Revenue up almost ten per cent year-on-year in 2018 for RuneScape maker Jagex

Revenue up almost ten per cent year-on-year in 2018 for RuneScape maker Jagex

RuneScape maker Jagex reports that it saw its revenue climb 9.3 per cent year-on-year for 2018.

That's according to the firm's fiscal year 2018 report, which claims that the Cambridge-based studio saw income of $120.7m (£92.8m) while profits before tax rose 3.8 per cent to $60.9m (£46.8m).

During 2018, Jagex says it made over 100 hires and increased its R&D budget by a nice 69 per cent year-on-year. No doubt this is tied to the company trying to spread itself beyond just RuneScape - at least the current versions of its flagship game as well as bringing the MMO and its Old School variant to mobile. RuneScape monthly active users also doubled during 2018 - not bad. 

“2018 was Jagex’s fourth successive year of significant growth, with our highest ever active players, revenues and profitability, all while increasing inward investment to power future growth," CEO Phil Mansell (pictured) said.

"The successful release of Old School RuneScape on mobile is a major step in our company transformation plan; expanding our expertise to mobile, becoming a pioneer in cross-platform play, and increasing the reach of the RuneScape IP. 2018 also showcased our approach to ‘living games’ – sustaining deep long-term engagement by working closely with our player communities.”

“This lets us accelerate Jagex’s transformation; we have strengthened our leadership team and will continue to build on the company’s talent base, we are funding new game development, building out our third-party live game publishing, investing in massive publishing platform upgrades, whilst continuing to expand our live RuneScape games.”

Jagex chairman Lisa Pan added: “Jagex has delivered multiple years of sustained and meaningful growth through its pioneering leadership in the live game sector. Now in its fourth year of successive growth, Jagex has increased revenues by 46.3% since 2015 to deliver this best year on record. Jagex is today a powerhouse in its field; the team’s ability to focus and deliver on Jagex’s living games philosophy is driving success and it continues to grow a business that can attract the best partners and a place where the very best talent wants to work.”

Meanwhile, the firm's director and company secretary Yuanhui Huang commented: “In 2018, the RuneScape franchise had its best year on record. The arrival of Old School RuneScape on mobile was a significant growth catalyst and, by combining a highly customer-centric mindset with operational excellence, we saw long-term player retention, high rates of returning players and robust recurring revenues from membership. Jagex continues to flourish, deliver remarkably high levels of profitability whilst significantly increasing inward investment to build longer-term growth opportunities for the future.”

Though Jagex has been financially successful, the same cannot be said of its Chinese parent company Shanghai Fukong. That firm has seen dwindling results and announced in January that it was looking to sell all or part of its stake in the RuneScape maker. There's no news yet as to who might be taking a slice or all of Jagex yet.

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.