In January 2019, we learned that RuneScape maker Jagex had been put up for sale by its Chinese owner, Shanghai Fukong Interactive. In July, we followed that up with news that the company had been sold, for $530 million, to American company Platinum Equity, a claim that Jagex described as just “one of various possible outcomes” two days later.
Like Thanos, that outcome proved inevitable. Jagex today announced that it has been purchased by Platinum Fortune, one of the funds managed by global asset management company Macarthur Fortune Holding LLC, for $530 million. Included in the sale is Hongtou Network, the company originally described by some sources as being the one that purchased Jagex in 2016. So the names may have been shifted around, but the news from last July is roughly the same.
(Correction: The original article equated Platinum Equity and Platinum Fortune as being the same company. We’ve since been corrected on this front: The two are separate companies, with Fortune, managed by Macarthur Fortune Holding LLC, being the one that purchased Jagex.)
Jagex CEO Phil Mansell had this to say about the transaction:
“The combined strength of Macarthur Fortune and Jagex will both support and enhance our strategic plan to deliver great gaming experiences to our communities of RuneScape players and build on our portfolio with more living games for a global audience.”
You can go back and read my take from July when the news was unofficially announced; the gist of it is that I wouldn’t be jumping for joy if I were a RuneScape player. One overall positive I might envision is that Jagex will at least continue to make games for the foreseeable future, and possibly try and innovate something new over the next few years. It’s a near-certainty that something needs to be changed up because the company’s attempts at branching out from the core RuneScape experience haven’t gone all that well.
It’s also possible that there was effectively no change at all. Several people seem to be of the opinion that Jagex’s “new” owners are basically the same as their old ones. A Redditor who claims to work in mergers and acquisitions thinks that the general lack of information about Platinum Fortune is odd, especially considering the size of this deal. “I get an impression that these acquirers whilst incorporated in the US, may just be a subsidiary of a Chinese company,” the person speculated. We’ll hold off on rewriting the headline for now, though.