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Jagex Ltd. (also known as Jagex Software or JaGeX Games Studio) and previously called Meaujo Ltd.[1] is a United Kingdom-based producer of Java-based online video games, whose name is contracted from Java Gaming Experts [3] or Just About the Gaming Experience. The company name is pronounced [ˈdʒæ.ɡɛks] (/JAG-ex/), as spoken by former CEO, Geoff Iddison, in August 2008. [4] The company is best-known for its MMORPG RuneScape.

In the beginning of Quarter 3 of 2016, Jagex was acquired by Fukong Interactive Entertainment for $300 million USD.[5][6][7]

In 2018, Jagex's profit and revenue had broken a record previously set by the third quarter of 2008, citing that profit is up by 50% to 43.5 million GBP.[8][9] Following this, their shareholders Fukong Interactive Entertainment released that they suffered a $64.54 million loss, [10] and would be selling off their 100% stake in Jagex Ltd.[11][12]

On 28 April 2020, it was announced that Jagex was acquired by Macarthur Fortune Holding LLC, a global asset management company, for $530 million.[13][14][15]

In January 2021, The Carlyle Group acquired Jagex from Macarthur Fortune Holding.[16]

Branding[edit | edit source]

Jagex's current brand logo is a "mark drawing" (i.e. a drawing or design without any word(s)/letter(s)/number(s)) reminiscent of the letter "X", and is filed as an Image Trademark with the International Registration Number of 1342541. The logo is accepted by law for use with electronics, websites, video entertainment, merchandise (such as hoodies, hats, etc), and other miscellaneous accessories relating to the aforementioned.[17] The usage thereof specifically specifies that for the logo to fall under copyright, it must have "Incomplete triangles with two angles".[17] No set colours are specified[17], meaning that the logo can be altered and adjusted for a wider range of varieties, such as the Jagex Charity Initiatives logo (seen in the gallery section of this article).

History[edit | edit source]

Jagex Staff members circa 2011

The name Jagex Software has been in use since at least 1999 and was originally described as a "small software company based in England [who] specialise in producing top-quality Java-games for webpages".[18] Andrew Gower tweeted on the RuneFest Twitter that the original Jagex office was "two meters by three meters with a table and PC we had borrowed".[19]

According to Companies House, Meaujo (492) Limited was incorporated on 28 April 2000, and changed its name to Jagex Limited on 27 June 2000.[1] The Jagex website states that the company was founded in December 2001 by Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, and Constant Tedder.[3] The aim of this company was to operate its MMORPG, RuneScape, which had been in development since 1999. By the time of the company's founding, one year after the release of the game, RuneScape already had over one million free accounts registered. The first tasks of the company were to create a version of the game with extra features that required a £3.20 ($5 USD) monthly fee, while still offering the free version, and to develop partnerships with advertisers. Both tasks were achieved, and the pay-to-play version of RuneScape was released on 27 February 2002, gaining 5,000 subscriptions in the first week making RuneScape one of the largest Java pay-to-play games in the world. On 4 May 2007, Jagex announced that RuneScape has over 9,000,000 free players and over 1,000,000 pay-to-play subscribers.[20] In 2006, Andrew and Paul Gower were calculated to be worth £32 million. On "The Rich List 2007", Andrew and Paul are under claims to be worth £106 million ($168 million USD). Andrew Gower is also known for his varieties of Java games.[21] Jagex also received an investment from Insight Venture Partners in October 2005.[22] The company had been self-funded before this investment. RuneScape has since been translated into German,[23][24] French, and recently in Portuguese. Jagex was ranked 59th on the list of The Best 100 Companies to work for by the Sunday Times.[25] In 2009, Jagex was short listed for the UK Developer of The Year award at the Golden Joystick Awards.[26]

Jagex co-creator, Andrew Gower, still works with Jagex staff every day.

Around December 2011, Jagex finished preparation of a full move to a consolidated HQ in Cambridge Science Park. This combined both their Community Management and FunOrb office and their former headquarters. This building is more than double the size of the old HQ, and has many more perks and amenities with it than the old office, allowing Jagex to improve their benefits even more.

The Jagex APC in front of the new Jagex office.

In 2012, Jagex opened a small office in California, with former Rockstar Games developers staffing it. They are currently working on a Facebook game called Carnage Racing, which is now out and available on Facebook or through the Carnage Racing Website at www.carnageracing.com.

Future development[edit | edit source]

Jagex have stated on their website that they "intend to become a significant online operator in all the major gaming markets worldwide"[27] by developing new games using their own technologies.

