Some of you out there may be looking for your first job in the game development industry, or maybe you’re just curious about the quality of your favorite video game company. Whatever your reason, we’ve compiled this shortlist of our 5 favorite video game companies.
The rating score we give is based on the quality and amount of games the video game companies release in 2019 and innovation for the video game industry in 2019. We also rank the quality of marketing in 2019, the history of the game company, and the typical work-life balance the employees have.
- Game Quality
- Innovations in Gaming
- Marketing Techniques
- Historical Impact
- Work-Life Balance
The Game Quality rating will be based on a percentage rating. The number of top-rated video game releases in 2019 divided by the total number of video games released in 2019. This gives us the percentage of quality video games.
The top-rated games are games with an average review rating of 80% or above, which bases on the ranking Google lists in its search. The rankings come from various sources, including GameStop, PC Gamer, Metacritic, and Google user ratings. #YGD takes the average percentage of all the scores.
This is important because some companies will publish games and do what we call “the lame Christmas gift effect”. We also use the average ranking percentage because of a few reasons. One, many of the company rankings are by one person. Two, a store could be ranking the game higher as part of a marketing push. And three, the user ranking ranks by players like you. We think the average ranking gives it more of what the ranking is for the average gamer.
Lots of horrible games release around Christmas shopping time to convince gift-givers to purchase them, even though the quality of the game is shotty. There are also many publishers pushing the release date so that they are set in stone rather than allowing the developers to take a reasonable amount of time to complete a quality game for the player. We frown on those practices and want to give points to the video game companies and publishers who care about their players.
Innovations in Gaming
This rating bases on whether or not the video game company works on any new technology to advance the industry. There are many video game companies working on new AR and VR technology, handheld devices, no hands devices, devices for the disabled and more. Game companies should receive points for trying out new things to make the gaming industry a place for everyone.
#YGD believes marketing has a lot to do with the success of the game and the video game company. We also believe that using marketing to falsely advertise and using marketing to attack other video game companies is a big no-no. We want to give points to the game companies that took the time to create quality marketing for their games, with a decent moral vision.
Some video game companies have been around since way before video games existed and others are much newer to the game development industry. No matter how long the video game company has been around, we like to award the companies that have had some kind of historical impact in the industry, good or bad. These historical impacts help to mold the game industry into what it is today, and these impacts should be awarded points.
We like to award the video game companies who respect their employees. One of the biggest issues with the video game development industry is being able to have a good work-life balance. Many video game companies in the past took advantage of their employees, forcing them to work 80 hour weeks with no paid overtime, no benefits, etc. Taking advantage of your employees is just no good.
Being healthy both physically and mentally is just as important as showing up to work and we would like to award the video game companies that promote a good work-life balance and decent pay.
Total Average Score
The total average score ranking is the first number you will see. It is solely based on the average of the numbers ranked for 2019 using the above categories. If the video game company creates or has any innovations in 2019, they receive an extra credit point, since innovations are above and beyond what is necessary.
Now that we’ve gone over how we rank these video game companies, let us list them!
Rankings for Best Video Game Companies in the World
Total Average Score: 9.56/10
Nintendo has been around for a very long time. The company was founded in 1889. Its current headquarters are in Kyoto, Japan and Nintendo has many other offices around the world.
Nintendo is iconic of video games, and many who don’t know anything about the video game industry would still recognize Nintendo. They are legendary.
This video game company is definitely the world’s largest game company by revenue, with a net value of over USD85 Billion.
Nintendo’s Game Quality 2019
Nintendo has always been well known for its quality of games, being one of the first home game console developers to have a seal of approval for video games they approve of for their video game consoles. But, even Nintendo can publish a bad game here and there.
Nintendo’s Innovations 2019
- Labo VR
Nintendo is always well known for experimenting and enhancing gameplay, for better or worse. The video game company itself wasn’t originally a video game company, and when they went into game production, it was an experiment in business to see how Nintendo as a company could survive.
Nintendo is always looking for new and creative ways to involve video games as a family bonding experience, as well as technological advancements for the industry as a whole. The video game company has some failures from the past but overall has had so many successes that they have become well known for this.
The Labo VR was released in 2019. It is an extension of the Labo kit, which is a cardboard cut out technology masterpiece. Labo VR turns your Nintendo Switch into VR goggles, using the controllers to attach to other cardboard attachments in order to give an interactive VR experience for you and your family. The Labo VR features games, of course, but it also offers users the ability to create 3D artwork, and their own 3D VR interactive worlds. Our only issue is the fact that it is made of cardboard, which if you’ve ever been around any child and some clumsy adults, you know cardboard doesn’t stand a chance. But the cardboard does keep the price reasonable.
