Top 8 Developers This Generation

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Thus far we’ve tackled what we thought were the Top 8 New Faces of Gaming this generation and the franchises that needed to take a break and die a little. However, now we’re ready to move on to the guys who create those characters and games and pick out our Top 8 Developers This Generation thus far. Keeping with our last Top 8 list, we’re going to include developers outside of Sony’s umbrella of titles so that the multi-console owners have a reason to discuss this list to no end. A lot of thought went into this one and though many people will still find reason to complain and cry bias or fanboyism, we’re quite content with how it lined up.

To start off, I’d like to say that we’ve seen some pretty amazing games this generation. In my opinion, some of the best games that the industry has ever seen have been created over the last three years and that most likely a lot of developers will build on those for the future of gaming. Thankfully, as a multi-console owner myself, I’ve had the chance to enjoy most of these games (if not all) and would give them all my stamp of approval.

1.Naughty Dog
Naughty Dog find itself at the top of our list due to its ability to create outstanding experiences on an architecture that many developers once coined as difficult to develop for. Despite the apparent struggles, Naughty Dog was able to churn out two of the best titles this generation through Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Some would actually argue that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is one of the greatest games to date – which is saying something in the long run. To us, Naughty Dog has proven that any developer can develop for PlayStation 3 at a high quality and put out a great experience. A couple of other developers on this list have done the same thing as well, but we’ll get to them later.

2.Infinity Ward
Despite our article about Activision being the new bad guy of the gaming industry, the impact that Infinity Ward has had through their title, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and soon, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 can’t go unnoticed. While the original has sold over 14 million copies worldwide, it’s expected that the sequel should do much better in sales regardless of the price hike in the United Kingdom. Infinity Ward was able to take a franchise determined to throw out World War II shooter after World War II shooter and turn it into something that most gamers have put countless hours into through a magnificent online multiplayer experience. They’re definitely worthy of being the second developer on this list.

3.Kojima Productions
Hideo Kojima is no stranger to video games and while already earning the lifetime achievement award, Kojima has provided this generation with another title that has been argued as the greatest game of all time. While some may complain that the game was very cut-scene heavy, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the visuals were some of the best ever seen in a game and that the story fit the Kojima mold perfectly. Though a lot of gamers feel that Metal Gear Solid 4 was the perfect ending to a franchise that has sold millions, we may see it tainted by another release expected in 2010. We, however, have faith in Kojima and the team he employs and hope that the next iteration will be able to rival or perhaps match the height that Metal Gear Solid 4 achieved.

4.Epic Games
I know this is a PlayStation fansite, but it would be completely disrespectful to not include Epic Games among the list of top developers this generation. Their visual powerhouse known as the Unreal Engine 3 has allowed for the creation of many games from many developers, but none as iconic as their own franchise, Gears of War. While the game features sheer brute force from over-sized protagonists on their path to save humanity, the co-op experience is one that makes completing the game a joy to go through. If you own a 360 or you have a friend that does, chances are, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

5.EA Canada
You may be surprised to see EA Canada on this list since they’ve produced titles like NHL 10, FIFA 10 and NBA Live 10, but they deserve it. To be honest, if they weren’t putting out yearly releases, I’d probably have them much higher on this list, but since they do put forth so many titles on a yearly basis, I felt they deserve to be featured at the top of the bottom half of this list. With that in mind, I can’t think of another company that has taken three franchises – two of which were considered 2nd best in their genre – and have turned them into not only the greatest releases for their sport (with the exception of Live), but have put them either on par with the competition or have kicked the competition’s ass completely. Kudos to you EA Canada, Kudos to you.

6.Turn 10
Yes, this is another Microsoft 360 developer and they deserve to be featured on this list. While Gran Turismo enthusiasts are probably up in arms right now, it’s hard to deny that the Forza franchise has not made great strides through its last two iterations. With customizable gameplay unlike any simulation racer before it, Forza 2 and 3 is set to provide games with unparalleled amount of replayability. If you’ve have the chance to see some of the designs artists have come up with through the livery system, you’d be as impressed as I am. However, considering this is a 360 developer and we’re praising them on a PlayStation site, I’m sure they’ll get the short end of the stick.

