Nintendo Kyoto, Infinity Ward named best devs

<i>Game Developer</i> magazine names Brain Age-maker, Call of Duty-crafter top worldwide studios, Blizzard, EA Canada, and Valve round out top five.

In February, game industry luminaries congregated en masse on two separate occasions to share ideas, schmooze, and honor the best games of 2007. For the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' part, top award winners at the D.I.C.E. Summit included Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4 and Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft. Two weeks later, the Game Developers Conference counsel heaped accolades upon Valve Corp. for the deranged first-person puzzler Portal, which came packed in with The Orange Box.

Not content to just make great games, it now appears many of these award winning studios are also great places to work, according to a recent study conducted by Game Developers Conference organizers CMP Group by way of Think Services for Game Developer magazine and its Game Developer Research division. In conducting its study, Think Service combined sales and marketing stats with survey data gleaned from game developers and other professionals within the industry.

Perched atop the rankings was Nintendo's Kyoto studio, which is responsible for top-selling Nintendo DS and Wii titles Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Brain Age and its sequel. According to CMP, survey respondents called out the studio's focus on quality in particular. Coming in at second was the Activision-owned studio Infinity Ward, which was praised for its working conditions, professionalism, and attention to quality.

Rounding out the top five were World of Warcraft purveyors Blizzard Entertainment; Electronic Arts' Canada outfit, which handles FIFA Soccer 08 and NBA Street: Homecourt; and Valve, which most recently developed The Orange Box and operates the online distribution mainstay Steam.

A list of the top 20 development studios is as follows.

1. Nintendo Kyoto (Brain Age, Wii Play)
2. Infinity Ward (Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare)
3. Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade)
4. Electronic Arts Canada (FIFA Soccer 08, NBA Street: Homecourt)
5. Valve (Portal, Team Fortress 2)
6. Konami Japan Studio (Winning Eleven: Pro Evolution Soccer, Dance Dance Revolution Universe)
7. Insomniac Games (Ratchet & Clank Future)
8. Capcom Osaka Studio (Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, Monster Hunter Freedom)
9. Electronic Arts Tiburon (Madden NFL 08, NASCAR 08)
10. BioWare Edmonton (Mass Effect, Jade Empire: Special Edition)
11. Bungie Studios (Halo 3)
12. Ubisoft Montreal (Assassin's Creed, Naruto: Rise of a Ninja)
13. 2K Boston/Australia (BioShock)
14. Harmonix (Rock Band)
15. Bandai Namco Tokyo (Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation, Beautiful Katamari)
16. Square Enix Tokyo (Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, Front Mission DS)
17. Game Freak (Pokémon Diamond/Pearl)
18. Epic Games (Unreal Tournament 3, Gears of War)
19. Hudson Soft (Mario Party 8, Mario Party DS)
20. Neversoft (Guitar Hero III, Tony Hawk's Proving Ground)

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91 comments
turtLesheLL2004
turtLesheLL2004

@Patriot298 "In February, game industry luminaries congregated en masse on two separate occasions to share ideas, schmooze, and honor the best games of 2007." Kojima didn't come out with a game in 2007 other then an Metal Gear Portable Ops Plus, an expansion pack. wait for the 08 best dev's you will see MGS4 on it.

retrofraction12
retrofraction12

All of these people make good games, but I really can't say that Konami is better than capcom.

Grantelicious
Grantelicious

Valve is my number one with Relic and Blizzard and Bethesda and Bioware for all their great games in the past but shame about the suck ass ones of today.

Patriot298
Patriot298

well well well, I see the precious Kojima didn't even make the top 5. lol

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

Bethesda, you're kidding me right? The same developer that lets you manipulate the world of lame AI in Morrowind and Oblivion? Sure they have a great idea, and because of the sheer scope and size of the world people tend to be more forgiving, but really the only way to play those games is to define your own rules. Otherwise it is just too easy to manipulate the AI and all that is broken... And bioware hasn't had a game worth talking about since KOTOR. Really though, I think ranking studios in this fashion is a waste of time. There is just too much subjective material when trying to rank them.

shabab12
shabab12

why is everyone pissed about bungie? they place they are in is just right.

