Proprietary tech and tribe spirit, says the RuneScape developer

What makes Jagex so special?

In Develop’s latest studio profile, in which we take a tour of Jagex’s Cambridge facility, the company CEO Mark Gerhard has explained why he thinks the developer is so different from its peers.

“Operationally we’re totally different from any other studio I’ve ever seen, even to the point that we’ve built our own tools to change the way we handle the development processes,” stated Gerhard.

“The content developers have access to all the tools to create their own content, whereas at other studios normally it’s much more of a production line.”

At Jagex, where Gerhard presides over a workforce united by what he calls a ‘tribe spirit’, the staff work with an near-completely proprietary system. All the tech relating directly to development side is built in-house, as are numerous tools, the cryptography, compression, protocol, bug tracking and web-servers.

The focus on the proprietary is something that Gerhard believes will help Jagex avoid the ‘production line’ approach that the CEO suggests take place at other studios.

“Every time something gets lost in translation as it goes from one team to the next team as someone does the coding, and someone comes back and does the graphics and then somebody does the QA,” say Gerhard of more typical development houses’ structures.

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