I won’t lie. I debated adding Nintendo to this list. Primarily because the top games they’ve developed this generation involve game characters we’ve seen time and time again. However, I felt it would be entirely unfair to slight them in their achievements that they’ve made through Super Mario Galaxy, Wii Sports, and the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Though these are characters I grew up on and think I’ve seen enough of, the development behind these games have stood the test of time and continue to push forward.

SEGA is on here for one title, and one title only – Valkyria Chronicles. Say what you want about their rapid decline in Sonic titles, but Valkyria Chronicles is the best roleplaying game of this generation and I’ll never sway my opinion until I’ve checked out the sequel on PSP. Not only has SEGA made a relevant title for the first time in ages with this one, but they’ve managed to combine a hybrid of Third-Person Shooting, Roleplaying, Strategy-RPG and water paints in order to create a world we’ve never imagined before. Valkyria Chronicles is without a doubt, a masterpiece and I would feel ashamed had I never played it before.

Readers Comments (38)

  1. If Insomniac is not on this list then it is full of fail. Please remove that no class Forza dev and put Insomniac on that list. They have shown time and time again that they can deliver top quality games year after year and do it with humility and respect for other devs work.

  2. Insomniac > last 7 devs

  3. I agree that Insomniac should have been added instead of one of those, but I do agree with the whole list.

  4. SEGA should be at number 2.

  5. BETHESDA!?! Sega (especially Sonic Team) have been floundering for the last 4 years on mediocre games.

  6. I think Valve should be on that list and im not really sure about Naughty Dog being number one.

  7. For a top dev, Turn 10 have to do a lot of explaining. From graphics to features, their excuses seem limitless. How you can ignore devs like sucker punch, media molecule, Insomniac, evolution studios, Guerilla?

  8. yeah i agree with the majority of the list. but i will say that im surprised at no insomniac.

    also fifa 10 is the best in its genre. pes hasnt been able to touch it this gen.

  9. You have a pretty good list but I have one that’s better.
    In no particular order.

    1.) Naughty Dog (ex: Uncharted) = Uncharted 2 GOTY 2009!!!!!!

    2.) Insomniac (ex: Ratchet & Clank/Resistance.)

    3.) Sucker Punch (ex: Infamous)

    4.) Guerilla Games (ex: Killzone 2—PS3.)

    5.) Infinity Ward (ex: Call of Duty.)

    6.) Bioware (ex: Mass Effect—360/PC.)

    7.) That Game Company (ex: Flow & Flower—PSN.)

    8.) Violition Studios (ex: Red Faction: Guerilla)


  10. my list is

    1 naughty dog
    2 sony santa monica studio
    3 kojima production
    4 insomniac games
    5 polyphony digital
    6 rockstar games
    7 guerilla games
    8 sucker punch

  11. Turn 10 definitely does not deserve being in the this top 8, they only trash talk and like everyone else where is INSOMNIAC?

  12. Insomniac is a must on the list, no other studio (not publisher) has put more games on the PS3 than them, and oh boy they make awesome games.

  13. How could you possibly have Kojima productions at number 3 when theyve only done 1 game, and it hardly even classifies as a game? MGS4 was a stinker.

  14. The complete lack of Insomniac automatically puts the credibility of this list at zero.

  15. Stereotypical Gamer October 14, 2009 @ 00:12

    wow lotta honkies in here. its obvious that valve should be at number 1. drakes fortune was shit, we can all agree. it sucks that all these people are too poor to afford a gaming pc, you know, something to play actual games on. have fun playing crappy ports and unfun titles by insomniac and naughty dog

  16. steriotypical gamer is a douche October 14, 2009 @ 00:50

    steriotypical gamer, you are a douche. pc gamers are a bunch of stuck up nerdy pricks, and thats the only thing everyone can all agree on here, because i think everyone at least liked if not lovede drakes fortune. bottom line, consoles have all of the original exclusive games u can’t play because u have a pc to play WOW on. so just stay in your basement at your moms house and shut the fuck up.

  17. I agree, except turn 10. and EA canada.

    they should be replaced with Insomniac and some other game developer. Maybe “that game company”? They revoed some stuff.

    And SEGA should be higher. Between the Yakuza’s looking as good as they do, VK, and their new RPG coming out? They’ve been dishin out gems left and right, and I’m proud to see them still in the game, so do speak.

