PUBG Owner Set to Become a Billionaire After Game Company Goes Public in South Korea

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Krafton Inc., the company behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG), is set to turn its owner into a billionaire when it goes public next month.

“Winner, winner, chicken dinner”: Krafton founder Chang Byung-gyu, who holds 14% of the company’s shares, could be worth as much as $3.5 billion if initial public offering (IPO) prices stay at the top end of the company’s IPO filing’s range, reported Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

  • This IPO is shaping up to be South Korea’s largest ever, with Krafton aiming to garner as much as 5.6 trillion won ($4.9 billion).
  • Chang’s wife, Chung Seung-hye, also owns stock that could be worth as much as $206 million, while Krafton CEO Kim Chang-han’s stake could be worth as much as $336 million.
  • Tencent Holdings Ltd., which owns 13% of the company’s shares, could have an estimated $3.3 billion.
  • Chang pledged last month to donate stock worth as much as 100 billion won ($88.1 million) to Krafton employees to “deliver his appreciation to all members of the company who have contributed to Krafton’s growth.”

PUBG’s success: Chang founded Krafton in 2007 and developed PUBG with Krafton’s current CEO Kim and Irish game designer Brendan Greene in 2015, according to Venture Beat.

  • Greene, who previously created the ARMA 2 DayZ Battle Royale mod, was the game’s creative director.
  • Within three months of its Windows early access release in March 2017, PUBG exceeded $100 million in revenue.
  • According to a company filing, the PC and console versions of the game have sold more than 75 million copies as of March, as reported by Bloomberg.
  • The mobile version of PUBG is the world’s most downloaded game in more than 150 countries. Since its release in 2018, it has grossed over $4.3 billion as of December 2020.
  • Bloomberg stated that Krafton’s revenue hit 461 billion won ($406 million) in the first quarter, with about 94% of it coming from overseas.

Featured Image via Kristie Lu Stout (left), PUBG (right)

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