After 20 years and 5 corporate owners, RuneScape players joke past reported $1.1 billion buyout of MMO icon Jagex: "Time to pool our money, boys."

Old School Runescape
(Image credit: Jagex)

Jagex Limited has been acquired for the fifth time in its 25-year history, prompting fans to joke through another corporate shakeup.

For some background, Jagex is the developer and publisher behind the long-running, hugely popular free-to-play MMO RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, which is still breaking player records a decade into its run. The company has since dabbled in various other genres and is set to publish upcoming roleplaying sequel Earthlock 2.

Jagex was founded in 1999 and has jumped between several different corporate owners in that time. Now, investment firms CVC Capital Partners Funds and Haveli Investments have agreed to acquire the game company for £900 million/$1.1 billion, a price tag reported by Sky News. This marks Jagex's fifth corporate owner in its quarter-century lifespan. 

RuneScape lead Phil Mansell took to social media to "reassure" players that the studio is committed to the quality of its games. "We will not compromise the integrity of our games and there are no intentions of changing our game's business models," writes Mansell. "Players will remain at the heart of what we do, and we will continue to live the values that make these worlds iconic."

Mansell's statement was seemingly in response to community concerns that the buyout would lead to unsavory business practices in its games, akin to the pay-to-win battle passes that backfired on the company last year. Over on Reddit, RuneScape players joked that if the game's 86,000 concurrent players threw in $10,000 each, the community could buy Jagex themselves. "Time to pool our money, boys," one player jokes, "I'll start with $5."

See where RuneScape lands on our best MMORPG ranking. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.