Nintendo’s Marketing Techniques 2019
With the video game company’s family-focused business, its commercials and static advertising also focus on how Nintendo brings families together. All of its commercials are genuine and don’t slam a competitor in any way. This video game company advertises what its products are and shows players using their products. Nintendo also shows that games are not just for kids and that parents and grandparents can join in on the fun.
It does have a few commercials that we feel could focus more on the product and less on the environment that the commercial was filmed in, but all in all great commercials.
Their static imagery is everywhere, and almost always focuses on one of Nintendo’s first-party products, such as Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Super Smash Bros. Bright colors, characters from the video game company’s games, and eye-catching text makes for great in-store marketing for brick and mortar shops like GameStop, as well as for magazine size static print ads.
Nintendo’s Historical Impact 2019
Nintendo has been around since the beginning of home consoles and was founded over a century ago. They help define many of the game industry’s historical impacts, from helping to save the industry by selling the NES as a family entertainment system, to taking the world by storm to play in unity with PokemonGo. The video game company even changes the industry with their handheld gaming systems. Nintendo has had the world’s largest impact on the video game development industry’s history. Let’s see what happened in 2019.
- Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé announces he is retiring, Doug Bowser succeeds him on 15 April 2019
- As of 31 December 2019, there are over 52 million copies of the Switch sold
- On September 20, 2019, a handheld-only version of the Switch console, the Nintendo Switch Lite, releases
- In 2018, Nintendo starts filing lawsuits against ROM services that offer digital copies of various console games to be played on console emulators. Nintendo files a suit against RomUniverse in September 2019. RomUniverse offers infringing copies of Nintendo DS and Switch games in addition to ROM images.
- In 2019, the FBI arrests an 18-year-old hacker who had been hacking Nintendo for several years and releasing information about upcoming games and consoles that the hacker should not have. While the hacker was a minor, Nintendo and the FBI requests the hacker to stop. As a result, once the hacker became an adult, the hacker did not follow the request. Therefore the hacker was arrested and charged.
Why the NES and SNES Roms too?
Why Nintendo waits so long to press charges and send cease and desist orders to the ROM community, is questionable since most of those ROMs are of the video game company’s NES and SNES games. Our theory here at #YGD is that they were planning to start releasing updated versions for their current consoles, and it seems we were sort of correct.
Why are ROMs Important?
We think that ROMs are important for historical landmarks and records of games forgotten, but that argument is for another post. For better or worse, these historical acts will impact the industry, and only time will tell how good or bad these impacts will be.
Nintendo’s Work-life Balance 2019
According to indeed.com, Nintendo employees give the following ratings for working there:
- Work-life balance – 3.8
- Pay and Benefits – 3.5
- Job Security and Advancement – 3.2
- Management – 3.6
- Culture – 4.0
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Total Average Score: 9.56/10
Sony jumps into the home console development industry in the mid-1990s after they develop a disc-based attachment for Nintendo consoles. However, the deal between the two companies fell through. The video game company’s success was in the ability to offer low-cost development for video game studios and developers through compact discs with their Playstation consoles. This makes their console, at the time, to have the most games developed for.
Sony also has major success with the Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider series of games.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Game Quality 2019
Sony publishes 12 games in 2019 and six of them are rated 80% or above. The video game company publishes for many developers and consoles. They also have their own series of home consoles, the Playstation series, and a handheld series that they no longer produce.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Innovations 2019
- Playstation 5 Announcement
- Playstation Vita Discontinued
Sony announces the concept and development of its upcoming game console, Playstation 5 (PS5) in April 2019. The company schedules to release the console worldwide by the end of 2020. The console has support for hardware acceleration of ray-tracing rendering, enabling real-time ray-traced graphics. Among some other notable features, it will also support SSD storage, which should, in theory, decrease load times. No costs for the console have been released, yet.
While the idea of releasing the next generation of consoles isn’t a new idea, Sony is the first to announce their next-gen console, showing the other major console developers what they need to create in order to compete.
In March 2019, the announcement for the video game company discontinuing the Playstation Vita spreads. SIE president Jim Ryan said that while the Vita was a great device, they have moved away from portable consoles, “clearly it’s a business that we’re no longer in now”.
This is a good innovation because it shows the shift in the game industry, away from developed handheld devices, allowing the company to focus on their console hardware, streaming services, and online store services. With Android and Apple dominating the mobile market with phones that offer console-quality gaming services, it seems silly to work on devices that only offer the single capability of gaming.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Marketing Techniques 2019
Sony Interactive Entertainment has a YouTube channel dedicated to Playstation, its home console franchise. The video game company has interviews and features of its games and the game developers of said games. There are also playlists for its more popular game franchises and videos on how to use the video game company’s Playstation consoles, including parental settings.
