Andrew and Paul Gower, the founders of UK RuneScape
house Jagex, are worth a total £138 million ($213.2 million) thanks to the company -- and having earned another £39 million ($60.3 million) in 2009, the pair are the wealthiest game development entrepreneurs in the UK.
That's according to the Sunday Times Rich List, as reported by UK trade site Develop
. The figure is almost double the wealth of the second-richest developer, Traveller's Tales founder Jon Burton, who picked up an estimated £75 million ($115.9 million) personally after his company was sold to Time Warner in 2007.
Overall, the Gowers are the 483rd-richest in the UK -- more wealthy than veteran music heroes David Bowie (£100 million/$154.5 million), Tom Jones (£135 million/$208.6 million) and Phil Collins (£108 million/$166.8 million), the report continues.
It also places Burton in position 863 on the Rich List, the same spot as Rare founders Chris and Tim Stamper, who earned their wealth largely through Rare's £240 million ($370.77 million) sale to Microsoft in 2002.
Speaking of Microsoft, founder Bill Gates is the world's third-richest businessman, according to the list, with an estate of $33.8 billion to his name.
Jagex is best known for the internally-developed RuneScape
, a fantasy-themed browser-based MMORPG that originally launched in 2001. According to CEO Mark Gerhard, the game had 10 million monthly active players in July 2009, including both free and paying customers. The game generates revenues through ads and voluntary monthly subscription fees.
The company, which currently holds Cambridge News' Business of the Year title, recently announced its first-time entry into third-party publishing
with War of Legends