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Geoff Iddison

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Geoff Iddison
Geoff iddison
Education BSc in Physics & Electronics - University of East Anglia
Employer Jagex
Occupation CEO of Jagex
Predecessor Constant Tedder
Successor Mark Gerhard
[view][talk]

Geoff Iddison is a former Chief Executive of Jagex,[1] having replaced Constant Tedder in 2007.[2] He is also one of the people who signed the prized copies of Betrayal at Falador, awarded to ten people who pre-ordered the book.[3]

He was succeeded by Mark Gerhard on 1 February 2009.[4] In July 2012, he began work for MasterCard.[5]

Before JagexEdit

Geoff iddison jan 2007

Iddison in approximately January 2007, before he joined Jagex.

Iddison qualified with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics & Electronics from the University of East Anglia, where he graduated in 1984.[6] He then worked as Head of Product Development in Research & Development at Crosfield Electronics until January 1991, when he joined I.P.S. Ltd. as Managing Director. In December 1995, he joined Christie's Inc. as chief operating officer (COO), and remained there until May 1999.

In May 2000, he joined eBay. They purchased PayPal on 3 October 2002,[7] and he subsequently became CEO of PayPal Europe Ltd. in August[2] or November[8] 2003. He remained there until July 2007, and subsequently joined Jagex.

Joining JagexEdit

Jagex's press release announced his appointment on the 23 October 2007,[2] but some sources claim that he had joined Jagex in August.[6][9]

I am very excited about joining Jagex. The company has built an amazing international playing community through the RuneScape game. The technology used to distribute the game and the incredible depth offered to anyone playing RuneScape makes Jagex a very different gaming company. Jagex's mantra is to offer fun, meticulously written and deep storyline-driven online games, at a price which offers unmatched value for money. This will continue to be the basis of the future strategy for the company.
 
— Geoff Iddison[2]
I am delighted that Geoff has joined us. His track record in e-commerce will definitely help us achieve our next level of goals. I, like the rest of Jagex, am excited about how Geoff will lead the business. There are many exciting projects in the pipeline and we can't wait to further improve our service and the games we offer.
 

Record of involvementEdit

Iddison's leadership saw many of Jagex's controversies, including the removal of the old-style Wilderness in December 2007[10] and the introduction of the trade limit in January 2008.[11] However, it has also seen the appearance of new features such as the Grand Exchange in November 2007[12] and RuneScape High Detail in July 2008,[13] as well as the launch of FunOrb in February 2008.[14]

Although Iddison confirmed in May 2008 that he intended to expand the RuneScape player base into parts of Asia (specifically Malaysia and India) and Eastern Europe,[15] this never came to fruition during his time with Jagex. He said: "Jagex is an internet business, but it's like a start-up. It reminds me of the very early days of eBay when I joined in 2000 and similarly with PayPal when eBay purchased it. That experience of taking a business from start-up to being a worldwide player is the business experience I'll be bringing to Jagex."[15]

He also revealed that Jagex is working on another game by saying: "My focus for the first two years of my time at Jagex will be... to bring in more games offerings to boost the portfolio. FunOrb is the first fruits of that but we have a massive year planned."[9] Additionally, he said: "We've got a very, very big investment into another MMO."[15] He calls this game "NextScape", though it is also known as "MechScape". It is scheduled for release in Europe and the United States at the same time,[9] but the release date is not known.

He said that RuneScape "has 10 years of good growth", but that "the game is going to come and go."[16] He confirmed that he did intend still to be investing in RuneScape in five years.[9] However, Iddison's successor, Mark Gerhard, said in February 2009: "We will never stop developing and improving RuneScape regardless of the success of our other games... In 5 to 10 years I see RuneScape as the biggest, most epic game in the world! RuneScape was our first born and we will always love it."[17]

ResignationEdit

Iddison resigned from Jagex in January 2009[4] for unspecified reasons. Based on the ambiguity about exactly when he joined Jagex, he worked for the company for 15 to 17 months, though Andrew Gower is quoted as saying that it was 18 months.

On behalf of everyone at Jagex, I’d like to thank Geoff for everything he has brought to the business over the last 18 months, and wish him all the best with his future endeavours.
 
I have enjoyed working for Jagex immensely. The business remains at the cutting edge of the video games industry and its continued growth reflects the strong business model and the high calibre of people within the company. It was great to be part of a business which is shaping the industry in such a way.
 
— Geoff Iddison [4]

However, in an interview published in May 2009, his successor Mark Gerhard commented on what he perceived as the problem with Iddison's approach, which he thought was being too concerned with making money. This was both through constantly encouraging free players to pay the membership fee, and by employing the most lucrative forms of advertising (namely video advertisements). He described this as "simply wrong, not in the spirit of the free game, absolutely wrong".

The problem was, a year or so ago, there was -- let me say confusion, as a subtle word -- as to what part of the business was important. I expect the CEO’s focus was just sort of on the profit and loss column, and all of the attention was sort of on "members members members and members conversions" and getting free players to convert to Members by putting members hooks in the free game. Unfortunately that had a really negative effect on the community, as you've taken what was an epic entirely free game and turned it into a sort of demo for the members game which was never the idea.

So unfortunately we had a year where we did that. One of my first orders of business in February was ripping that part out. There are various things we did to “monetize” the free players. Such as serving long-standing free players video ads. Something like 10 or 15 seconds. Which whilst profitable was simply wrong, not in the spirit of the free game, absolutely wrong.

