Last week, we covered the disturbing news that RuneScape developer Jagex was being put up for sale by the Chinese holding company that purchased it back in 2016. The reason, as we pointed out, wasn’t that Jagex has performed poorly; in fact, the RuneScape franchise continues to shine year after year. The reason was that the Chinese company, Shanghai Fukong, struggled in 2018 because of the flagging Chinese communication sector and gaming freeze in the region, leading to reduced revenue, falling stocks, and even the resignation of the company chairman in December.
There’s a bit more news this week. UK website PC Games Insider got a statement from Jagex reassuring everyone about the health of the studio and Fukong’s plans for it.
“A sale of assets is one of multiple routes Fukong Interactive has available as it restructures and, by making this initial statement to the market, Fukong can now begin exploring such options. […] Whatever the outcome of Fukong’s restructure, Jagex continues to execute on our short-term and long-term strategies for the RuneScape franchise, which has seen five years of consistent growth, delivered lifetime revenues of $1billion, and now has player membership at an all-time high driven by our living games approach and a successful first move to mobile with Old School RuneScape. Jagex has never been in better shape and the year ahead will see further investment in the organisation as we expand our talent base to create and deliver significant new content for our players, build on our Jagex Partners third-party publishing initiative, in addition to increasing our presence in mobile sector with RuneScape itself.”
In happier news, Jagex did deliver an update on RuneScape this week, covering loot sharing, stone spirits, and upcoming events.