Jagex, best known as the developer of RuneScape, has established a publishing division called Jagex Partners.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the Cambridge company revealed the first four key Jagex Partners employees, of what will eventually become an eight-strong team. Jeff Pabst, previously of NCSoft, Trion Worlds, Microsoft and Sega, will be the company’s VP of third-party publishing. Simon Bull, ex-EA, Trion and NCSoft, will be head of third-party marketing. Sarah Tilley will be head of third-party product management, and John Burns will be Senior VP of publishing.
Bull said: “Over the last seven months we’ve been working towards this point. We are now bringing on people with good third-party experience. Reaching out to developers who we know, others have come to us, and building good processes to manage those relationships.”
Jagex Partners is keen to emphasise its experience with “live” games, based on the online-only, browser-based and constantly mutating RuneScape. Pabst said: “We’re going to learn things from these developers, which will inform how we’re going to do things. The way that the market has gone in the last five to eight years, you really do have to assess this from a completely different perspective than historically. The amount of content that is out there, and the democratisation of development through funding and access to tools, has created a whole lot of really cool ideas that just need to be gestated and brought to life.”
According to GamesIndustry.biz, Jagex Partners has already seen over 100 games seeking a publisher. Pabst said: “We’re looking at games that can become living games. Which means we want to find a game and clear all of the obstacles from it so that it can run for 17-plus years. I’m not saying that they will all run for that long. There’s a lot of under-promising and over-delivering on the team. But yeah, if we found the next PUBG, I don’t think we’d be unhappy.”
If you’re keen to find out more, keep an eye on the Jagex website.