There had been many rumours of Jagex's next big release, and Jagex confirmed at the gaming event E3 on 15 July 2008 that it would be releasing a new MMORPG called MechScape.[28] MechScape game was planned to be released in the first quarter of the year of 2009, but it was delayed. It would have been a futuristic MMO that would have broken away from RuneScape's simple roots[29] but would still have been browser based. The game would have been aimed at a higher age range and would have been slightly or wholly sci-fi.[30] However, it was cancelled in August 2009, but Jagex confirmed, on a MechScape fan forum, that they were re-developing it from scratch and had changed its name to "Stellar Dawn". On 2 March 2012, Jagex announced a pause on the development of Stellar Dawn, in order to focus on other larger projects such as Transformers Universe and the continually-evolving future of RuneScape.

Jagex also acts as the publisher of the online flash-based game called "War of Legends". It is a multiplayer real-time strategy game.

Operation[edit | edit source]

Jagex has grown heavily since the founding of the company in 2001. They currently have offices in Cambridge and London, with a small office in California. The company had been recruiting heavily in 2006 and has over 500 employees, grouped into the multiple departments across the three offices. In 2011, they recruited nearly 200 employees, and Mark Gerhard has stated that they have doubled the size of the RuneScape team in order to bring about the Evolution of Combat, multiple game engine upgrades, and "RuneScape 3".

They maintain about 140 servers for RuneScape in various locations in United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Mexico and the United States. Some of the more recent additions to the servers include the addition of the German, French, and Portuguese servers. These are currently the only servers for non-English versions of the game thus far, but Jagex has confirmed that more languages are planned.[31]

Beyond RuneScape[edit | edit source]

While most of Jagex staff work with RuneScape, they have separate departments for each game they develop.

DeviousMUD[edit | edit source]

In 1999, Jagex created a game called "DeviousMUD", now called RuneScape. DeviousMUD was never opened to the public. DeviousMUD's subline was "DeviousMUD by Andrew Gower". Andrew Gower demonstrated DeviousMUD at RuneFest 2010.[32]

Classic Jagex games[edit | edit source]

  • Vertigo (a new version entitled Vertigo 2 was released on FunOrb)
  • Flea Circus (the original version has been taken off the Jagex site and has been replaced with a new version on FunOrb)
  • Tetralink (could be found on the FunOrb site as a newer version)
  • Cyberwars
  • Warships
  • Checkers (re-formatted to Draughts in the Burthorpe Games Room)
  • Chess'(a multiplayer version of the game could be found on FunOrb)
  • Reversi (re-formatted to Runeversi in the Burthorpe Games Room)
  • Go-Ma
  • SlimeWar or Ataxtix (renamed to Virogrid, could be found on FunOrb)
  • Monkey Puzzle (renamed to Monkey Puzzle 2, could be found on FunOrb, although the original version can still be found on the Jagex website via link manipulation, which can be found here)
  • The Bottomless Pit was an old animation by Jagex that was listed as a game. It was a never-ending animation. It would display a series of messages, each with a delay of around five seconds at the bottom of the screen while an animation of falling into endless darkness was shown, and then, the messages would start over once they were all displayed. There was also a seamlessly looping sound of a falling noise. The Bottomless Pit is no longer available on the Jagex website, however, it can be found here. If you would watch The Bottomless Pit for long enough, you would discover that it actually tells you cheat codes for various classic Jagex games, but those who would use the cheat codes would not have their scores saved to the high scores table.
  • Outpost 31
  • Goldmine
  • Meltdown (Dr. Phlogiston Saves the Earth is a possible remake of this game)
  • Meteoroids (Stellar Shard is a possible remake of this game)

FunOrb[edit | edit source]

In February 2008, Jagex announced that they would be releasing a casual browser-based gaming site called FunOrb within the month. FunOrb was released on 27 February 2008.[33] It uses the same account information as RuneScape, but requires a separate membership.

The site hosts small games varying in amount of possible playtime from an hour to two days. Some of the website and games are completely free-to-play, although members receive many other benefits, such as many achievements, fullscreen mode for all games, and access to more features in nearly all games. Jagex offers a discount for those who are paying members of both RuneScape and FunOrb.

It was originally released with 18 games; the amount of games has increased to 43 over the time. However, since 16 September 2010, there wasn't a single update, besides bugfixes.[34]

The most popular game on the site is Arcanists. Jagex has used almost exclusively the popularity of RuneScape to gain patrons for this site, with almost all FunOrb players being either current or former RuneScape players due to very little advertising.

In January 2009, Jagex released a multiplayer game called Armies of Gielinor. This is the game that is set in the RuneScape universe they promised to release. You can summon beasts such as Black knights, Greater demons, Aviansies, and other monsters from the RuneScape universe. It was once one of the most popular games on FunOrb.

