In the ultimate “suits hug hoodies” deal, the Carlyle group (one of the world largest investment groups with $230 Bn AUM) has snapped up Cambridge (UK) based Runescape developer JAGEX. In the world of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), few get as massive as the Runescape universe which has turned into a $1bn franchise over the last 2 decades.
The game originally published in 2001 by a Cambridge University student, Andrew Gower (assisted ably by his two brothers) went on to become a cult classic with an enduring and engaged audience (at the time of writing this article the game showed a little over 140,000 players online). For those looking to nerd out and understand more about the lore of Runescape do visit the wiki.
The growth opportunity for the franchise remains on mobile, with the title launching on IOS and Android later this year, along with new franchise titles. The lockdown has likely accelerated the pick up of the game as Carlyle reported an additional 1.5M players having joined the millions already playing. We can’t wait to see what the investment will bring next, personally keeping my fingers crossed for an accompanying streaming series on one of the entertainment majors. But for now we will have to make do with RuneScape and Old School RuneScape growing at a clip with fresh content over a greater number of devices and platforms than ever.