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Jagex Ltd .
Jagex logo2
Type Private
Founded 2001 (incorporated 28 April 2000)[1]
Headquarters Cambridge, United Kingdom
Key people Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, and Constant Tedder (founders); Mark Gerhard (company CEO).
Industry Computer and video game industry, MMORPG, Software consultancy & supply[1]
Products RuneScape, FunOrb, Stellar Dawn
Employees Between 380 and 400[2]
Website http://www.jagex.com/

Jagex Ltd. (or Jagex Games Studio / Jagex Software / JAGeX) is a English producer of Java-based online games. The name "Jagex" stands for "Just About the Game Experience" (previously "Java Gaming Experts"). The company is best-known for its browser-based MMORPG, RuneScape.

HistoryEdit

Andrew Gower began trading under the Jagex name in 1999, describing Jagex Software as a "small software company based in England who specialise in producing top-quality Java-games for webpages". That same year, he began work on RuneScape alongside his brother Paul Gower, which was released in January 2001. In December of that year, Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, and Constant Tedder launched Jagex in its current incarnation, with Constant Tedder as its CEO. Jagex Ltd formally acquired the Jagex name from Andrew Gower in 2001. A pay-to-play version of RuneScape was released on 27 February, 2002. It gained 5,000 subscriptions in the first week, making RuneScape one of the largest Java pay-to-play games in the world.

By 11 December, 2003, RuneScape had 65,000 paying members, and Jagex had 29 employees. As of May 4, 2007, RuneScape has over 6,000,000 active free accounts and over 1,000,000 active pay-to-play subscribers, and Jagex currently has over 400 employees. In 2006, founders Andrew Gower and Paul Gower were calculated to be worth £32 million. Jagex also received an investment from Insight Venture Partners in October 2005.

On 23 October, 2007, Geoff Iddison, former European CEO of PayPal, replaced Constant Tedder as CEO in order to "accelerate international growth." Since Geoff Iddison was appointed, Jagex has appeared in the press far more frequently than it had under Tedder.

On 27 February, 2008, Jagex released FunOrb, an online mini-games portal with 36 launch games that can be played in a internet browser.

On 25 July, 2008, Jagex released its first novel--"RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador", written by TS Church. To promote its release 10 of the pre-ordered copies were signed by TS Church, Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, Jagex CEO Geoff Iddison, and the cover artist. The book was published by Babel Interactive Ltd. of Worcestershire.

MechScapeEdit

Main article: MechScape

Jagex has registered UK trademarks and various related domain names for the term "MechScape". Jagex's Head of MechScape Henrique Olifiers announced at E3 2008 that MechScape was a new MMO that Jagex were working on, expected in the first quarter of 2009. He claims it will be browser-based like RuneScape, but one or two steps beyond RuneScape HD's level of technology. It will have a science fiction theme and be aimed at an older audience.[3]

In an interview with GamesIndusy.biz Iddison stated that Jagex have "got a very, very big investment into another MMO" and that it is expected to be released "early next year, Q1 2009" - when asked if it was the MechScape brand, he replied "I can't say too much more, I'm afraid". On June 18, Iddison announced at the GameHorizon conference that Jagex had "a brand new MMO due for launch in March 2009."[4]


On October 29, 2009 in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard stated that MechScape was canceled just before its release. The decision, he told GamesIndustry.biz, was made in August when the assembled game failed to meet the standards of Jagex's new CEO and his team. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/decision-to-cancel-mechscape-costs-jagex-tens-of-millions

OperationEdit

Jagex has over 400 employees, working to update RuneScape and FunOrb, and provide support for its customers. They employ a wide variety of workers, including 3D modelers, game developers, customer support, programmers, translators, quality assurance, and managers. They currently have offices in Cambridge and London.

They maintain about 160 servers for RuneScape in various locations around the United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Mexico, Brazil, Norway. Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, as well as several servers for the multi-player games on FunOrb. Non-English versions of the game have also been released, including three German beta servers as well as a French server due in December 2008.

The company has a dedicated Community Safety Team, who deal with any issues related to child safety, real life threats, cyberbullying and abuse. The team operates 24 hours a day and works with Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, Virtual Global Task force, and MCMEC. The team also helps educate the players and parents about online safety.

Exhibitions and ConferencesEdit

In 2008 Jagex began attending a number of gaming conventions and exhibitions, both to show off its products and to give keynote speeches. Events it was present at included E3, the Leipzig Games Convention, and the Virtual Worlds Forum. At the 2008 Develop Conference they came third in the Pub Quiz.

Charity Fund RaisingEdit

Since 2004 Jagex has made donations to a number of national and international charities. It has also run charity auctions for signed merchandise.

In 2008 they donated artwork and prizes to the MMOCalendar, which raises funds for the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

In the past 4 years, Jagex has donated a lot of money to charity, broken down as below.

  • Year ending March 06 - £106,000
  • Year ending March 07 - £157,000
  • Year ending March 08 - £147,000
  • Current year to date - £127,000

The charities that Jagex have donated to include:

  • Save the Children
  • CAFOD
  • Hamlin Churchill Childbirth Injuries Fund
  • Cancer Research
  • Cystic Fibrosis Trust
  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign
  • Bury Bombers Wheelchair Basketball
  • SOS Children's Villages
  • East Anglican Children's Hospice (EACH) [5]

ReceptionEdit

Overall Jagex is a well-received company, ranking 59th in 2007 and 87th in 2008 on the Sunday Times' 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

In its intellectual property profile of RuneScape, Develop concluded that: "In addition to being one of the most profitable, Jagex is also the UK’s largest independent developer by staff level, and one of the biggest employers. Its commercial model should make it a poster boy for the disintermediation of publishers and the ‘direct to consumer’ distribution channel in which so many developers place their hopes."[6]

In the past Jagex had been accused of marketing RuneScape toward young children, despite having an 13+ age requirement. However the age requirement has since been removed, allowing players under 13 in the game but only allowing them to chat with the Quick Chat System of preset sentences.

Trivia Edit

The companies name, "Jagex", is sometimes said to derive its name from "Java Gaming Experts" It is also sometimes said to derive from "Just About the Gaming Experience"

External links Edit

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