Each of its first-party developers also has their own YouTube channels, featuring the games that they develop. There are also interviews and features from the developers. Many of the video game company’s online multiplayer commercials feature the player’s avatar and then morph into the player, showing the person that everyone plays video games and you should join us.
Sony also focuses some tutorial videos on community engagement, showing the player and parents how to use their consoles, and making sure that everyone who is using their console and playing their games has enough information to do so successfully.
Sony’s print and online advertising are typically in shades of traditional blue since that is Playstation’s current logo color, with black backgrounds.
This video game company has an excellent marketing department for its game publishing and Playstation consoles. It knows who its audience is and how to reach out to them to gain the fans’ interest and keep them.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Historical Impact 2019
Sony Interactive Entertainment jumped into the video game industry back in the mid-1990s with its release of the original Playstation. The console was extremely successful because it was affordable to the average consumer. Also, developer costs for third party games were minimal due to the use of Compact Discs.
Sony’s use of Compact Discs changed the gaming world and here we are today. Let’s check out what this video game company did in 2019.
- January 8, 2019, Sony announced that the company had entered into an agreement to acquire Audiokinetic
- March 20, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment launched the educational video game platform Toio in Japan
- May 20, 2019, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced that the company had launched PlayStation Productions
- Acquisition of Insomniac Studios was completed on November 15, 2019
- John (Tsuyoshi) Kodera stepped down as president and CEO in April 2019, with Jim Ryan stepping taking over
- November 7, 2019, Hermen Hulst became the Head of Worldwide Studios
- March 1, 2019, Sony ends production of the PlayStation Vita system and physical cartridge games
Sony Interactive Entertainment has done a lot this year for both its own video game company and the game industry. #YGD is definitely looking forward to seeing what they do with 2020 and their NextGen console.
Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Work-life Balance 2019
According to indeed.com, Sony Interactive Entertainment employees give the following ratings for working there:
- Work-life balance – 3.9
- Pay and Benefits – 3.8
- Job Security and Advancement – 3.2
- Management – 3.4
- Culture – 3.8
Total Average Score: 9.53/10
Epic Games is the video game company that also produces the Unreal Engine SDK. The Unreal Engine is a popular piece of software that many game studios and game developers use to help develop their own video games.
Epic establishes in 1991 and is located in North Carolina, USA. Some of the video game company’s popular games include Fortnite, Unreal, and Gears of War. All of their games are published using the Unreal Engine, and their games are typically part of the first-person genre.
Epic Games’ Game Quality 2019
Epic Games publishes one game in 2019 and it was rated an average of 80% or higher. Epic tends to publish very few new games and focuses on releasing major updates to enhance the quality and extend the life of the video game company’s current hits.
Although no major updates are released for the video game company’s main series of games, Fortnite continues to grow in popularity with eSports leagues. Also, the Unreal Engine continues to grow and expand with use for VR and AR. Epic Games increases the user access for the Unreal Engine by making the SDKs more accessible to game developers.
Epic Games’ Innovations 2019
- Game Engine MegaGrants
Game Engine MegaGrants
Epic announces it is launching a US$100 million MegaGrants initiative, allowing anyone to apply for up to US$500,000 in funding. This supports game development using the Unreal Engine or for any project, even if not directly games-related.
Epic Games’ Marketing Techniques 2019
Epic launches a US$100 million prize pool in February 2019 for Fortnite-related esports activities.
Game Engine MegaGrants are a unique way that Epic promotes developers of all types to use their game engine while giving them some startup funding to use their game engine. You can read more about the process to get involved with Epic’s MegaGrants program, here.
Epic has a YouTube Channel dedicated to the game publishing side of the company with playlists for their primary video games, like a playlist for Fortnite.
All and all, this video game company’s marketing is exciting, promotional and of high morals. They tell you exactly what they are selling you, and just want you to enjoy their product, and at the very least, try their games out.
Epic Games’ Historical Impact 2019
- January 2019, Epic acquired 3Lateral and Agog Labs
- March 2019 at Game Developers Conference, Epic announced it was launching a US$100 million MegaGrants initiative
- Epic acquired Psyonix, the developer of Rocket League, in May 2019
- Epic acquired the Twinmotion visualization tool used in architectural design in May 2019 from Abvent
- Received the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Special Award in June 2019
- November 2019, Epic acquired Quixel, the world’s largest photogrammetry asset library
Epic has created a positive historical impact by promoting game developers to use their game engine in order to develop and publish games.
