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The Recent Years of Success for Jagex (Timeline)

Note: Sorry for the really long length of this post.

2008 – RuneScape HD released. FunOrb released. Jagex Store revamped. First RuneScape novel, Betrayal at Falador, released. Listed, for the second year in a row, on the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies list. Listed as “Industry Excellence Awards Finalist 2008” by Develop. Entered in, and maintained the title of ‘Most Popular F2P MMO’ by Guinness World Records. RuneScape France released.

2009 – Armies of Gielinor released. Mark Gerhard becomes CEO. RuneScape membership cards made available for the first time. First RuneScape machinima contest. RuneTek 5 released. First Jagex Golden Joystick award achieved. Several updates to the Jagex Store, with new items. RuneScape Classic reopened for the first time ever.

2010 – Second RuneScape Machinima Contest. “Big Ticket 2010” allows a select amount of players to have a completely paid trip to visit Jagex’s HQ. First Bonus XP Weekend in RuneScape. First RuneFest ever happens in London, massive success for Jagex. The 26th skill, Dungeoneering, is released. Jagex wins the Golden Joystick award the second year in a row. Jagex wins Develop’s “Industry Excellence Awards”. Jagex wins the NORA (National Online Recruitment Award). Jagex achieves two new world records, one for “most prolifically updated video game in history”, and the other for “most time spent in a F2P MMO”.

2011 – RuneScape, and by extension, Jagex’s 10th anniversary. Return to Canifis, the second RS novel, released. Free trade and PvP Wilderness return for the first time since 2007. Both the Clan Camp and Clan Citadel updates allow better clan interaction in the game. The Members’ Loyalty Programme is released. Refer-a-Friend Programme introduced. Jagex shows the world a piece of the “Jagex Fury” with ClusterFlutterer, their first anti-bot initiative since the return of FT/PvP Wilderness. The second RuneFest is held in London, an even bigger success than the first RuneFest. Jagex obtains the IP of a new browser game, Planetarion. Jagex is awarded the “Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation”, along with BestCompanies.co.uk’s “Best Company – One to watch” award for the third year in a row. Jagex obtains tinyGIANT Games in Carlsbad, California.

2012 – Jagex’s most successful year to date, with over £50 million in turnover, tens of millions of new players, 150 new employees and doubling of the RS team, the Evolution of Combat, the Squeal of Fortune, Solomon’s General Store, the game hits 200 million accounts since launch. RuneScape became the first and only video game so far to celebrate a monarch’s Diamond Jubilee in-game. BotWatch, Jagex’s strongest anti-bot initiative, comes with Botany Bay. 2012 was the first year where Jagex started running live streams with Jagex staff. This was the first year that Jagex began reworking old quests. Jagex reaches 1 million likes on its official Facebook page. 2012 also saw the release of Carnage Racing (their first social media game), and Ace of Spades (their first non-browser game). Release of the third RuneScape novel, Legacy of Blood. Jagex moves from their three UK offices, to one very large HQ office in Cambridge Science Park, and opens their very first non-UK studio in California, with ex-Rockstar developers staffing it; they developed Carnage Racing. Jagex starts working with TIGA to provide a platform for independent games developers to get out into the market easier.

2013 – The most important quest to date in RuneScape comes with the grandmaster quest, The World Wakes. Return of 2007-era servers by community vote with Old School RuneScape. Officially tops World of Warcraft (the previous king) in active player count. First official press release event at Peckforton Castle to reveal RuneScape 3 to the world. Tops 2012 by the end of summer, with the release of RuneScape 3. Jagex ventures out to become the first developer to launch a full-scale MMO on tablets and smart TVs, set to innovate mobile gaming. Later in the year comes additional cities in RuneScape, two new skills in RuneScape (one of them being known to be Divination), the third RuneFest, along with Transformers Universe, and several undisclosed titles as told by Mark Gerhard. (One of the rumoured names, based upon domain registrations by Jagex, is ‘Space Punk’) Possible release of ‘Assembly Corp’, their Steam-like service reportedly in development based upon recent trademark applications, and officially-registered domains bearing the name. Jagex partners with Brazil’s largest ISP to bring RuneScape to the masses in Brazil.

2014 – Tops 2013 possibly, by the complete reboot of FunOrb with new games, updates to the old ones, full community support, a new site, new HTML5 games, and further venturing into mobile gaming. Additional graphic reworks in RuneScape such as reworking old game models and textures, new foliage and trees, possible expansion of the game world and cities, loads of unknown content to RS, and possibly the resuming of development of Stellar Dawn. Possible new titles outside of FunOrb.

2015 – If development for Stellar Dawn doesn’t resume in 2014, it is set to resume in 2015. Beyond that, is anyone’s guess for that year, though at the rate Jagex is getting bigger and more successful, it’s quite possible that every year could just become bigger and better for Jagex. Almost a certainty of more individual titles.

2020 – Jagex sits on the throne, as the most successful independent game company in the world, with nearing 100 games in their portfolio. Steam is successfully dethroned by Assembly Corp as the main digital distribution software. World of Warcraft shuts down/loses more players and RuneScape takes the crown. Major gaming portals lose out to FunOrb, which becomes the number one online games destination.

Okay, so the 2020 thing may be a bit of wishful thinking, but think about it – while other gaming companies such as Activision-Blizzard with WoW, Zynga, and EA who are all laying off employees and closing down projects and services left and right, Jagex hasn’t been affected by any MAJOR layoffs (excluding the small layoff that happened after 8Realms closed), and their profits and playerbase just keep getting larger.

While some of the things I listed above could just be rumours (though I doubt it, there’s reasonable source info around the net to support most of it), Jagex’s future is INCREDIBLY bright for the next 10 years, likely more. Jagex, that tiny little indie development studio developing a semi-amateur MMO (back in the early days) with only around 10 employees and one game in their catalog has expanded SO much that it’s borderline phenomenal. 550 employees, three offices, a partnership with a massive ISP in Brazil, a new software to dethrone Steam (I hate Steam, so it’s a welcome thought that Jagex could potentially knock it out of the picture), two new MMOs, a FPS, a large casual gaming site, a massive playerbase larger than almost every other online playerbase, and so many more potential updates we may not know of yet. Think about it – Jagex could possibly reach the success of massive games companies like Ubisoft or Activision. For real. It’s within reach. Jagex’s timing is excellent. Now they must play their cards right, and everything will play out in their favour.

For most players, this may be an “Oh, that’s nice” moment. But for a guy whose dream and passion is to work at Jagex, and who has followed both the company and RuneScape for so long, it makes me ecstatic. The little startup is rapidly growing into a massive entertainment empire. There’s three things I’m REALLY looking forward to in life, in reverse order (from least to the most): 3) All of this to come to pass and for Jagex to grow larger and larger, 2) For me to join Jagex in a couple of years, and 1) For my Lord’s return.

All of this news is like a massive slap in the face to the whiners, haters, and doubters who keep claiming Jagex has only a year or two ahead of them, and that they’re going downhill. I’m actually literally chuckling at that fact a bit right now. 😛

WOOHOO!!! Life is GOOD! 😉

Sources:

http://www.develop-online.net/search/news/runescape

http://www.develop-online.net/search/news/jagex

http://www.develop-online.net/news/44637/Jagex-hails-most-successful-year-to-date

http://www.develop-online.net/news/43607/Runescape-3-underway-Jagex-download-store-rumoured

http://www.develop-online.net/news/44638/RuneScape-heads-to-Brazil-as-Jagex-expands

http://pliigi.me/

http://www.linkedin.com/company/tinygiant-games

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