YungMel187
YungMel187

it should be 1.Infinity ward 2.Bungie Studios 3.Ubisoft

Rect_Pola
Rect_Pola

With the money Wii Play and Brain Age rake in, Nintendo Kyoto probably bought everyone involved a house for christmas.

_Cab0ose87_
_Cab0ose87_

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_Cab0ose87_
_Cab0ose87_

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nate1222
nate1222

Bioware should have been in the top 5. Bethesda should have been somewhere in the list. Nintendo deserves a high spot, but #1? I see the Wii (and its games) like the PS1; enough gems to justify its success but also a mountain of duds to sift through.

michaelroy
michaelroy

This list is complete bs. Infinity ward and nintendo and EA (???) above bungie, valve, bioware, and 2K boston? wtf? infinity ward and nintendo deserve it, but not 1rst and 2nd jesus

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

Lol that's bull, sure those Nintendo studios are good, but they're not the best. Bioware got voted the best workplace for developing games in the world, basted on staff treatment and quality of living and work environment for those employees.

ODST1
ODST1

At Least Capcoms in top 8 Way To Go!!!

7thRonin
7thRonin

wow epic pwnd by pokemon maker

Killer2401
Killer2401

Bungie at No.11 They deserve it.

Proust
Proust

Brain Age and Wii Play ... I don't know. They sold very well so if that is the standard, fine. But Wii Play should have been a more pollished package (boxing,baseball), and the only part of brain that improves with brain age is the part that plays brain age. My Mom claims to have gone from a 60 year old brain to 20 year old brain but I just don't see it.

ghost867
ghost867

You decide to put the guys who this year, made Brain Age 2, which is the far worser version of a game that wasn't all that great as a game in the first place, and the game that only sold because it's game came packaged with a Wiimote and had the world "Wii" in the title, also known as Wii Play, developer of the year? Now that's just pathetic. EA Canada for FIFA 08 and NBA Street? Pathetic. Konami Japan for Winning Eleven and DDR? Pathetic. Capcom for Lost Planet and Monster Hunter? Pathetic. EA Tiburon for Madden 08 and Nascar 08? Pathetic. Bandai Namco for Ace Combat 6 and Katamari? Pathetic. Hudson for Mario Party 8 and Mario Party DS, two of the worst games last year? Infinitely pathetic. I cannot believe, you decide to put Nintendo Kyoto, EA Canana, Konami Japan, Capcom, and EA Tiburon above Bungie for the game(s) they respectively released last year. That's just ****ing pathetic. I am sick and tired of industry snobs trying to downplay Halo 3 because it was so hyped up. **** you guys, I'm tired of the lack of appreciation you give one of the best developers of last year. This is by far, one of the worst lists I've even seen. Only 13 of those companies deserve to be on the list for the games they made last year (in the order they appear on the original list, which I don't agree with, but am not going to take the time to reorganize): Infinity Ward, Blizzard, Valve, Insomniac, BioWare, Bungie, Ubisoft Montreal, 2K Boston/Australia, Harmonix, Square Enix Tokyo, Game Freak, Epic, and Neversoft.

oli54321
oli54321

Why is EA here? They treat their employees like crap and they bring out rubbish games >_>

noahgarcia
noahgarcia

No way in hell does EA deserve to be in the top 5 . No way, no how. EA above Bioware? 2K Boston? Bungie!!!??? Absolutely bloody ridiculous. The list's criteria is probably based on sales rather than quality.

tennis12master
tennis12master

Nice list. Though I would think that Super mario galaxy or The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass would have been Nintendo's featured titles.

necronaux
necronaux

Hard to believe, with all the hype over PS3 and 360, lil' ol' DS title 'Brain Age' beat them all. It is a cool game, if you can even call it that, but it gets boring, fast. Brain Age part 3 anyone?