Epic Games’ Work-life Balance 2019
According to indeed.com, Epic Games’ employees gave the following ratings for working there:
- Work-life balance – 3.2
- Pay and Benefits – 3.3
- Job Security and Advancement – 2.4
- Management – 3.1
- Culture – 3.3
Total Average Score: 8.79/10
Valve took the PC gaming world by storm in 1998 with the release of Half-Life. With this video game company’s cult fan following, they continued development, allowing players to make their own mods. One popular mod is Team Fortress, which is now created by Valve.
Valve greatly impacts the video game industry in 2003 by releasing their Steam program, which allows Valve to update their games without forcing players to be impacted for very long. The Steam program impacts the industry, even more, when it starts allowing game developers to release their own games through the portal.
Steam removes the issue of forcing developers to create contracts with brick and mortar shops. This allows smaller game developers and independent game developers to easily release their video games to a visible public.
Between 2006 and 2009, Steam helps the video game industry break into a whole new type of development, now called independent game development. The Steam platform allows single or small group developers to release their games to a large audience with a low-cost overhead. Now, there are more independent game developers than AAA, which allows more room for experimentation and development of new technologies.
Valve Corporation’s Game Quality 2019
Valve did not release any games in 2019. The video game company publishes very few video games, and it’s typically every couple of years when they do release a game or expansion.
The video game company does, however, have an online game portal called Steam in which they help other small developers release their own games, where 100’s, if not 1000’s of games are released every year. AAA companies also release digital download copies of their games through Steam. There are currently over 30,000 games available for download on the Steam platform.
Valve Corporation’s Innovations 2019
A lot of these innovations are new for Valve, or updates to old systems, but nothing that truly impacts the world or changes the industry as a whole. Basically, a pretty average year.
- Steam Labs
- Friends and Chat System Update
- Remote Play Feature
In July 2019, the Steam Labs feature was introduced as a means of Valve to showcase experimental discovery features they have considered for including into Steam but seek public feedback to see if it is something that users want before fully integrating that into the storefront. For example, an initial experiment released at launch was the Interactive Recommender, which uses artificial intelligence algorithms pulling data from the user’s past gameplay history, comparing it to all other users, as to suggest new games that may be of interest to them.
Friends and Chat System Update
An update to the friends and chat system was released in July 2018, allowing for non-peer-to-peer chats integrated with voice chat and other features that were compared to Discord. A standalone mobile app based on this for Android and iOS was released in May 2019.
Remote Play Feature
Streaming was introduced in May 2014; it allowed users to stream games installed on one computer to another—regardless of platform—on the same home network with low latency. By June 2019, Valve renamed this feature to Remote Play, allowing users to stream games across devices that may be outside of their home network. Steam’s “Remote Play Together”, added in November 2019 after a month of beta testing, gives the ability for local multiplayer games to be played by people in disparate locations, though it will not necessarily resolve latency issues typical of these types of games.
Valve Corporation’s Marketing Techniques 2019
Valve uses their YouTube channel to show off some of their new and upcoming technology, feature new or coming soon games and to get to know some of the Valve employees.
They don’t have much for TV commercial marketing, but every once in a while some of their Steam ads will appear on social media, press releases, or as featured articles.
While their marketing isn’t unique in the sense of something only they do, it is friendly and makes people feel like they are a part of the team. We feel this video game company has excellent moral marketing that doesn’t feel invasive or overpowering, and they only use it when and where it is needed and effective. As for marketing in 2019, there hasn’t been a whole lot, most likely due to them focusing on the new Half-Life game.
Valve Corporation’s Historical Impact 2019
The historical impact Valve has had as a whole is huge, however, nothing too big for the year 2019. Just a few legal issues in Europe over software ownership, and some updates to their software.
- According to sources on Wikipedia, in September 2019, the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris found that Valve’s practice of preventing resales violated the European Union’s Information Society Directive of 2001 and the Computer Programs Directive of 2009, and required them to allow it in the future. The decision is primarily based on the court’s findings that Steam sells licenses to software titles, despite Valve’s claim that they were selling subscriptions, which are not covered by the Directives. The company stated that it would appeal the decision.
- Valve announced in March 2019 that it mark reviews they believe are “off-topic” as a result of a review bomb, and eliminate their contribution to summary review scores; the first such games they took action on with this was the Borderlands games after it was announced Borderlands 3 would be a timed-exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
- August 2019, a security researcher exposed a zero-day vulnerability in the Windows client of Steam, which allowed for any user to run arbitrary code with LocalSystem privileges using just a few simple commands. The vulnerability was then reported to Valve via the Hacker One program, but it was initially rejected for being “out-of-scope”. Following a second vulnerability found by the same user, Valve apologized and patched them both, and expanded the program’s rules to accept any other similar issues in the future.
Valve Corporation’s Work-life Balance 2019
According to indeed.com, Valve employees gave the following ratings for working there:
- