Rod Cousens

From the RuneScape Wiki, the wiki for all things RuneScape
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rodney Peter "Rod" Cousens CBE was the chief executive officer of Jagex; he succeeded Mark Gerhard, who left Jagex on 12 December 2014.[1] Cousens was replaced by Phil Mansell in January of 2017.[2][3][4]

Cousens was previously CEO of Codemasters, a British video game developer.

History[edit | edit source]

Cousens became involved in the video game industry in 1981, when he joined Quicksilva, a British video game publisher.[5] Under his supervision as managing director and owner, Quicksilva developed games for the Sinclair ZX81, Timex Sinclair 1000, and Commodore VIC-20 computers. After overseeing the company's sale to Argus Press in 1984, Cousens left to establish Electric Dreams Software with funding from Activision.[6][7]

Electric Dreams focussed on the European market and the ZX Spectrum, in contrast to US-based Activision, which developed for the Commodore 64. Its financial success led to Cousens's appointment as UK Managing Director of Activision and later Vice President International.[6]

Acclaim Entertainment[edit | edit source]

In 1991, Cousens joined Acclaim Entertainment.[6] Following a series of "increasingly wacky stunts" by previous CEO Steve Perry,[8] Acclaim was sued by its partner Dave Mirra for damaging his image with the release of BMX XXX. Cousens, by this time CEO of Acclaim, apologised for including pornographic content.[9]

Acclaim went bankrupt in 2004;[10] a 2005 complaint, which sought nearly 150 million USD in damages, charged that it misrepresented profits and revenues, allowed executives to pay themselves additional bonuses and commissions, and preserved no financial records after it filed for bankruptcy, all of which violated SEC regulations.[11] Cousens was one of the executives named in the case; the complaint alleged that "Acclaim’s Board exhibited a similar pattern of generous compensation to its employees to the point that it constituted an obvious waste of corporate assets":

Acclaim loaned [Cousens] $200,000 on April 30, 1998 .... as of March 31, 2003, the balance due on the loan was $303,000 .... the Board gave him bonuses totaling $800,000 and offset the loan with the bonuses as of April 30, 2003. All of this occurred while the Company was hemorrhaging money.

Codemasters[edit | edit source]

Following the collapse of Acclaim and a failed attempt at reviving its UK operations under the name "Exclaim",[12][13] Cousens joined Codemasters as CEO in May 2005,[6] presiding largely over racing-related games such as the Dirt, Formula One, and Grid franchises. In the 2010 New Year Honours, Cousens was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the computer games industry.[14]

Cousens declared himself "not necessarily a fan of DRM" in a 2010 interview,[15] and instead proposed that selling the base video game at a lower price and offering downloadable content, eventually totalling to the full retail price, would be advantageous to both the consumer and the publisher:

My initial thought is that DRM is not the answer to the piracy issue .... My answer is for us as publishers is to actually sell unfinished games and to offer the consumer multiple micro-payments to buy elements of the full experience. That would create an offering that is affordable at retail but over a period of time may also generate more revenue for the publishers to reinvest in our games.

Jagex[edit | edit source]

Cousens joined Jagex Limited's board of directors on 30 September 2013,[12] where he held the position of chairman. His succession of Mark Gerhard as CEO of Jagex was announced on 2 April 2015.[16] Phil Mansell's succession of Cousens was announced on 26 January 2017.

Predecessor Title Successor
Mark Gerhard Chief Executive Officer Phil Mansell

References[edit | edit source]

  1. ^ Mark Gerhard. This needs to stop, and it needs to stop now. (Microtransactions and the Future). reddit. 2 January 2015. "I actually tendered my resignation to the Board on the 12th December 2013. I had a 1 year contractual notice period which I fully planned to serve to the best of my ability through to the 12th December 2014."
  2. ^ Mod Pips. "Jagex Leadership Changes." 26 January 2017. General Forums.
  3. ^ Companies House. 27 January 2017.
  4. ^ Companies House. 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ Simon Goodwin. Planning Our Future (magazine). CRASH. 20 September 1985.
  6. ^ a b c d Rod Cousens. SPOnG.
  7. ^ Electric Dreams. Retro Gamer. 27 January 2014.
  8. ^ David Becker. 'Turok' maker plays the name game. CNET. 27 August 2002.
  9. ^ Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. and Dave Mirra Resolve Contractual Dispute and Resume Working Partnership - Web Archive. PR Newswire. 27 October 2003. "We are pleased to have amicably resolved this matter with Dave and anxiously look forward to resuming our successful working partnership."
  10. ^ Curt Feldman. Acclaim bankruptcy now official. GameSpot. 1 September 2004.
  11. ^ Curt Feldman. Former Acclaim boss slammed in court docs. GameSpot. 2 September 2005.
  12. ^ a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named endole
  13. ^ Rob Fahey. Codemasters appoints Rod Cousens as new CEO. 4 May 2005.
  14. ^ Rod Cousens Biography. MobyGames.
  15. ^ Ben Parfitt. Cousens: I’m not a fan of DRM. MCV. 15 July 2010.
  16. ^ Dan Pearson. Exclusive: Rod Cousens leaves Codemasters to become new Jagex CEO. 2 April 2015.