Back in March, we reported on the rumored sale of Jagex to Chinese company Shandong Hongda, a company known chiefly for its mining operations. The rumored price was $300 million; at the time, the RuneScape studio told us that it had “entered into a non-exclusive, non-binding arrangement for a potential acquisition” and that it was still “business as usual” for the MMO teams.
Today, the British studio has announced that the merger is complete with a new Board of Directors. The press release says,
“The acquisition of Jagex is the first move in creating a dedicated, highly focused Chinese-owned games company within a newly created structure of a highly respected and well established local organisation, which is committing significant resources to the new entity. The move will see Jagex propelled into a new investment cycle to charge forward with growth projects for RuneScape and its franchise extensions, while seeking out additional Mergers and Acquisitions opportunities to ramp up its presence in the gaming space.”
Jagex has further clarified that “the new company will be part of a group of companies, of which Shandong is another company in the family.”
There’s a statement from Jagex CEO Rod Cousens too:
“Having visibility in China, which is now the biggest gaming market in the world, the new entity is a compelling and attractive proposition for western businesses seeking to broaden their reach in a fast-rising, rapid growth region. It will enable them to tap into a creative and development talent pool to design and develop content for the Chinese consumer and engage with, and expand, a global community. Jagex will continue to be operated by the existing management team, which has overseen an impressive trading performance in recent times and driven its iconic franchise, RuneScape to continued growth. It will be business as usual for the Company, its players and its employees post-acquisition.”