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22 April, 2020 - 20:23 By Tony Quested

Jagex expands with fresh executive hires and new game

Jagex, the Cambridge UK developer and publisher of living games, has further strengthened the studio’s development team as it prepares to roll out a spectacular but as yet unidentified new game.

The hires will drive the technology company’s blueprint to continue growing the £1 billion RuneScape franchise and build new game experiences. 

Even with the current coronavirus situation, 2020 is poised to be yet another year of significant investment in recruiting, the Cambridge Science Park business says.

Jesse America has been appointed executive producer of an unannounced online action role-playing game. Jesse has more than 18 years of experience in the games industry, working across various aspects of game development, from prototyping to live game operations. 

He joins Jagex from Activision Blizzard King, where he held senior production roles working across the Candy Crush Saga Franchise and Call of Duty Mobile.

Mario Rizzo has joined as executive producer of an unannounced massive multiplayer online role-player game. He has been developing MMORPGs for 17 years, having begun his career working at Sony as a producer on the EverQuest series & Star Wars Galaxies. 

Mario was later responsible for the global publishing of Games as a Service at Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. He most recently co-founded Artisan Studios and led the company as CEO.

Jendrik Posche joins as technical executive producer with over three decades of experience in technology and production. At Jagex, Jendrik will be working across the entire studio to help guide and support complex technical initiatives, ensuring the service continues to grow and that new features are produced in-line with the business and team’s goals.

Nick Beliaeff, SVP Game Development, said: “We are delighted to welcome these three remarkable talents to the Jagex team. Each one of them brings a wealth of industry experience to the role and tremendous leadership experience in the oversight of high-performance development teams that release industry-leading products.

“They will play a crucial role in the continuous evolution of Jagex by building and expanding the RuneScape Franchise and the technologies that makes them great, while developing exciting new games that build upon our portfolio of living games.”

CEO Phil Mansell added: “Even through this unprecedented pandemic, we recognise the importance of investing in exceptional talent and we still plan to continue to build our talent pool throughout 2020.

“Jesse, Mario and Jendrik have joined the leadership responsible for vibrant, dedicated and talented development teams, and I couldn’t be more excited to see the foundations laid for the next exciting chapters in Jagex’s story.” 

Jagex’s flagship MMORPG, RuneScape, has welcomed over 270 million player accounts to its world and is a $1bn lifetime revenue franchise. Now the company is extending its portfolio with fresh franchise titles and new IP. 

Jagex employs over 320 people at its Cambridge headquarters and is part of Fukong Interactive Entertainment, a global games group publicly listed in China. 

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