Jagex wants to be a third-party publisher

Jagex wants to be a third-party publisher

RuneScape firm Jagex says it wants to become a third-party publisher.

That's according to the firm's CEO Phil Mansell, who told that the company wants to help out smaller developers. The exec says that the Cambridge-based outfit will be helping out studios with marketing as well as customer service infrastructure.

The publisher has previously raised the possibility of helping out smaller developers, but this is the first time that Jagex has explicitly detailed what it means by this. 

The firm is best known for MMO RuneScape and has tried to expand into new areas before - such as the MOBA market with Transformers Universe - but this has been unsuccessful. 

"If we are going to continue to make RuneScape and Old School a success, plus create, launch and maintain new games, then we need to have world class publishing," he said.

"We've got good at RuneScape, but there's still a lot more we can do with that. We are going to double down and really invest, and not just have those services for our own games. We will - to a degree - become a third-party publisher.

"I am seeing a number of games where developers are getting towards Early Access. They've made an awesome game and they are thinking about how to take it to market, and whether they need marketing capital, or worrying about how to manage customer support, or debating whether to go on Steam and give away 30 per cent.

"If not, are they going to have their own billing and leaderboards and account management? What about the more advanced stuff, like customer relationship management, marketing automation, and then influencers and social media? How do you do that professionally, at scale and worldwide? How do you stop yourself getting DDOSed if you make an enemy in some corner of the internet? That is a really valuable skillset.

"I don't think there is a go-to, third-party live games publisher out there. A lot of the big publishers do bits of it, although they have one foot in retail and love premium because of how the economics work, and they do that extremely well. But we are a specialist, best-in-class, live games publisher, PC-first but not PC-only... Cross-play is going to become increasingly important and will be a significant skill for us. We think there will be a big opportunity there."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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