Back in 2012 a guy named Jon Burton paid $36.5 million for a 6.6-acre clifftop estate in Malibu. How could Burton afford a $36.5 million Malibu mansion?
Jon Burton founded the game studio Traveller's Tales in 1989. Within a few years the company was pumping out successful games, primarily targeted at young children. In the mid-1990s, Traveller's Tales formed a design and development partnership with Disney. This partnership led to a number of successful games based on Disney characters. In 1995 Traveller's leveled-up in a major way when it was hired by Sega to develop a game called….
Sonic the Hedgehog
The "Sonic" franchise revolutionized the gaming industry, leading to several sequels and basically putting PlayStation on the map. And Sonic opened the floodgates for Traveller's. Over the next decade, Traveller's developed dozens of titles for all the major game companies including LucasArts (Star Wars), Sony and Activision.
In 2005 Traveller's merged with another major developer called Giant Interactive Entertainment. The merged company was renamed TT Games. In 2007 Warner Brothers acquired TT Games for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition made sense. TT Games had just produced "Lego Star Wars" for Warner Brothers/LucasArts, and the game went on to sell 12 million copies. Fittingly, TT Games has continued develop "Lego" themed games for Warner Bros including 2022's "Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga."
Ok. Enough about video games. I just wanted to give a background on how a little-known video game executive could afford a $36.5 million Malibu mansion before I told you that he just listed the property for…
So what makes Jon think his house is worth $125 million? The better question is why would anyone ever want to leave this house, let alone sell it???!!!
Here are a handful of the property's best features:
- 6.6 acres above world-famous Paradise Cove Beach
- 340 feet of ocean frontage accessed by private path
- 10-20 foot privacy walls surrounding the property
- Main house is 17,000 square-feet not including the 2-bedroom guest house
- 14-seat home theater
- 7 fireplaces
- Infinity pool
- Tennis court
- Pool room
- Outdoor pizza oven
- A 9-hole mini-golf course!
Imagine being so rich that your oceanfront estate in Malibu is big enough for a 9-hole mini-golf course! I've been writing about Malibu mansion for over a decade. I've heard of houses having putting greens and even driving ranges. But an entire mini-golf course? Out of control.
As you watch the video above, pause at the 12-second mark. Do you see the construction crane in the left side of the screen? That crane is currently constructing what will eventually be an unimaginably amazing property for Steve Jobs' widow Laurene Powell Jobs. And it's not just one property. It's a three-property mega-compound.
Laurene bought the first portion of her Paradise Cove property back in 2015 for $44 million. In 2017 she swallowed the house next door in a $16.5 million acquisition. Finally, in February of 2021 she swallowed up yet another next door home, the one bordering the Burton property, for $17.5 million. She has since demolished all three structures to make way for what is likely to be the most-significant property in Malibu, perhaps in all of Los Angeles and Southern California.
Considering her appetite for next door properties, perhaps Jon Burton is hoping Laurene will swallow his house up for $125 million. With a $19 billion net worth, Laurene could buy Burton's house and continue swallowing neighboring properties all the way to Santa Monica well before she ran out of funds 🙂