The 100 Top Game Development Studios

by Peter Eykemans, posted on 10 May 2010 / 17,964 Views

Last Friday, the Develop 100 was published in book form and has been made available online too.

Based on UK sales rankings, it lists the Top 100 Game Studios in the world, something they release every year.

It's completely based on how "bankable" the studio is, per sales in the UK alone.

I'll showcase the top 50 here to save you some reading time.

1. Nintendo
2. Infinity Ward
3. EA Canada
4. Ubisoft Montreal
5. Foundation 9
6.Sega Studios Japan
7. Capcom
8. Treyarch
9. Yuke's
10. Level-5
11. Traveller's Tales
12. Neversoft
13. Konami Digital Entertainment
14. Turn 10 Studios
15. Codemasters Studios
16. Bungie
17. Slightly Mad Studios
18. Vicarious Visions
19. Visceral Games
20. Rockstar North
21. The Sims Studio
22. Valve
23. Namco
24. Rocksteady Studios
25. EA Tiburon
26. EA Bright Light
27. Ubisoft France
28. EA Black Box
29. Naughty Dog
30. Sports Interactive
31. SCE London Studio
32. Guerrilla Games
33. Bethesda
34. Radical Entertainment
35. Volition
36. Maxis
37. Gearbox Softworks
38. Harmonix
39. 1st Playable
40. Pandemic Studios
41. Game Freak
42. Bioware
43. Enemble Studios
44. A2M
45. Sonic Team
46. Kuju Entertainment
47. Cat Daddy
48. HB Studios
49. Ubisoft Romania
50. Raven Software

How do you feel about the rankings? Any surprises for you?

[Source: Develop 100 via VE3D]


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54 Comments

XanderZane (on 12 May 2010)

@Pho_Hybrid says: yes I know its based on sales however the title IS HIGHLY MISLEADING! SERIOUSLY you guys should change it to like the "top100 bankable stuidos in UK" some people don't read text ************************************************** This can't be based on sales. Where is Blizzard Entertainment? They probably make close to a billion in the U.K. with their World of Warcraft and Starcraft games alone. I'm surprised Insomniac Games and SquareEnix isn't on the list. They really should base it on Worldwide sales, and not just the U.K. It explains why Activision and Microsoft isn't on the list.


Pho_Hybrid (on 12 May 2010)

yes I know its based on sales however the title IS HIGHLY MISLEADING! SERIOUSLY you guys should change it to like the "top100 bankable stuidos in UK" some people don't read text


Pho_Hybrid (on 12 May 2010)

this list is an absolute JOKE! take 17.Vicarious Visions, its an average developer making Medicore game for portable systems, ocassionally good games for systems but they are better than Viscreal, Guerilla, Valve, ETC


FullMetalMerc (on 12 May 2010)

Pandemic dosent even exist anymore


FullMetalMerc (on 12 May 2010)

This list is so a joke


ghinasky (on 12 May 2010)

reminds me of that lame Guinness list, crap list


scottie (on 12 May 2010)

@ Scoops - it's based on sales in the UK for the previous year. A studio could be disbanded and yet their games continue to sell - presumably MS is still selling Ensemble's old games


Imaginedvl (on 11 May 2010)

@Scoobes wow, look at this hateboy. Microsoft has nothing to do with this list dumbass. And this list is based on UK SALES RANKINGS (not only this year or this month). At least read the whole article before posting stupid things like that. Freaking tool...


Scoobes (on 11 May 2010)

LOL! Ensemble Studios are still in the list after being disbanded. Real clever Microsoft! Idiots. And Infinity Ward at No. 2 after all the politics and the massive exodus. Will Infinity Ward remain in the list next year or the year after?


Bornswavia (on 11 May 2010)

This list is terrible, in my opinion.


Miguel_Zorro (on 11 May 2010)

If this is based on an objective measure like sales, you can't argue with any of it.


RockSmith372 (on 11 May 2010)

Can't argue with Number 1, but I can argue against almost everything else. Bioware, Naughty Dog, Valve, Harmonix, and Bethesda should all be higher, while Neversoft, Sonic Team, and Pandemic should be lower


tripleb2k (on 11 May 2010)

saw the list and got mad because Bioware was #42. than I saw it was based on sales. I feel better now... but still a bit of anger.


60Hertz (on 11 May 2010)

Interesting that 5 of the top 10 are japanese studios, especially when everyone is ringing the death toll of japanese development... i would like to see worldwide take on this.


LordChris915 (on 11 May 2010)

Thought Rockstar, Naughtydog and Bioware would be higher up


Dr.A.Peter.Nintendo (on 11 May 2010)

The Nintendo Age is near...


ljlrj (on 11 May 2010)

nintendo ftw


KungKras (on 11 May 2010)

@ Mad55 Perfection > Innovation Also, wasn't this list about how bankable the studio is?


Shonen (on 11 May 2010)

Surprise Nintendo is number 1.


Mad55 (on 11 May 2010)

What has blizzard done great recently or innovative i wanna know lol


PAL0FEX (on 11 May 2010)

This must be for consoles only. Blizzard would have to be in the top 5 otherwise.


woopah (on 11 May 2010)

problem with splitting nintendo up is that they never actually state which EAD team do what game as far as i'm aware, you just have to work it out for yourself


pizzahut451 (on 11 May 2010)

Nintendo is a publisher...


