Top 10 Billionaires In Video Gaming Industries
Computer, video and electronic games have had serious money making potential since their inception and as the gaming industry has diversified, profits have expanded to make it one of the most lucrative modern leisure industries.
10: Kim Taek-Jin
Kim Taek-Jin is the founder and current CEO of NCSoft, a company whom specialise in MMORPGs. Based out of South Korea and providing online gaming to roughly 60 countries, NCSoft had a revenue in 2014 of over $700 million, and its key games include “Guild Wars,” one of the few online games available to play without a subscription, “WildStar,” “Aion,” and the “Lineage” series, which has attracted over 40 million players. Their games have received both critical and commercial success over the years, and Kim’s total net worth is now valued at $1.14 billion after he increased his stake in the company to 12%.
9: Markus “Notch” Persson
Talk about a success story. This Swedish entrepreneur was employed by King, the makers of “Candy Crush Saga,” when he began work on a personal side project, a little indie game called “Minecraft.” After the game exploded in popularity and sold over fifteen million copies, Persson sold Mojang to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion in September 2014. Markus is now personally worth roughly $1.3 billion according to Forbes, and spends his money on traveling, technology, and expensive mansions, as he has since purchased an enormous $70 million house in Beverly Hills. We can’t blame him. The weather is much nicer there.
8: Naruatsu Baba
When Baba was a child, he had significant heart issues, and in lieu of physical activity, he took an interest in video games and their production, paving the way to his future career. He often developed mobile gaming apps on the side while employed full time, until he decided to start his own company, Colopl, in 2008, the same company of which he now owns 59%. Colopl is behind some of the highest grossing gaming apps on Android in Japan, including “Dino Dominion,” and “Rune Story.” While his net worth has fallen in recent years, he is still worth a staggering $1.6 billion as of 2016.
7: Kim Jung-Ju
Serving as the sixth richest man out of Korea, Kim Jung-Ju earned his fat stacks by starting up Korea’s largest gaming company, Nexon, the publishing team behind games like “MapleStory,” “Vindictus,” and “Dirty Bomb.” Founded in 1994, Nexon can be found in over seventy countries, and currently entertains more than 350 million users, earning Kim a comfortable $3.8 billion net worth. Unfortunately, this story doesn’t have such a happy ending, as Kim was indicted on bribery charges in July of 2016, and resigned as Nexon’s director. He now lives in New York and has since kept a low profile. Although, with almost $4 billion, you can afford to do nothing.
6: Gabe Newell
No stranger to the technology limelight, Newell spent thirteen years working for Microsoft, helping to develop Windows 1.01, 1.02, and 1.03, making him a Microsoft Millionaire. Not content with a measly mil, he quit Microsoft and became the co-founder of Valve with Mike Harrington. Valve is behind some of the biggest names in gaming, including the “Half-Life,” “Portal,” and “Left 4 Dead” series’. Valve is also known for its Steam digital game store, of which it earns a percentage of all games sold through the platform. Known as Gaben in the PC community, who liken him to a God, Newell’s hard work has paid off, earning him a net worth of just over $4 billion.
5: Kwon Hyuk-Bin
Kwon Hyuk-Bin edges just inside the top five richest men in Korea, coming in at #4 with a net worth of $4.7 billion as of November 2016. Kwon hails from South Korea and founded SmileGate in 2002, one of Korea’s largest and most successful gaming companies. Their biggest game to date is “CrossFire,” one of the most profitable games of all time, “CrossFire” made $1.3 billion in 2014 alone, with a vast majority of that revenue coming from China. It currently has over 400 million registered users and 6 million concurrent players, making it the most played FPS in the entire world. “Call of Duty” looks like a little baby beside it.
4: Shi Yuzhu
Serving as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for Giant Interactive, Yuzhu has helped the company become one of the biggest online gaming developers in China. Despite being relatively unknown to Western audiences, Giant is a well established and respected brand in China due to their easily accessible MMOs. They are behind the blockbuster “ZT Online,” where most of its revenue can be attributed to the its In-Game Purchases and gambling mechanics with real world money. While trading of his company has been stagnant since July 2016 amid asset restructuring, he was worth roughly $5.4 billion at the time, according to Forbes.
3: Zhang Zhidong
Zhang Zhidong, also known as Tony Zhang, has been rich for a while, but his worth has skyrocketed in recent months due to a 45% rise in shares of his company, placing him in our top three. Zhidong co-founded and served sixteen years as CTO for Tencent, one of the largest internet companies in the world, well known for its instant messenger Tencent QQ. They announced their own gaming console, the TGP BOX, and in 2011, they began the Chinese distribution of “League of Legends,” and have since become the owners of its developers; Riot Games, as well as Supercell, whom developed Clash of Clans. By owning a 3% stake in the company, Zhidong is worth, as of November 2016, roughly $8.6 billion.
2: William Ding
Now we’re reaching the big boys! Ding actually has an interesting and storied history with money, as he was once China’s wealthiest man, and became the country’s first internet-based billionaire way back in 2003. Now he has to settle for fifth richest. Ding is the founder and CEO of NetEase, the development team behind various Chinese games like “Fantasy Westward Journey.” They also licence popular western games in China, including “World of Warcraft”, “StarCraft II” & Overwatch through a partnership with Blizzard. Analysts predict that NetEase’s revenue will grow to almost $6 billion, shooting up the company’s share price and aiding William to his current net worth of $13.4 billion.
1: Ma Huateng
Huateng founded Tencent, whom as we mentioned before with Zhang Zhidong are the makers of the TGP Box and current owners of Riot Games and SuperCell. He took up various jobs in its early years to keep the company afloat, including janitorial duties. Huateng has come a LONG way since, and in 2004, Tencent launched its online gaming platform, a platform which now hosts games like “Legend of Yulong” and “Legend of Xuanyuan,” which helped boost the company’s revenue to $5.1 billion. He now serves as president, CEO, and executive board member of the company. According to Forbes, he is among the top fifty richest men in the entire world, with a net worth of $23 billion as of November 2016.
Source – Watchmojo
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