The Most Successful Game Developers: Ranking the Leaders in the Gaming Industry

Choose the game developers you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 8, 2024 06:17
Welcome to StrawPoll, the ultimate hub for gaming enthusiasts and aficionados alike! Today, we invite you to cast your vote and make your voice heard in our epic ranking of "What are the most successful game developers?". From the legendary pioneers to the innovative trailblazers, our list features an extensive lineup of game developers who have shaped the gaming world as we know it. But we don't stop there – if you think we've missed a hidden gem or an industry giant, you have the power to suggest a missing option and expand our gaming universe. So, what are you waiting for? Join the ranks of thousands of gamers, and let's determine the true masters of game development. Don't miss your chance to make history – dive into our interactive poll now and let the games begin!

What Are the Most Successful Game Developers?

  1. 1
    72
    votes
    Nintendo is one of the most successful game developers of all time. They have created some of the most iconic games and characters in the industry, including Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon. Their games are known for their fun and innovative gameplay, and they continue to be a dominant force in the industry with popular console releases like the Nintendo Switch.
    Nintendo is a leading game developer and publisher known for its innovative and iconic video game franchises. With a history spanning over 130 years, Nintendo has become one of the most successful and influential companies in the gaming industry. The company is based in Kyoto, Japan and was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi.
    • Iconic franchises: Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon, Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros.
    • Innovative consoles: Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii, Nintendo Switch
    • Handheld gaming dominance: Game Boy series, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS
    • Motion controls: Wii Remote, Wii U GamePad, Joy-Con controllers
    • In-house development teams: Nintendo EAD, Intelligent Systems, HAL Laboratory
  2. 2
    52
    votes

    Rockstar Games

    Rockstar Games
    Rockstar Games is known for creating some of the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful games of all time. Their Grand Theft Auto series has sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and their other games like Red Dead Redemption and Max Payne have also been highly successful. Rockstar is known for their attention to detail and immersive open-world gameplay.
    Rockstar Games is a renowned game development company known for creating some of the most successful and critically acclaimed video games. Founded in December 1998 by Sam Houser, Dan Houser, Terry Donovan, Jamie King, and Gary Foreman, Rockstar Games has gained a reputation for pushing the boundaries of interactive entertainment and delivering immersive and groundbreaking experiences in the gaming industry.
    • Notable Games: Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, Bully, Max Payne 3
    • Headquarters: New York City, NY, USA
    • Development Studios: Rockstar North, Rockstar San Diego, Rockstar Leeds, Rockstar Toronto, Rockstar Lincoln, Rockstar New England
    • Global Reach: Games published worldwide across multiple platforms (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, etc.)
    • Focus on Open-World Sandbox Games: Specializing in highly detailed, open-world environments that offer players unparalleled freedom and exploration
  3. 3
    18
    votes
    Blizzard Entertainment
    KennethHan · Public domain
    Blizzard Entertainment is known for creating some of the most popular and influential games in the industry, including World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. They are known for their high-quality graphics, engaging storytelling, and addictive gameplay. Blizzard is also highly regarded for their commitment to their player communities and their ongoing support for their games.
    Blizzard Entertainment is a highly successful game developer known for creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful video games. The company was founded in 1991 by Michael Morhaime, Allen Adham, and Frank Pearce. Blizzard Entertainment quickly gained recognition for their high-quality games with immersive storytelling, exceptional gameplay mechanics, and polished graphics. They have a strong focus on creating multiplayer games, particularly in the genres of real-time strategy, role-playing, and massively multiplayer online (MMO) games. Blizzard Entertainment is also known for their exceptional post-launch support, providing regular updates, expansions, and patches to improve and extend the gaming experience. The company has a loyal and dedicated fanbase, and their games often become long-lasting franchises. Blizzard Entertainment has received numerous awards and accolades in the gaming industry, solidifying their position as one of the most successful game developers of all time.
    • Year Founded: 1991
    • Main Genres: Real-time Strategy, Role-playing, MMO
    • Key Games: Warcraft series, Diablo series, StarCraft series, Overwatch, World of Warcraft
    • Post-Launch Support: Regular updates, expansions, and patches
    • Fanbase: Loyal and dedicated
  4. 4
    22
    votes
    Electronic Arts
    Eliot Lash · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Electronic Arts

