new strategic partners, citing the success of its previous collaboration with Carlyle. Mansell emphasized Jagex’s commitment to leveraging the expertise and support of experienced financial sponsors to enhance its gaming platform further and cater to existing and prospective players.
With CVC and Haveli’s backing, Jagex aims to capitalize on the vast potential of the video game industry, positioning itself for continued growth and innovation in the evolving landscape of online gaming.