Big investment will highlight Britain's development prowess, CEO tells Develop

Jagex: We haven’t sold out to US

The CEO of Runescape developer Jagex insists that the company remains “a staunchly British company” following the reveal that a New York investment group owns a controlling stake in the company.

Mark Gerhard (pictured) insisted that “nothing has changed at Jagex” since Insight Venture Partners bought an additional 20 per cent of company equity in December 2010, lifting its stake to 55 per cent.

“We remain a staunchly British company and want to see the UK become synonymous with numerous great games successes again,” Gerhard told Develop.

“We employ the very best talent from around the World, but we will always retain our British culture and values that have been instrumental in our successful as a developer and publisher,” he added.

Gerhard, who is a board member of UK trade association Tiga, described Insight’s controlling stake as “old news”. The investment was publicly announced in February last year, though details of how this affected equity were not known to the public until the beginning of this week.

He said that Develop’s article presented the deal “in an inaccurate fashion, suggesting somehow that we have sold out.”

“This could not be further from the truth,” he said.

“In order for us to compete and innovate in a global market, which is where all online games developers are, we require investment and support to push us to the next level. This way we can truly put Britain on the map as a British independent developer and publisher.”

Insight venture Partners managing director Jeff Horing said the investment group “has supported Jagex’s management team to build engaging new games, hire and foster local British talent, and become an integral part of the UK gaming community”.

“We strongly believe in the ability of Jagex’s management team to execute their vision of being the leading developer of fun, content-rich, role -based games for British and global gamers,” Horing told Develop.

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