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26 January, 2021 - 11:03 By Tony Quested

Jagex sold for second time in eight months and third time in four years

Cambridge games developer Jagex has been sold for the third time in four years and the second time in eight months.

Because no terms have been disclosed it is not possible to report whether Jagex has been sold on at a profit or a loss.

What is certain is that it has now gone into the hands of US-quoted Carlyle Group, a  global investment firm with $230 billion of assets under management.

Carlyle has acquired Jagex from another US company, Macarthur Fortune Holding, which acquired the developer from Chinese conglomerate Shanghai Hongtou Network Technology in May 2020 for $530 million.

Jagex had been sold to Shanghai Hongtou for a sum believed to be around $300m in March 2016. 

Based at Cambridge Science Park, Jagex employs over 450 staff and is best known for its online role-playing living game franchise RuneScape, which has attracted almost 300 million player accounts since its launch 20 years ago. Industry media reports that Jagex has grown its RuneScape titles to a $1billion franchise. 

Jagex CEO Phil Mansell, 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.”

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