UK-based Runescape developer: Jagex

The New York-based venture capital firm Insight Ventures has purchased a majority stake in Jagex, the online game studio behind the long-running MMO Runescape, reports Develop.

This acquisition marks a noted organizational shift for Jagex, as it moves control of the Cambridge-based developer from the UK into the United States.

As part of the deal, Jagex has agreed to pay off £2.5 million ($3.8 million) in pending expenses, and it will use its latest investment from Insight Ventures to “accelerate” its upcoming product launches.

Insight Ventures previously acquired 35 percent of Jagex in 2005, and in February 2011 the firm further invested in the company to bolster its publishing capabilities.

Develop reports that in the 12 months ending March 2011, Jagex revenues reached £45.3 million ($69.8 million), while profits for the fiscal year hit £6.7 million ($10.3 million) after the studio heavily invested in several upcoming projects.

In March 2011, the developer announced a partnership with toymaker Hasbro to create an online game based on the Transformers license, due to launch later this year.

Jagex’s flagship MMO Runescape launched in 2001, and now boasts more than 156 registered accounts.

Jagex is currently located in Cambridge, and employed roughly 400 personnel as of March 2011, says Develop.

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