Toru Iwatani Net Worth

April 18, 2024
2 mins read

Toru Iwatani was born on the 25th January 1955 in Tokyo, Japan and is a former video game designer widely known as the creator of one of the most successful arcade games ever – Pac-Man which he created in 1980.

Have you ever wondered how much wealth this video game enthusiast has accumulated so far? How rich Toru Iwatani is? According to sources, it is estimated that the total amount of Toru Iwatani’s net worth, as of mid-2016, is $10 million. It has been acquired throughout numerous designing engagements in the gaming industry.


Toru Iwatani Net Worth $10 Million


Toru Iwatani was born and raised in Meguro Ward, a suburb of Tokyo. Although he hadn’t any formal knowledge in computer science, arts or design, at the age of 22 he joined a computer software development company focused on video games – Namco Limited. He came up with an idea for a video game called Pakku-Man (Puck-Man) which was released in 1980 in Japan. The popularity of the game rose rapidly and soon attracted the attention of Midway, a game manufacturing company, which bought the rights for the game in the USA, and released it under the name Pac-Man. However, the creation of the game didn’t impact Toru Iwatani’s net worth at that time, as he was just an employee.

The legend says that Toru found inspiration in pizza – after eating the first slice he created the visual inspiration for one of the most recognizable characters in the history of video games. Toru acknowledged that he designed Pac-Man to be as simple as possible, round and yellow, without eyes, limbs or any other extra features. The food completes the game’s basic concept, so you don’t need any tutorials for playing or any other explanation. There is a maze, food and Pac-Man as well as four little ghosts to make the challenge more exciting and add some tension. The player has a simple task – eat and run. This revolutionary idea for the gaming industry is considered as one of the all-time classic video games, and later certainly was the main source of Toru Iwatani’s overall net worth.

Toru’s next project was Pole Position, a co-op arcade racing video game, released in 1982 by Namco in Japan and by Atari in the States. Within just one year, it became the highest-grossing arcade game in the USA, with $61 million in sales ($150 million in 2016 money), positively impacting and considerably increasing the total amount of Toru Iwatani’s wealth.

Some of the other works of Toru Iwatani includes Gee Bee (1978), Libble Rabble (1983), Pac-Mania (1987) and Pac-Man Championship Edition (2007). Between 2005 and 2007, Toru Iwatani served as a visiting professor for Character Design Studies at Osaka University of Arts. In 2007, he officially left Namco, and since then has been lecturing full-time at Tokyo Polytechnic University.

In 2010, Guinness World Records rewarded Toru Iwatani for Pac-Man, with a certificate for the most numerous “coin-operated arcade machines” in the world – 293,822. All these accomplishments have helped Toru Iwatani to add a significant sum to the total size of his wealth.

Apart from designing games, Toru Iwatani has also published two books, “Pakkuman no Gēmu Gaku Nyūmon” (“Pacman’s Methods”) in 2005 and “Gēmu no Ryūgi” (“The Style of Game”) in 2012. He has also made a cameo in Chris Columbus’ 2015 “Pixels”, a sci-fi action-comedy movie featuring Pac-Man as one of the main characters.

Toru keeps his personal life very private, preferring to stay out of the limelight away from his work.

Daniel Wanburg

As the Managing Editor at Net Worth Post, I lead a talented team in delivering compelling content on the lives and achievements of influential figures. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for storytelling, I oversee the production of insightful biographies that resonate with our audience. My role involves not only managing the editorial process but also conducting research, crafting engaging narratives, and ensuring the accuracy and quality of our publications.

At NetWorthPost, we strive to provide our readers with in-depth profiles that offer valuable insights into the worlds of business, entertainment, and beyond. Through meticulous research and captivating storytelling, we bring to light the remarkable journeys and successes of individuals who inspire and captivate us.

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