Jagex Ltd. (also known as Jagex Software or JaGeX Games Studio) is a United Kingdom-based producer of Java-based online video games, whose name is a contracted form of Java Gaming Experts or Just About the Gaming Experience. The company name is pronounced [ˈdʒæɡɛks], as spoken by former CEO Geoff Iddison in August 2008. The company is best-known for its MMORPG RuneScape.
Jagex is a well-received company, ranking 59th on the Sunday Times' 100 Best Companies in the UK to Work For list for 2007, having been unranked for 2006. However, this slipped to number 87 for 2008.
The name Jagex Software has been in use since at least 1999 and was originally described as a "small software company based in England who specialise in producing top-quality Java-games for webpages". According to Companies House, Meaujo (492) Limited was incorporated on 28 April 2000, and changed its name to Jagex Limited on 27 June 2000. The aim of this company was to operate its MMORPG, RuneScape , which had been in development since 1999. By the time of the company's founding, one year after the release of the game, RuneScape already had over one million free accounts registered. The first tasks of the company were to create a version of the game with extra features that required a £3.20 ($5 USD) monthly fee, while still offering the free version, and to develop partnerships with advertisers. Both tasks were achieved, and the pay-to-play version of RuneScape was released on 27 February 2002, gaining 5,000 subscriptions in the first week making RuneScape one of the largest Java pay-to-play games in the world. On 4 May 2007, Jagex announced that RuneScape has over 9,000,000 free players and over 1,000,000 pay-to-play subscribers. In 2006, Andrew Gower and Paul Gower were calculated to be worth £32 million. On "The Rich List 2007", Andrew and Paul are under claims to be worth £106 million ($190 million USD). Andrew Gower is also known for his varieties of Java games. Jagex also received an investment from Insight Venture Partners in October 2005. The company had been self-funded before this investment. RuneScape has since been translated into German, French and recently in Portuguese. Jagex was ranked 59th on the list of The Best 100 Companies to work for by the Sunday Times. Jagex co-creator Andrew Gower still works with Jagex staff every day.