Gower Brothers, Jon Burton and Chris Stamper named as wealthiest in games industry

UK development’s finest named in Sunday Times Rich List

Four of UK game development’s finest have made The Sunday Times’ 2012 Rich List.

Andrew and Paul Gower, who head up RuneScape studio Jagex, Traveller’s Tales founder Jon Burton and former Rare owner Chris Stamper have been named in the prestigious annual survey.

Alongside wealthy media, football and insurance entrepreneurs, the Gower brothers have been labeled as the richest UK game developers, with a reported worth of £102million, although this is down somewhat from last year’s reported value of £145m for the duo.

Andrew sold his stake in Jagex for £88m to American investment firm Insight Venture Partners, which now holds a 55 per cent controlling stake in the Cambridge studio. Brother Paul and his family however still retain a 6.1 per cent stake reportedly worth £14m.

Traveller’s Tales boss Jon Burton meanwhile is still worth the same as last year’s estimate of $80m, and is placed at 908th.

Having founded the studio and owning a 77 per cent controlling stake, he sold the studio to Warner Brothers in November 2007, although the exact amount of the takeover was not disclosed.

Rare founder Chris Stamper, whose studio has created such classics as Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, drops slightly to 962, with a wealth of £76m, up £1m from last year’s list.

The developer was taken over by Microsoft for £240 million, and now focuses on Kinect-based titles.

On the publishing and retail side in the meantime, Miniclip founder Tihan Presbie is ranked at 482nd, with a value of £155m, whilst GAME founder Neil Taylor is at 406 with an estimated worth of £189m.

Irishman Neil Taylor built most of his riches from the flotation and subsequent sale of the GAME business in 1999, reported to be £47.8m, which has since been reinvested, hench the high valuation.

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