Business magazine Forbes finds that many of Japan’s wealthiest individuals come from the game industry.
Topping the list is Hiroshi Yamuachi, former Chairman of 55 years at Nintendo, with a net worth of $7.8 billion. Since the Wii’s launch, Yamauchi’s net income has jumped 48 percent to $2.5 billion.
Pachinko kingpin Kunio Busujima, valued at $5.4 billion, claims third place. Sales for his company Sankyo have risen due to fresh products, despite government regulation of the industry.
Square Enix Founder Yasuhiro Fukushima’s $1.16 billion fortune has steadily increased since his original company, Enix, merged with competitor Square in 2003.
Konami chief Kagemasa Kozuki returns at number 34 with $790 million after disappearing from the top forty in 2002.
Sega Sammy’s Hajime Satomi may be worth $760 million, but that figure is significantly lower than a year ago. Sluggish pachinko and slot machine sales have slammed Sega’s stock.
Couple Keiko and Yoichi Erikawa started Koei three decades ago and now collect a combined $720 million. Keiko stands as the only self-made female on the Forbes 40 list.
The increase in value among Japan’s richest individuals, up $10.7 billion in the past year, is attributed largely to the strengthening of the yen.