 
— Mark Gerhard [18]

Gerhard had said when he took over as CEO in February that video ads "generate significantly more revenue than other adverts", but that they were "annoying to the point it was putting [free players] off playing", which is why he scrapped them immediately.[19]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Top 100 Best Companies. Careers. Jagex. “Current Chief Executive Geoff Iddison”
  2. ^ a b c d e Jagex appoints PayPal CEO to accelerate international growth. Press Releases. Jagex Ltd. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. “Jagex Ltd, the online games developer, announced that Geoff Iddison, the former European CEO of PayPal, has joined the company as CEO. ... Iddison takes over from Constant Tedder, who will remain on the board of Directors. Iddison held the position of CEO of eBay-owned payments business PayPal Europe Ltd from August 2003”
  3. ^ RuneScape Novel Released!. RuneScape News List. Jagex. “We have also drawn the Betrayal at Falador prize winners. Ten lucky people have been notified that they have won a RuneScape novel signed by TS Church, Andrew Gower, Paul Gower, Jagex CEO Geoff Iddison and the cover artist.”
  4. ^ a b c d Jagex Appoints Mark Gerhard as Chief Executive Officer. Press Releases. Jagex. “Jagex today announced the appointment of Mark Gerhard as the new Chief Executive Officer following the resignation of Geoff Iddison earlier this month. Mark Gerhard, who currently serves as the Chief Technical Officer at Jagex, has been appointed to lead the company from 1st February.”
  5. ^ Geoff Iddison's Biography. Biography. MasterCard. “Geoff Iddison is group executive, e-Commerce.”
  6. ^ a b LinkedIn: Geoff Iddison. LinkedIn Corporation. Archived from the original on 2007-12-04. “Geoff Iddison’s Experience: C.E.O, Jagex Ltd (Privately Held; 201-500 employees; Computer Games industry), August 2007 — Present ... Geoff Iddison’s Education: University of East Anglia, Bsc, Physics & Electronics, 1981 — 1984”
  7. ^ eBay Completes PayPal Acquisition. Acquisition Information Center. PayPal. “eBay Inc., the world's online marketplace (Nasdaq: EBAY; www.ebay.com), today completed its previously announced acquisition of PayPal, Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL; www.paypal.com), the global payments platform.”
  8. ^ Dawson, Chris. Goodbye Geoff Iddison, Hello Carl-Olav Scheible. TameBay. “Carl-Olav Scheible is the new Managing Director of PayPal UK replacing Geoff Iddison who served since November 2003. Geoff had worked at eBay since May 2000.”
  9. ^ a b c d "Games Industry MMO Week: Jagex's Geoff Iddison"
  10. ^ Wilderness Changes, Bounty Hunter and Clan Wars!. RuneScape News List. Jagex.
  11. ^ Unbalanced Trade Removal. RuneScape News List. Jagex. “From this moment on, no unbalanced trades may be made. This applies to every player, on every world, no matter if you are free-to-play or a member.”
  12. ^ The Grand Exchange. RuneScape News List. Jagex. “Brugsen would like to direct you to his marvellous new Grand Exchange! This huge establishment is home to a RuneScape first - an item marketplace - where members and free players can buy or sell a huge range of items.”
  13. ^ RuneScape HD - Members-Only Beta Launch. RuneScape News List. Jagex. “RuneScape has been reworked and now looks better than ever! If you are a member, you will be able to access this update by following the directions below. If you are a free player, you can expect to be playing RuneScape HD as soon as the Beta period is over.”
  14. ^ Jagex launches FunOrb games. Press Releases. Jagex. “Jagex Ltd, the online games developer behind RuneScape, today launched FunOrb, their latest games offering.”Jagex press release: "Jagex launches FunOrb games", 2008-02-27
  15. ^ a b c Martin, Matt. Iddison confirms global expansion for Jagex. MMO Week. GamesIndustry.biz, the Eurogamer Network Ltd.. “Iddison has pinpointed markets such as Malaysia and India as ideal for RuneScape”"Games Industry MMO Week: Iddison confirms global expansion for Jagex"
  16. ^ French, Michael. Runescape developer Jagex working on new MMO. News. Develop magazine (Intent Media). Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. “Iddison said that Jagex’ real value isn’t its IP [intellectual property], but its infrastructure. “We’ve got an infrastructure behind Runescape which is the real silver of the Jagex, the value of the company,” said Iddison. “It’s not the game, the game is going to come and go,” he said. “The infrastructure is the thing that can scale. Runescape has 10 years of good growth – but the infrastructure is infinitely scalable,” he added of Jagex’ vast operation of servers and online support teams.”
  17. ^ Gerhard, Mark. Even more answers....... RuneScape Forums, News & Announcements pp. 1. Jagex.
  18. ^ Gerhard, Mark. Interview with Jagex CEO Mark Gerhard: Part 2 of 3, 'RuneScape' Past, Present, and Future. News. MMOHub.org (MMO Life BV). Archived from the original on 2009-09-08.
  19. ^ Gerhard, Mark. The Future of RuneScape. RuneScape News. Jagex Ltd. Archived from the original on 2009-08-14. “a lot of free players told us they found our video adverts before the game annoying to the point it was putting them off playing, so we've scrapped them with immediate effect. We now appreciate that it can be frustrating having to sit through a video advert when you just want to play RuneScape, so we have to put our hands up to admit we made a mistake and say that we're sorry. To be completely candid with you, video adverts generate significantly more revenue than other adverts, but as one of our fundamental philosophies is that having fun is more important to us than making as much money as possible, we have removed video adverts from the game.”

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