NEWS - Friday, October 8, 2004

Game Developers Rank Top Game Publishers

Game Developer magazine’s annual list of the top 20 publishers in the industry is in, by way of trade paper GameDaily, and it makes for an interesting read. The overriding factor in the rankings is revenue, although this year’s formula takes a few other issues into account, like the critical reception of a publisher’s games and the value of its owned intellectual property. Game Developer characterizes its list as the rankings from a developer’s perspective -- i.e., if you’re making a game, these are the best publishers to see your game to market. The number in parentheses is the company’s ranking last year. 1. Electronic Arts (1) 2. Microsoft Game Studios (9) 3. Sony Computer Entertainment (2) 4. THQ (13) 5. Ubisoft (12) 6. Eidos Interactive (19) 7. Activision (7) 8. Take-Two Interactive (6) 9. Atari (7) 10. Nintendo (3) 11. Vivendi Universal (5) 12. Codemasters (No ranking) 13. Acclaim (17) 14. Sega (10) 15. Konami (8) 16. Square Enix (11) 17. Midway (20) 18. Koei (18) 19. Empire Interactive (No ranking) 20. Namco (16) Microsoft and THQ are both big winners, obviously, with the former pushing Sony’s first-party development effort out of the number two slot and the latter leaping up nine spots. Eidos Interactive also jumped ahead despite all manner of grim financial omens in recent months, and Ubisoft rode a wave of critically acclaimed releases to rise seven slots. Nintendo fell back after a year with fewer major franchise releases, as did a Take Two Interactive with no new Grand Theft Auto in the survey timeframe. Acclaim, curiously enough, managed to jump four slots up the rankings despite dying shortly before Game Developer went to press with the list. Apparently, it was drawing decent revenue in its dying days -- just not enough to make up for its titanic expenditures. The entire Game Developer survey will hit newsstands November 12.


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