"I want to seek out puzzle fans around the world and bring Nikoli puzzles to them," said Maki Kaji, president of Tokyo-based Nikoli Co.
Nikoli introduced sudoku to the world as an advanced version of the game that was invented by American Howard Garns and first published in the United States under the name Number Place in 1979.
Kaji runs the small firm, with about 20 employees. But for the Keio University dropout, it's all about fun and games. "My company's games bring you no merits," the 55-year-old said. "Our puzzles are not for educational purposes, nor are they aimed at developing the brain. They are just a way of killing time and enjoying recreation.
"Our readers are well aware of that and so they easily become creators of games."
Logic games are popular in Japan largely due to the work of Nikoli, which was founded 27 years ago, but sudoku is the only one known abroad.
That may change if Kaji gets his way.