Japan’s Softbank Mobile to acquire majority shares of game developer Gungho Online Entertainment



Japanese mobile carrier Softbank Mobile announced today it would tender an offer of social gaming giant Gungho Online Entertainment. Softbank (TSE:9984) was founded by Masayoshi Son, and Gungho was founded by Masayoshi’s young brother Taizo Son who is also a serial entrepreneur and now running a tech startup incubator called Movida Japan.

Gungho has been getting lots of attention from investors because of its hugely popular titles Puzzle & Dragons and Ragnarok Online, making the company’s stock price five times what it was at the beginning of this year. By partnering with the gaming company, Softbank Mobile expects to expand the sales of online and smartphone game titles using the company’s global business. Softbank’s announcement can be found over on its website in English and in Japanese (PDFs)

GungHo’s Puzzle & Dragons recently surpassed the 10 million downloads milestone on March 9th, but perhaps its biggest accomplishment to date has been its longevity on the top grossing apps charts, and is reportedly has a market cap of about $4.6 billion [1].

The company’s success to date has primarily been limited to Japan. It has a US subsidiary, but it remains to be seen if global users will get behind the P&D phenomenon.

Gungho also recently launched its own online store for Puzzle & Dragon’s merchandise, where you can pick up plush toys, iPhone cases, and even P&D mugs. So far, it’s just for fans in Japan, but we hope to see an international version later on if the game catches on elsewhere.

If you’d like a general introduction to the wildly popular game, check out our video demo below.

  1. This according to Serkan Toto.  ↩