    Trip Hawkins
    Electronic Arts, or EA, is one of the biggest game developers in the world. They are responsible for popular franchises like Madden NFL, FIFA, and The Sims. EA is known for their high-quality sports games and their commitment to creating immersive and engaging experiences for players.
    Electronic Arts (EA) is one of the largest and most successful game developers and publishers in the industry. Known for its popular AAA titles and franchises, EA has a long history of producing high-quality and innovative games.
    • Founded: 1982
    • Headquarters: Redwood City, California, USA
    • Number of Employees: over 9,000
    • Revenue (FY 2020): USD 5.5 billion
    • Popular Franchises: FIFA, Madden NFL, The Sims, Battlefield, Dragon Age, Mass Effect
    Electronic Arts in other rankings
  5. 5
    18
    votes
    Activision Blizzard
    Coolcaesar · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard
    Activision Blizzard is a merger between Activision and Blizzard Entertainment. They are known for creating popular franchises like Call of Duty, Destiny, and World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard is also highly regarded for their commitment to esports and their ongoing support for their games.
    Activision Blizzard is a leading game development and publishing company known for creating and publishing popular video games. The company was formed through the merger of Activision and Blizzard Entertainment in 2008. With a strong focus on creating immersive and engaging gaming experiences, Activision Blizzard has become one of the most successful game developers in the industry.
    • Founded: 2008
    • Headquarters: Santa Monica, California, United States
    • Key Executives: Robert A. Kotick (CEO), J. Allen Brack (President)
    • Popular Game Franchises: Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Diablo
    • Number of Employees: Over 10,000
    Activision Blizzard in other rankings
  6. 6
    12
    votes
    Square Enix
    Wirtz · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Square Enix

    Yōichi Wada
    Square Enix is a Japanese game developer known for creating popular franchises like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts. They are known for their high-quality graphics and engaging storytelling, and their games have a devoted fan base worldwide. Square Enix is also highly regarded for their ongoing support for their games through updates and DLC.
    Square Enix is a renowned video game development and publishing company that was founded in 2003 as a merger between Square Co. Ltd and Enix Corporation. With its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, Square Enix has become one of the most successful game developers worldwide, known for creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles.
    • Founded: 2003
    • Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
    • Industry: Video game development and publishing
    • Notable Games: Final Fantasy series, Dragon Quest series, Kingdom Hearts series, Tomb Raider series
    • Sales: Over 235 million copies globally
    Square Enix in other rankings
  7. 7
    8
    votes

    Bethesda Game Studios

    Christopher Weaver
    Bethesda Game Studios is known for creating popular franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Fallout. They are known for their immersive open-world gameplay, engaging storytelling, and attention to detail. Bethesda is also highly regarded for their ongoing support for their games through updates and DLC.
    Bethesda Game Studios is a renowned game development company known for creating immersive open-world role-playing games. It was founded by Christopher Weaver in 1986 and is currently owned by ZeniMax Media. Bethesda Game Studios has developed several critically acclaimed and commercially successful titles.
    • Founding Year: 1986
    • Current Owner: ZeniMax Media
    • Specialty: Open-world role-playing games
    • Headquarters: Rockville, Maryland, USA
    • Notable Game Series: The Elder Scrolls, Fallout
  8. 8
    10
    votes
    Ubisoft is a French game developer known for creating popular franchises like Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. They are known for their high-quality graphics, engaging storytelling, and immersive gameplay. Ubisoft is also highly regarded for their commitment to their player communities and their ongoing support for their games.
  9. 9
    4
    votes
    Valve Corporation
    Tim Eulitz · CC BY 4.0
    Valve Corporation is known for creating popular games like Half-Life, Portal, and Team Fortress. They are also the creators of the Steam platform, which is the largest digital distribution platform for PC games. Valve is known for their innovative gameplay mechanics and their commitment to their player communities.
    Valve Corporation is a highly successful American video game developer and digital distribution company. It was founded in 1996 by Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington. Valve is known for developing iconic games like the Half-Life series, Portal, Team Fortress, and Dota 2. They revolutionized the gaming industry with their innovative game mechanics and immersive storytelling. Additionally, Valve created Steam, a widely popular digital platform for PC gaming, which provides a marketplace for games, social features, and digital rights management.
    • Founded: 1996
    • Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington, United States
    • Notable Games: Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Portal, Team Fortress
    • Digital Distribution Platform: Steam
    • Steam Active Users: Over 120 million
  10. 10
    8
    votes