Krusnikzero2
Krusnikzero2

I'm sorry, but EA does not deserve to be on this list. Absolutley nothing creative have come out of EA this past year. IMHO the choices for best devolopers should go to the firms that have shown the most creativity in their games. In that respect, Bioware and 2k have gone above and beyond. Grats to nintendo for getting number 1, though I would argue that they deserve it for different games like super mario galaxy.

XBASX
XBASX

sales and marketing, top-selling, working conditions, professionalism, attention to quality,

09231991
09231991

Why the hell is Ubisoft near the bottom? Ubisoft is one of the best companies around. And even Epic. This list sucks!

EPaul
EPaul

Nice to see Insomaniac in the top ten

AvIdGaMeR444
AvIdGaMeR444

Infinity Ward best dev? Maybe best dev for FPS war-based games. But they sure aren't well rounded for development of different genres...

Michaelas10
Michaelas10

@mergirox But in the list, they appear to be credited for Brain Age and Wii Play, which, IMO, don't require much developing.

mariomusicmaker
mariomusicmaker

Bioware is located in Edmonton, Canada.................WTFFF!!!! that is a shocker to me also, great list btw,

mergirox
mergirox

@Michaelas10 Terrible list. Nintendo Kyoto? Haha. EA? HAHAAHAHAHAH. Whats wrong with Nintendo Kyoto? After all, they did make the GOTY, Super Mario Galaxy That should definitely secure them first place, it only makes sense. Bioware is located in Edmonton, Canada.................WTFFF!!!! LOL I LIVE IN EDMONTON!!

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

umm i think it's based on working conditions versus productivity and quality in games the studios have made.. from what i've seen, this would be pretty accurate

rayray345
rayray345

I must say that I cant agree with some of the titles that are on here

decoy1978
decoy1978

How are they basing these surveys? Sales? Favorites? Review?

XenoLair
XenoLair

Some of those dev. 's dont deserve it ... Infinity Ward 2nd ??? WHY? And what did Blizzard do to get the 3rd place? ok, EA maybe, same goes for Valve. 2K, Square Enix, Epic Games, Neversoft, Hudson Soft deserve better. Personally im a big fan of Game Freaks' games but i wouldnt know where to place them ^^.

Stabby
Stabby

EA!? Meh... Atleast Rockstar will have their moment with GTA:IV this year.

technowiz999
technowiz999

rockstar, microsoft, and sony must be hellholes to be beaten out by some of those =(...

MikeyOfLamb
MikeyOfLamb

This list is total junk. I can simply not believe the placement they chose. dzfunk64: well said.

dzfunk64
dzfunk64

EA and Blizzard on the top 5?! ROFL!! Those two shouldn't even be on the top 20! I disagree with this entire list. They were really biased when they made this list, and chose their personal favorite developers, instead of those who really deserve it. Some of the best developers, such as Rockstar Games and Jagex Ltd., aren't even on the list at all. Infiiniity Ward, Blizzard, EA, Konami, Insomniac Games, Harmonix and Bandai Namco shouldn't be on the list at all. Those are all developers that are either really bad, or haven't made anything great recently, so I can't figure out why they were even considered.

justin315
justin315

i noticed alot of handheld titles, this is the year of the handhelds, especially for the ds, even though i hate to admit it.... good job everyone!

Falco_648
Falco_648

Lol at Klone, someone doesnt know how to count. Game Freak made it on the list. I remember playing pokemon when i was little.

el_ken
el_ken

Ninty on top...again! nice!

Conscript26
Conscript26

All though I know there are a lot of Halo haters here.. I think Bungie derserves to be a little higher, not because of the game but because no other developers are that community based, they have weekly events with community members and support/are involved with it like no other developer I have seen.