In the short term, it can be expected that Jagex will seek to assure gamers that it is business as usual.
Andrew Gower was a trusted figure from the outset, with all of the first Runescape players being his personal friends. Even when the player base touched the millions, the general feeling was still that Andrew had the best interests of the game at heart. Profits would always be ploughed back into creating a greater Runescape experience; harsh decisions were solely for making the game better.
The loss of this central figure is going to be a huge blow to Jagex's public relations efforts amongst its customers. With the money men in control, any future decision is going to be viewed in this context. The company has already received criticism for aggressive monetization in recent years. This is likely to escalate in the future.
Jagex have always been proud to offer a free to play portion of the game. Members subscribed merely to access larger areas, more skills and a wider array of in-game possessions. Yet free players have come under increasing pressure to purchase, with many aspects of their area containing the notice that this can only be unlocked by acquiring membership.
Ill-fated blatant marketing attempts, such as the introduction of Gnomecopters to survey member lands, had to be taken from the game due to player protest. Such strategies have now become more subtle by removing established features, such as listing on the hi-scores, which had previously always been part of the free game.
Even loyal members have been targeted by money-making schemes. Recently unique in-game items have been made available only to those purchasing their membership through the most expensive medium of game cards. Individuals who chose to pay monthly via standing order are not eligible to claim the items. Their membership came too cheaply.
However, the longer term benefits have the potential to pacify the players. More capital means greater investment in the game itself. Graphical reworkings have already altered the general look of Runescape, while more development could see a greater game experience. As long as Jagex can keep their players entertained and entranced, then they are more likely to forgive the overt profiteering and just keep on paying and playing.
What will make or break Jagex depends upon how well they balance content versus sales. Without Andrew Gower to inspire confidence, the new owners will have to work twice as hard.