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February 7, 2024
2 Min Read
Image via Jagex
Runescape developer Jagex might be about to hop back on the M&A carousel. Sky News is reporting that private investment firm CVC Capital Partners is in talks to purchase the UK studio in a deal worth £900 million ($1.1 billion).
CVC is based in Luxembourg and has invested in over 120 companies worldwide, including sports brands such as Spanish soccer league LaLiga and tech companies like app monetization platform IronSource, the latter of which was acquired by Unity in 2022.
It's claimed CVC could formally agree to purchase a controlling stake in Jagex in the next few days, having seen off interest from a number of rivals.
One source close to the deal told Sky that CVC's sports, media, and entertainment team helped broker the deal after searching for ways to secure franchise assets with global appeal. CVC declined to comment when approached by Sky.
Jagex's potential fourth owner
If the deal goes through, it would represent the fourth time Jagex has welcomed new owners in the past eight years. The studio was bought by Fukong Network for $230 million in 2016, before Macarthur Fortune Holding swooped in to purchase the company for $530 million in 2020.
Macarthur then sold Jagex to current owner The Carlyle Group for an undisclosed fee in January 2021.
Under its current owners, Jagex has expanded its internal development capabilities with the acquisitions of Scum developer Gamepires and U.S. studio Pipeworks. It also saw Runescape surpass 300 million players in 2022, which at the time represented a record high.
The Carlyle Group said it wanted to help Jagex "evolve the core Runescape" franchise when it bought the studio, but is now apparently looking to make a relatively swift exit.
Game Developer has reached out to Jagex for comment.
About the Author(s)
News Editor, GameDeveloper.com
Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.
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