2019 ‘was a record-breaking year’ for Jagex and RuneScape

RuneScape has topped 1.1 million paying subscribers across its RuneScape and Old School RuneScape franchises.

In a press statement, developer Jagex also confirmed that Old School Runescape had a “surge in popularity” with daily active users hitting their highest level ever since the title released six years ago, but did not quantify the achievement. 

Other key achievements in 2019 included Old School RuneScape’s mobile version hitting eight million installs, as well as securing a BAFTA for EE Mobile Game of the Year, and Best Mobile Game at the Develop Stars Awards. The team has also streamed “a record-breaking 11.3 million minutes of content” on Twitch from RuneFest, the games’ fan convention, and raised over a quarter of a million pounds for charity.

RuneScape Mobile launched in Early Access, with the full version expected to roll out on iOS and Android later this year.

“Putting Jagex on track for its most successful year to date, 2019 was a record-breaking year for Jagex and our RuneScape communities,” said Phil Mansell, Jagex CEO. “We hit exciting milestones, welcomed more members and players to the games than at any point in their 19-year history, achieved significant success on mobile and saw notable industry talent joining our established teams to steer the future for our living games. We’re delighted and deeply appreciate the dedication of our staff and fans.

“This level of success only comes with the passion of huge player communities, who engage with our games because of the amazing craft and care from our talented teams. It is thanks to these efforts that we’ve been able to greatly increase our investment in our existing games, new product development and the broader business with more than 100 new hires coming onboard in the last 12 months. This includes senior leaders joining from EA, Blizzard, Activision, Ubisoft, Riot and more, adding more than 250 years of cumulative games industry experience to the Jagex team.”

“Our teams have continued to push the envelope of what we can do to grow our living games by engaging with our players and taking their valued feedback on board,” added Nick Beliaeff, SVP games development. “I’m very excited about our content plans for next year, including the highly anticipated Archaeology update for RuneScape and Morytania content arriving for Old School. We’re also gearing up for the full launch of RuneScape Mobile, following its Early Access release, as it prepares to join the brilliant Old School RuneScape on both iOS and Android later this year.”

“With the solid foundation of the RuneScape franchise and significant influx of new talent, 2020 is poised to be a big year for Jagex,” concluded John Burns, SVP Publishing. “These new additions to our team across all levels has added a great deal of industry-leading experience and knowledge to Jagex as the home of living games, and will fuel our ability to expand RuneScape and Old School RuneScape for players across PC and mobile, and extend the operations of the company itself to new sectors, ensuring long term growth for the years ahead.”

Jagex worked to expand its workforce by 25 per cent in 2019 with a number of new appointments bringing experience from Electronic Arts, Zynga, and Splash Damage. The firm said the new hires would “drive forward the company’s growth plans to continue the stellar performance of the RuneScape franchise”, as well as “build new game experiences and support its third-party games publishing initiative”.

2018 also saw Jagex grow its team by over 100 people – including several new senior appointments – while investment in research and development grew by 69 per cent. The company finished its 2018/19 fiscal year with a “record-breaking performance”, including a 9.3 per cent rise in income year-on-year, boosting revenue to £92.8 million and making it the company’s fourth successive year of growth.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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