Jagex reported its financial results for 2016 as a whole, announcing they had beat expectations. Annual revenue was up 28%, to £74.4 million (~$92.8 million). Profits after tax grew 21.5%, to £28.8 million (~$35.9 million).
The company credits its record year to its investments into the Runescape IP, which includes the current MMO and Old School RuneScape. The company introduced NXT, an all-new proprietary visual engine and game client, which delivered a total graphical overhaul and a raft of technical improvements to the game, as well as adding new content in the form of archipelago of undiscovered islands, The Eastern Lands. This does not include the additional investments Jagex has made to Old School RuneScape. The vintage version received substantial support this year in the form of a dozen new world servers. The game itself has also proven popular as an eSports venue, with Old School’s Deadman tournaments some of the most-watched on live streams.
Last year also saw Jagex become part of Fukong Interactive Entertainment, previously known as ZhongJi Holding. Part of Shanghai Zhongji Enterprise Group, Fukong represents the group’s first foray into the gaming sector and it has invested significant resources into its worldwide push. As the western arm of the new global gaming group, Jagex has benefited from increased funding toward in-house projects.
As for its plans for the future, the company has said that it intends to continue to invest in its games. One of those investments includes the introduction of Menaphos: The Golden City, the first in a series of major expansions for RuneScape. Jagex also intends to leverage Old School RuneScape’s increased popularity with content and marketing, including further eSports events. The company also intends to expand the franchise to new devices and titles, while also investing in developing original IP to reach new audiences. The company is also looking for opportunities to invest in what it calls complementary ventures.
“Through investment in big ticket content, technology, marketing and strengthening the relationship we enjoy with millions of players that form our deeply-engaged community, the team delivered landmark performance by growing active users, conversion rates and subscribers,” said Phil Mansell, COO of Jagex and its acting CEO. “With a 16-year world class reputation for running free-to-play games in live operations, Jagex is now building a pathway for franchise extension, innovation and creativity.”