Taizo Son becomes billionaire on wildly popular ‘Puzzle & Dragons’ iPhone app

“Taizo Son, the youngest brother of SoftBank Corp. magnate Masayoshi Son, has become a billionaire after shares of his company GungHo Online Entertainment Inc. soared more than 10-fold this year,” Naoko Fujimura reports for Bloomberg.

“The GungHo chairman holds a 27.8 percent stake in the Tokyo-based company. The shares account for almost all of his $3.3 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index,” Fujimura reports. “Taizo Son has never appeared on an international wealth ranking. His older brother’s SoftBank holds a 40 percent stake and was an early GungHo investor in 2002.”

“GungHo’s flagship app, ‘Puzzle & Dragons,’ is the world’s best-selling game for Apple Inc.’s iPhones,” Fujimura reports. ” It generates about $3 million a day in revenue, according to Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst David Gibson… GungHo’s market value of $10.4 billion exceeds that of Mazda Motor Corp. or Japan Airlines Co. Ltd., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
How Apple’s iPhone conquered Japan – May 6, 2013
Launched by Apple, ‘App Economy’ has created 466,000 jobs in the U.S. alone since 2008 – February 7, 2012


  1. Looking at the App Store, it is priced as “Free”; plenty of in-app purchases for magic stones available though. I’m guessing that that is where all the revenue is coming from. Not terribly appealing to me, but apparently the Japanese love it. The three million a day just seems rather far-fetched to me.

    1. With this story, now I’m thinking the real deal is finding out the most attractive/lucrative revenue model for your attractive app, one people likes; games and entertainment apps have better chances to meet these attributes.

      How to make apps has turned secondary; there are plenty of developers out there that could help you make the app.

  2. Can anyone make sense of those numbers? $3M per day for in app purchases, I guess? App is most popular in Japan where it has been downloaded 13 million times. $3M a day? Really? I don’t believe it. Can anyone show everyone the numbers, please? Any thoughts out there?

    1. Bloomberg News is accurate. Consider this: In Feb., GungHo Online Entertainment posted 9.3 billion yen in revenue. Convert the currency from yen to dollars and you get USD $90 million a month, Divide that by 30 days and you get $3 million a day. Also, the report says 13 million downloads of the Puzzle & Dragon app in Japan. That means one in 10 Japanese have it (latest population is 127 millon.)

  3. Great Post! Most people definitely don’t realize the potential of the App Store!!! Did you know that App is almost at its 50,000,000,000 download!!! Yes 50 billionth!!!
    Apple began this most recent countdown just last week, promising a $10,000 App Store Gift Card to the person who downloads the 50 billionth app. Users downloading the first 50 apps after that will get a $500 App Store Gift Card.

    If you want to learn how to make your first own iPhone app in 4 weeks without any prior programming knowledge than you have to check out the developer secrets.

    Check out how you can here

  4. First response: Oh one of those “free,” only if you want to be paralyzed in playing this game, apps. Oh, and keep it way from your kids, if you want to make your house payment, app.

    Second response: What? Billionaire? 3mil per day? On an app I’ve never heard of? Sure there a lots I have never heard of, but please, if it’s making that kind of money, would the whole world know about it already? Kinda like Angry Birds, I mean did Angry Birds make a billion dollars?

    Something not right about this report… Some “stealth,” funky, drug money laundering app, that’s what it seems to be.

  5. You’re confusing revenue with the stock’s market value. Taizo Son owns about 28 percent of the stock. The stock just hit an all-time high in Tokyo today, up 6,000 percent in the past 12 months.

  6. But getting back to sales, GungHo just reported first-quarter results.
    It had 30.9 billion yen in the first quarter. That’s equivalent to $305.6 million. Divide that by 90 days and the revenue take is about $3.4 million a day.

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