Ahead of their appearance at Gamescom, Runescape developer Jagex has made several notable announcements. In addition to bringing on some talented new staff and establishing a third-party publishing arm called Jagex Partners, the developer also revealed that their popular MMO RuneScape has surpassed $1 billion in revenue since its launch in January of 2001.
Clearly, RuneScape has been a massive success for Jagex and has also helped Jagex Partners decide what titles they will focus on. Jagex Partners plans to work with exclusively third parties, and will also focus on live games like RuneScape that can be consistently updated and supported. Like most publishers, they will help with things like funding and marketing but also plan on giving developers they work with access to Jagex’s proprietary technology for things like play players account management and in-game monetization.
Jagex Partners also doesn’t seem to be limited itself to just one platform or region. This announcement made it clear that they will work on titles for PC, home consoles, and mobile devices, and will also be able to bring their games from Western markets to China. Jagex CEO Phil Mansell also discussed why now was the right time for his company to enter the third-party publishing scene:
“With RuneScape becoming a $1 billion franchise, Jagex has proven its credentials as a best-in-class living games publisher, running robust live game services at scale, all while nurturing and growing player communities. Jagex is in a position of strength and prosperity and we feel it’s the right time to share that expertise and support other developers in bringing their games to market, assisting them to build and sustain strong communities and evolve their live games into living games.”
We have also been given an idea of who will be running things at Jagex Partners. Sarah Tilly, formerly of CCP Games will come on as Head of Third-Party Product Management while Simon Bull, who has had experience at companies like EA and Trion Worlds will be Head of Third-Party Marketing. Finally, everything will be overseen by Vice President of Thrid-Party Publishing Jeff Pabst who is coming over from NCSoft. He also shared his vision for Jagex Partners and why third-party developers should seriously consider them:
“Publishing and successfully operating a live game is a complex and multi-disciplined ask for any studio. Jagex’s strength is in operating live games as living games, supported by a full suite of live game services and systems and millions of players. Now we’re building on those strengths to make Jagex Partners a standalone offering in the third-party publishing market. It’s an offering that will cater to an individual third party’s need to deliver tailormade live game services, to facilitate audience acquisition, retention and growth. We’re looking forward to taking that offering to third parties at Gamescom.”
DualShockers will be sure to keep an eye out for any interesting titles coming from Jagex Partners in the future. If you haven’t tried it already, RuneScape is available on PC, though RuneScape Classic was unfortunately shut down recently.