  18. vavle is great…
    but this gen?
    they fucked up the “support” they were going to give L4D… and they are releasing L4D2 before HL:EP3?

    wtf is up with that

  19. PS, insomniac is consistently in the top 5 or 25 places to work ON THE PLANET.

    If they’re not on this list, then it really is full of fail. The only game company to make the best places to work list, and its not on this list ESPECIALLY for this generation? yeah. consider those things the next time you want to find yourself as credible.

    And just for the record: infinity ward? They had one hit this gen, and they’re number 2? Insomniac spit up 3. IW did little to nothing for the gaming industry afterwards, too. C’mon. A knock off team made world at war and it was just as good as COD 4, if not better, if you ignore its limited arsenal.


  20. i think insomniac should be on that list but every other developer deserves to be there

  21. CAPCOM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    CAPCOM should be NO.1
    we played soo many cool games by capcom this GEN

    lost planet 1 and 2
    Dead Rising 1 AND 2
    Monster Hunter
    Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
    Street Fighter 4
    plus i seriously hated Naughty Dog when they said that they have maxed out the ps3 whatta a bunch of arrogant idiots !!!

  22. Fuck Turn 10

  23. Who is turn 10?

  24. ………Bethesda?

  25. No Bioware? hmmm No Blizzard? No Valve? Not even Insomniac…. wow. and Are you really going to ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room? Bungie? This list is full of fail. EA Canada can suck a nut. And fuckin SEGA!!!! wtf??? yeah right dude.

  26. Fuckin damn Right Bethesda?!?!?

  27. David Macphail October 14, 2009 @ 09:00

    I think Insomniac and Media Molecule should have been on this list.

  28. INSOMNIAC!!!!!! WTF I can’t believe they are not up there!! Sure Spyro wasn’t this gen or R&C3 but with a release of a fourth game (and 1 mini game) and the how many years PS3 has been out is impressive!! And they are all Platinum (PAL region) games besides Quest for Booty and A Crack in Time but that isn’t even out yet but it will definitely become Platinum. EVERY SINGLE RETAIL (Because of Quest for Booty) INSOMNIAC GAME THEY HAVE EVER MADE HAS BECOME PLATINUM WITHIN 18 MONTHS!!!

  29. Nintendo would be on top if you accounted sales,and what about “Squaresoft?”.Grahic whores are the worst for gaming now,gameplay beats visuals in my book, ANY DAY!

  30. #6 is the only issue I have with this list. The Forza franchise isn’t large enough to warrant their inclusion as a “top developer of this generation”… I mean every other dev listed is conceivable (and I’d say the top 4 are spot on!)

  31. How can you forget Insomniac of all developers ???
    Also,not including both Sucker Punch and Guerilla Games is bit short-sighted too.Plus you include developers like Turn 10,who’ve just made naive people like you believe that they have something new on the table,and Nintendo – which is slowly ruining hardcore gaming with it’s glut of pathetic titles like Wii sports and Wii Music.

  32. no insomniac? no Double Fine? no BIOWARE? hell even Bungie deserves to be on that list more then some of the dev’s you chose. oh well, doesnt matter its just an opinion piece anyways.

  33. bioware is king.. infinity ward is king.. epic is king.. naughty dog is a queen

  34. How can you include Turn 10 on your list? Their game isn’t very good. You can tell that because all they do is run around saying everyone else sucks and they’re the best.

  35. Naughty Dog? BULLSHIT! Here’s why.

    Uncharted 2 brought NOTHING new. Naughty Dog stole pieces of ideas from other games such as Halo, Gears, and CoD without any of their own. You call that the best developer ever?

    Uncharted 2 has no orgininality whatsoever, and that’s just said.

  36. Turn 10, what the hell is it doing there? Insomniac Games needs to be in there, or this list is full of bullshit.

  37. George look, Naughty Dog also brought Jack and Daxter, and Jak 2 and 3. And Uncharted is amazing no matter what you say you just listen to gametrailers….go to IGN if you want the truth.

    Santa Monica Studios should be here. GoW baby are you kidding me?

    Insomniac should be here ( a small company, that devoluped wonderful Resistance AND amazing Ratchet and Clank!

    Otherwise the list is pretty decent. Just my opinion.

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