Back at the beginning of 2019, we covered the 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 noted then, wasn’t that the UK-based Jagex had performed poorly; it was that 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. In fact, Jagex spilled a lot of ink reassuring everyone that Jagex and RuneScape itself would be fine.
We’re still hoping that’s the case, but at least Jagex will avoid Fukong’s fate. At the end of June, Fukong announced that it would be selling Jagex to “US Platinum Fortune,” valuing it at $530M US ($230M more than it paid back in 2016). This is likely a mangled translation of Platinum Equity, which as Redditors point out is a California-based private equity investment firm. According to Chinese publication Yicai Global, Jagex generated 99.5% of Fukong’s revenue last year, but the Chinese company has been mired in 57 (!) “litigation and arbitration” cases relating to “financial and credit disputes.” Yikes.