    Naughty Dog

    Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin
    Naughty Dog is known for creating popular franchises like Uncharted and The Last of Us. They are known for their engaging storytelling, high-quality graphics, and innovative gameplay mechanics. Naughty Dog is also highly regarded for their commitment to their player communities and their ongoing support for their games.
    Naughty Dog is a renowned game development company that was founded in 1984. Initially, the studio started as an independent developer and progressively gained recognition for its exceptional storytelling, innovative gameplay mechanics, and stunning visual design. Naughty Dog has become widely acclaimed for its successful franchises, including Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. The studio is known for pushing the boundaries of console gaming and setting new industry standards.
    • Founded: 1984
    • Headquarters: Santa Monica, California, USA
    • Notable Franchises: Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, The Last of Us
    • Number of Employees: Over 300
    • Genre: Action-adventure, platformer, survival horror

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Ranking factors for successful game developers

  1. Total revenue
    The cumulative revenue generated by a game developer's titles gives a strong indication of their financial success.
  2. Sales and active users
    The number of game copies sold or downloaded, and the number of active players, serve as key indicators of a developer's reach and popularity.
  3. Game quality and critical reception
    Reviews from both professional critics and users help determine how highly regarded a developer's games are in terms of overall quality and innovation.
  4. Awards and accolades
    Industry recognition and awards can signal a developer's achievements in various aspects such as game design, narrative, or technological innovation.
  5. Impact on the gaming industry
    A developer's influence on the industry, including the introduction of new genres, technologies, or business models, can indicate success.
  6. Longevity and consistency
    A developer's ability to produce successful games over an extended period demonstrates stability and adaptability in a rapidly changing industry.
  7. Studio size and resources
    A successful developer will typically have a large and talented team, allowing them to create higher-quality games and provide ongoing support.
  8. Intellectual property
    Owning popular, profitable, and well-regarded game franchises indicates a developer's ability to create valuable and enduring content.
  9. Post-launch support and updates
    A developer's commitment to providing ongoing support, updates, and additional content for their games demonstrates their dedication to maintaining and growing their player base.
  10. Community engagement and transparency
    Successful game developers often maintain open lines of communication with their players, addressing concerns, taking feedback, and actively engaging with the community.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful game developers. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or game developer is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2149 views
  • 209 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each game developer once every 24 hours. The rank of each game developer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful game developers

Game development has become a highly competitive industry with a vast array of talented developers and publishers. The success of a game developer is often measured by the popularity and success of their games. The most successful game developers are those that have managed to create games that resonate with players and generate significant revenue. Some of the most successful game developers in the industry include Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, and Rockstar Games. These developers have consistently produced games that have become household names and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Nintendo, for example, is known for creating iconic franchises such as Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Electronic Arts has developed popular sports games like FIFA and Madden. Activision Blizzard is behind the popular Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises, while Rockstar Games has created the Grand Theft Auto series. While success in the game development industry can be subjective, these developers have proven themselves time and time again. Their ability to create engaging, popular games has made them some of the most successful and influential game developers in the industry.

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