GuiltySpartan77 (on 11 May 2010)

Nintendo isn't a game studio either just the publisher


GuiltySpartan77 (on 11 May 2010)

i guess they didn't know that SCE isn't a developer company just the people who publish


SecondWar (on 11 May 2010)

@bobsmith Isnt SCE more the publishing/hardware company like Microsoft Games Studios is for the Xbox. Some SCE studios are on the list. For that reason, Im not sure why Capcom and Nintendo are there (should be Nintendo EAD)


KungKras (on 11 May 2010)

I take it this is only for consoles. Otherwise, Blizzard not at number 1 or 2 would be weird.


kaneada (on 11 May 2010)

Codemasters? I can't remember the last good game they made! How did they break the top 50!


bobsmith (on 11 May 2010)

Where's Sony Computer Entertainment?


Jumpin (on 11 May 2010)

Why bulk Nintendo all in as one single studio but not other companies? That goes for Foundation 9 as well.


Jumpin (on 11 May 2010)

Why bulk Nintendo all in as one single studio but not other companies?


scottie (on 11 May 2010)

Way to be inconsistent. All Nintendo and Capcom studios are bundled into one, but EA, Ubisoft, SCE and Rockstar are split


Jalocin (on 11 May 2010)

@Kupomogli It's only UK, not all of PAL. As far as I know, X360 is bigger in UK compared to the rest of PAL territories so ODST might have sold more in the UK than U2 did.


kupomogli (on 11 May 2010)

I had my doubts, but all these are going by sales in PAL land only. I looked up quite a few and actually it looks like this is correct.... until I looked up Naughty Dog. Uncharted 2 is the only game released this year and last and it's over 1.5 million in PAL territories. Halo 3 ODST is the only game Bungie has released this year and last, selling at 1.3 million. Naughty Dog should be above Bungie.


Hephaestos (on 11 May 2010)

oh yeah this year... so no Epic, my bad.


Hephaestos (on 11 May 2010)

Bungie only 16? ok sales are limited to one platform... umh... Valve 22.... (probably don't count PC?) and errr what is the studio name for Epic's Gears?


CatFangs806 (on 11 May 2010)

Insomniac only released one game last year, and that was "Ratchet and Clank: A Crack In Time". It didn't sell that great, so that's why Insomniac is not up there.


NoirSon (on 11 May 2010)

Level 5 below Yuke's? Who ever made this list was off his rocker.


Herbie95 (on 11 May 2010)

Wheres Insomniac? HUH?


halil23 (on 11 May 2010)

DAMN IT, got ninjad by Yakuzaice.


halil23 (on 11 May 2010)

This list is false! Nintendo gets all their studios in 1 group while others get splits?!? For example: 29. Naughty Dog 31. SCE London Studio 32. Guerrilla Games If they all were under Sony (plus other developers), then it would have easily been 2nd! It said "Developer" 100 not "Publisher" 100. So the fact is Nintendo's team meant to be split up and Infinity Ward takes the number 1 spot!! A FAILURE LIST...and the people that praising Ninty need to get a reality check!!! :-P


Yakuzaice (on 11 May 2010)

I've never understood why Nintendo's studios are always just lumped together while every other company is split up. Also some of these just seem odd. Several studios seem to be associated with the Sims 3 otherwise they don't really make sense on this list. None of the Traveller's Tales games even hit 100k and yet it's above a lot of studios that definitely sold 300k+ to 600k+ in '09. Foundation 9 seems to just be a collection of developers that do outsourced work for other companies.


guiduc (on 11 May 2010)

I'm glad two Canadian studios are in the top 5 (I'm from Canada)


thelifatree (on 11 May 2010)

thelifatree says: This is just for UK. It's for just 2009. @bhutto, Square Enix I believe only released 1 or 2 FF remakes and Kingdom Hearts 358/2, in the UK during that period.


Salnax (on 11 May 2010)

#1: Nintendo Yep, this list is good. Move along now.


NYANKS (on 11 May 2010)

Damnit thought it was based on awesomeness. Expected to see all Sony devs and Ninty lol :P


sabestar (on 10 May 2010)

Rockstar North, Valve, Bungie are all surprisingly low. EA Canada was surprising then I remembered Fifa (I think they are the ones responsible for the series)


radiantshadow92 (on 10 May 2010)

Its by sales guys...I am kinda surprised at #10 though.


Boutros (on 10 May 2010)

Oh it's about sales? :/ Yeah that make sense then.


iWarMachine (on 10 May 2010)

Naughty Dog at #29? yeah right.. where's Media Molecule? Bungie at #16???????????????? LOL


burning_phoneix (on 10 May 2010)

@Boutros Bioware typically only release one or two games MAX per year and those sell generally pretty well but not AMAZING well. BUT YAY CODEMASTERS at #15


Ghutto (on 10 May 2010)

No surprise at #1. [x2] But, no Square-Enix in top 50... LOL


Boutros (on 10 May 2010)

Bioware is way too low.


ph4nt (on 10 May 2010)

No surprise at #1.