“We want ‘RuneScape’ to be considered among the biggest fantasy RPG gaming franchises in the world”
RuneScape developer Jagex has discussed the future for the MMORPG following its recent acquisition by US equity firm The Carlyle Group.
Jagex CEO Phil Mansell spoke of the company and RuneScape’s future in a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, where he shared that he believed Jagex’s acquisition by The Carlyle Group was the right fit.
“The most important thing for us was can we get to a long-term investor who really buys into the company and the things we want to be doing,” he said. “Despite some of the distractions in recent years, we have been able to continue to build and get the right things done.”
Mansell also shared that the acquisition opened Jagex up to more opportunities: “With Carlyle, we have a number of different benefits now. We have the confidence and support to really go for it and accelerate some of our investments.”
“We have a lot of cash resources, so it was never really about our spending power; It was about our confidence and how fast we wanted to chase those opportunities, and we can really lean into them now,” he added.
He also noted that The Carlyle Group’s expertise in the tech sector would help Jagex if they encounter any situations that they would not have been adept at handling prior to the acquisition.
In terms of gaming, Mansell noted that while the studio is experimenting with new IP, its core focus will remain on RuneScape. “We want RuneScape to be considered among the biggest fantasy RPG gaming franchises in the world. We want to be up there in the conversation with the top five,” he said.
He continued to say that while RuneScape is closing in on that accolade, “building a portfolio of games will allow the team to create a “potent universe we continue to build for many more decades to come”.
Mansell also teased the possibility of the RuneScape franchise being released on more platforms besides PC and mobile: “We have started development for platforms beyond mobile, but we’re not quite ready for announcements yet”.
Elsewhere in the interview, Mansell spoke of the franchise’s expansion into other mediums outside of gaming. While several major gaming franchises are honing in on TV and film adaptations, Jagex is adopting a different approach.
“The creativity of our players – whether it’s comics they make, or machinima, or even cakes and tattoos – that’s where I start,” he said. “I don’t come at it from a perspective of turning Jagex into Disney – that’s not the right way around. I think you build up something from grassroots enthusiasm.”