Here's an odd one: a Chinese mining company has bought Runescape developer Jagex for $300m.
That's according to the Financial Times and DealStreetAsia, which reports Shandong Hongda Mining Co Ltd, a ferrous metal mining firm that produces iron powder, copper powder and iron ore, picked up the British game company.
Jagex told Eurogamer it had yet to sign on the dotted line, but it looks like that's all that's left to do. Here's a statement:
- Jagex has entered into a non-exclusive, non-binding arrangement for a potential acquisition. The negotiations surrounding the acquisition are ongoing and it remains very much business as usual for the Company.
Runescape's head of community went a little further in a post on the game's forum, insisting its games remain "on track".
- As you may have seen through online news articles, Jagex is getting noticed. The company is getting attention from the east and the biggest market in the world, China, is knocking on our door. Jagex's shareholders have received offers of interest and have responded positively to an approach from a Chinese company.
- Jagex is in early stage discussions with the firm in question, but we must stress that they may - or may not - materialise into anything. However, should they come to fruition, it would potentially allow us access to the Asian marketplace to a high level.
- What does this mean for the plans we have for our games and our fantastic community? Put simply, our plans, including the launch of NXT, Zeah, Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, God Wars Dungeon 2, and RuneScape: Idle Adventures, remain on track. It is business as usual across Gielinor!
Shandong, apparently, wants to transform its business, and Jagex is the answer.
It's an interesting time for Jagex, which has been travelling down the road to recovery after the closure of MMO Transformers Universe in 2014 amid whispers of layoffs. Long-time boss Mark Gerhard left soon after. While it continues to work on free-to-play MMO Runescape, Jagex has developed virtual card game Chronicle: RuneScape Legends, which goes into open beta on 23rd March.