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Here are six of the most notable videogame billionaires.
Kagemasa Kozuki, $1.1 billion
Kagemasa Kozuki, the founder and chairman of Japanese videogame giant Konami, didn't set out to make a fortune in videogames. When he founded Konami in 1969, it was a jukebox repair and rental business. By the late 1970s, though, Kozuki moved his company into the nascent video game industry, manufacturing arcade games. During the 1980s, the company began publishing games for the Nintendo Entertainment system and the business took off - spawning franchises like Castlevania, Contra, Metal Gear and more. The company is still going strong today - its stock is up over 60% compared to this time last year, and its revenues for this fiscal year so far total nearly $1.5 billion as of December 31, 2016.
In the 15 years since Kown Hyuk-Bin founded Smilegate, the company has grown into one of South Korea's biggest game companies. Smilegate's best-known success is CrossFire which is the most popular first-person shooter in the world, and still going strong nearly a decade after its release. The company's 2016 sales came in at $572 million - over 10% higher than 2015.
The founder of China's internet-giant Netease was also the country's first gaming billionaire. In addition to publishing homegrown Chinese gaming titles, the company also partners with Activision Blizzard to operate games like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone in China. They're also the exclusive licensee of Minecraft in China. Business is booming, as you can see by Ding's net worth alone - he's gained over $2 billion since Forbes published its list of the richest people in China in October 2016.
Gabe Newell, $4.1 billion
Gabe Newell heads up Valve Corporation, the creator of some of the most iconic franchises in recent American gaming history, including Half-Life, Portal, and Left for Dead. It's also one of the biggest distributors of PC games, thanks to its Steam platform. The company is also at the forefront of several areas of gaming, for example, in Virtual Reality thanks to its partnership with HTC in creating the Vive, a VR headset.
Kim Taek-Jin, $1.2 billion
Kim Taek-Jin is the founder and CEO of NCSOFT, one of South Korea's largest game publishers. The company's primary focus is developing multiplayer online role-playing games like Guild Wars and Blade & Soul. NCSOFT provides its online gaming services to players in over 60 countries. Thanks in part to expansion into mobile titles, the company saw about $880 million in revenue in 2016, its highest reported revenue to date.
Bill Gates, $86.2 billion
The world's richest person derives about 13% of his total wealth from Microsoft, the software giant he cofounded in 1975. Although the company made its name making operating systems and business software, it's also one of the largest video game companies in the world thanks to the Xbox. In its last financial quarter, the company earned over $3 billion in revenues in gaming, about 14% of its total revenue.
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