On 23 January 2013, Mark Gerhard confirmed that he has plans for a full reboot and update of FunOrb in the long term. It will include a rework of the website, updates to current games, addition of new games, and creation of even more mobile games than before. Gerhard stated that the earliest they could do this would be in 2014, as 2013 is the year that they're focusing on RuneScape 3 and Transformers Universe.[confirmation needed]

On 9 May 2018, Jagex announced they would be shutting down the FunOrb servers effective 7 August, stating "advancements in software and hardware have made it increasingly difficult to access and play the games on the portal, and that’s ultimately led to our decision".[35]

MechScape and Stellar Dawn[edit | edit source]

Rumoured during parts of 2007 and throughout 2008, MechScape was an MMORPG due for release in the first quarter of 2009.[36] However, the MechScape project has since been dropped.[37]

Sadly the game was not as complete as we wanted and we spent the first few months trying to "fix" the game where we could. About a month or so ago we took the decision to stop trying to "fix it" as we still wouldn't have the game we wanted and the game certainly did not meet all the objectives and specifications established in the original game design document and therefore it would be better to go back to the founding principles and build the game we always wanted –Andrew is now overseeing the project and working very closely with the team to build Stellar Dawn, not all was lost as we naturally have developed the game engine substantially over the last few years and the new designs benefits massively from this as well as a ton of experience within the team as to what works and what doesn't. So whilst the content and a lot of the game play will change from what was previously built almost everything else will go straight back into Stellar Dawn.[38]
Mark Gerhard, 25 October 2009

Building on the MechScape game engine, Jagex planned to release a new MMO, confirmed to be Stellar Dawn, in 2010.[37]

Previously, if one attempted to go to Stellardawn.com, they would be redirected to FunOrb.com. This domain now links to Jagex.

On 14 July 2010, the Stellar Dawn website was put up.[39] On the website, users could sign up to be part of a closed beta. However, on 2 March 2012, the Stellar Dawn project was paused from further development.[40] A Jagex moderator confirmed in January 2013 that development of Stellar Dawn would resume in either 2014 or 2015; however, as of 2020 this has yet to happen.

Transformers Universe[edit | edit source]

Jagex and Hasbro were working on a Transformers MMO, titled Transformers Universe. It was in development for several years, and the game was released into Open Beta in 2014. This game has received much more mainstream coverage than any of Jagex's previous games, as it is part of a major entertainment franchise. However, the game was shut down on 31 January 2015, after being announced that the game would be closing.

Ace of Spades[edit | edit source]

Ace of Spades is a sandbox-style first-person shooter originally developed by former developers of Minecraft. The original developers decided to leave, and Jagex took over the remainder of the development. Its goal is to go against the cliches of most first-person shooters and create a unique experience. It has been in prototype phase for a year, and has already garnered more than one million players. It has been released and is available on Steam for a small, one-time fee.

Charity fundraising[edit | edit source]

Since 2004, Jagex has made donations to a number of national and international charities. It has also run charity auctions for signed merchandise.

In 2008, they donated artwork and prizes to the MMOCalendar, which raises funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

In 4 years (probably 2005-2008[confirmation needed]), Jagex has donated money to charity, broken down as below.

  • Year ending 6 March - £106,000
  • Year ending 7 March - £157,000
  • Year ending 8 March - £147,000
  • Current year to date - £127,000

The charities that Jagex have donated to include:

  • Save the Children
  • Hamlin Churchill Childbirth Injuries Fund
  • Cancer Research
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign
  • Bury Bombers Wheelchair Basketball
  • SOS Children's Villages
  • East Anglican Children's Hospice (EACH) [41]

Jagex has also taken part in the Movember charity for men, and all revenue that comes from RuneFest is donated to charity.

Further charity has been taken in the form of conversion of in-game wealth from players donations to money, from the Well of Goodwill, donated at $1 per 1 million gp.

YouTube channel[edit | edit source]

Also in early 2008, Jagex created their own YouTube channel, called "thejagexchannel", which is "The official YouTube channel for Jagex Ltd, producers of quality online games based on Java technology."[42] However, this channel is rarely used since 2013. Much of Jagex's Youtube activity now comes from their RuneScape channel on Youtube, under the name "Runescape".[43]

Jagex also has a Twitter account called Jagex, alongside a presence on Twitter from many Jagex employees, and a Facebook page.

