Global investment firm The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) has acquired Jagex, a developer and publisher of video games. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and employing more than 450 people, Jagex is one of the largest and most successful British video game studios, developing and publishing video games on PC and mobile. The company 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. Jagex has grown its RuneScape titles to a USD1 billion franchise. The titles, which are played by a vibrant community of millions all around the world, are currently enjoying peak global popularity. 2020 saw record numbers of subscribing players, more than half of which are in the United States.
The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest and most diversified global investment firms with USD230 billion of assets under management. Carlyle will leverage its global network, expertise and resources to 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. Equity for the investment was provided by Carlyle Partners (CP) VII and Carlyle Europe Technology Partners (CETP) IV funds.
Phil Mansell, CEO of Jagex, says: “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, adds: “The global video games market is large and growing, and within this the global massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) 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.”
Michael Wand, Managing Director at Carlyle, says: “RuneScape is one of the most enduring RPG franchises and has a fantastic and committed player base. We look forward to drawing on the full resources of Carlyle to support Phil and his team to continue to grow the existing RuneScape franchise as well as launching new, exciting ones. We believe with further investment and innovation, Jagex can build on its position as one of the most exciting video game developers for both existing and new generations of MMORPG players.”