Forget Angry Birds, the next big thing in gaming is Puzzle & Dragons.
Odds are solid that very few of you have ever heard of GungHo Entertainment. The developer hasn't been around very long, but you should expect to hear lots about the firm in the near future. Why? GungHo is responsible for Puzzle & Dragons, arguably the most popular, lucrative game currently in existence - an impressive feat given that the title is exclusive to mobile operating systems and operates on a free to play business model.
So, just how successful is GungHo's game? According to recent financial reports, the company raked in over $3.75 million dollars every single day over the past month. Further, during the month of April, GungHo pulled in $118 million in revenue, which marks a 1,142 percent increase over the same time period in the prior year.
As for how GungHo stacks up against more familiar names in the gaming industry, I'll simply point out that the developer's market cap currently stands at $15.1 billion - ahead of Nintendo ($15 billion) and only a bit short of Activision Blizzard ($16.7 billion). Pretty impressive for an effectively unknown developer with only one really popular game to its name, huh?
Why is Puzzle & Dragons so popular? How is it that an unknown developer can attract 12 million players in Japan alone? Simply put, the game is designed to be as addictive as possible. It's difficult to describe the title to those who haven't played it, but you can imagine it as a cross between Bejeweled and Pokémon. How it took this long for anyone to smash those disparate ideas together into a world-beating new concept is beyond me, but GungHo stepped up and is obviously reaping some very lucrative rewards.
I've never visited the firm's office, but I have to assume it's a blur of 24k gold toilet seats, pet snow leopards and disposable Ferraris. Maybe a herd of ostriches in the break room too. What's the point of earning all that cash if you can't live out Manuel Noriega's fever dreams?