Logo Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Companies House WebCheck.*
  2. Annual report and financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2016. Jagex Limited.*
  3. 3.0 3.1 About Jagex. RuneScape Customer Support documentation. Jagex Limited. “Jagex, which stands for Java Gaming Experts, is the name of the company which produces the Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, MMORPG, RuneScape, and the Java Activities site, FunOrb, as well as some other small games. In December 2001, Andrew Gower, Paul Gower and Constant Tedder got together and founded Jagex Limited as a commercial operation to take over the running of RuneScape, its underlying technologies and other games developed by Andrew.”*
  4. Video: RuneScape HD Details from Leipzig GC. Ten Ton Hammer, owned and operated by Master Games International Inc.. 27 September 2008.*
  5. Mod Balance. "Jagex Investment & Aquisition." 14 July 2016. (Archived from the original on 14 July 2016.) General Forums.
  6. Jamie Quested. Investment bonanza triggered as Jagex goes to Chinese in $300m deal. Business Weekly. 14 July 2016.*
  7. Wesley Yin-Poole. Runescape maker Jagex bought by Chinese investors. Eurogamer.net. 14 July 2016.*
  8. Christopher Dring. Jagex profit and revenue spike in another record year. gameindustry.biz. 10 September 2018.*
  9. JAGEX CELEBRATES 18 YEARS OF RUNESCAPE AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH. Gamasutra/Jagex. 4 January 2019.*
  10. Shanghai Fukong Interactive Entertainment Swings To Net Loss In Jan-Sept. Reuters. 30 October 2018. (Archived from the original on 24 March 2019.)*
  11. Bree Royce. RuneScape dev Jagex is up for sale by its struggling Chinese owners after posting record high year. MassivelyOP.com. 25 January 2019.*
  12. Alissa McAloon. A 'major reorganization' could see RuneScape dev Jagex put up for sale. Gamasutra/Jagex. 28 January 2019.*
  13. Jagex. "A company Announcement." 28 April 2020. Old School RuneScape News.
  14. Tom Ivan. RuneScape maker Jagex acquired for $530 million. VGC. 28 April 2020.*
  15. James Batchelor. Jagex sold for $530m. GamesIndustry.biz. 28 April 2020.*
  16. Jagex. The Carlyle Group Acquires Jagex.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Image Trademark with Serial Number 79206559. JUSTIA Trademarks. 18 May 2017.*
  18. Jagex Software. Jagex Ltd.. (Archived from the original on 29 November 1999.)*
  19. Jagex. RuneFest's Twitter account. 28 August 2010. (Archived from the original on 6 December 2012.)
  20. Jagex. "RuneScape reaches one million members!." 4 May 2007. Old School RuneScape News.
  21. Rich List 2006. Sunday Times Online. (Archived from the original on 22 May 2011.)*
  22. RuneScape Developers Jagex Ltd. Secure Investment from Insight Venture Partners. GamingBlog. 28 October 2005. (Archived from the original on 25 July 2009.)*
  23. Jagex. "German Language Beta Launch – Some Information." 14 February 2007. Old School RuneScape News.
  24. Jagex. "Hereinspaziert - die Open Beta der deutschen Version beginnt!." 7 March 2007. Old School RuneScape News.
  25. The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For. Sunday Times Online. (Archived from the original on 30 September 2007.)*
  26. Fallout 3 crowned 'game of year'. BBC Newsbeat. 30 October 2009.*
  27. Jagex Company History. Jagex Ltd.. (Archived from the original on 2 July 2007.)*
  28. Michael Zenke. E308: Jagex teases sci-fi successor to RuneScape, Mechscape. Massively. 15 July 2008. (Archived from the original on 19 July 2008.)*
  29. MechScape World. MechScape World. (Archived from the original on 25 May 2010.)*
  30. MechScape - what do we know?. Zybez. 08 August 2008. (Archived from the original on 16 August 2008.)*
  31. Jagex. "RuneScape France." 11 December 2008. Old School RuneScape News.
  32. jettyguy. "RuneFest - Runescape Genesis Devious MUD." YouTube video. 30 August 2010.
  33. Mod Korpz. FunOrb Announcement Forums. 27 February 2008. (Archived from the original on 2 March 2008.)*
  34. FunOrb News. (Archived from the original on 2018-08-05.)*
  35. MCV Staff. Jagex to close online game portal FunOrb. MCV/Develop. 9 May 2018.*
  36. Schiehsl3. "Jagex Confirms MechScape (At E3)." YouTube video. 1 December 2008.
  37. 37.0 37.1 Michael French. MechScape dropped by developer Jagex. casualgaming.biz. 30 October 2009. (Archived from the original on 1 November 2009.)*
  38. PoultryChamp. Mark Gerhard’s Q&A with MechScape World. MechScape World. 25 October 2009. (Archived from the original on 27 October 2009.)*
  39. Jagex. Stellar Dawn's Twitter account. 14 July 2010. (Archived from the original on 6 July 2020.) Stellar Dawn: "The Stellar Dawn #mmorpg website has now been launched at http://www.stellardawn.com"
  40. Mod Mmg. Pausing Stellar Dawn. 2 March 2012. (Archived from the original on 6 March 2012.)*
  41. Jagex Ltd.. Charities. (Archived from the original on 18 August 2011.)*
  42. Jagex. YouTube.*
  43. RuneScape. YouTube.*

External links[edit | edit source]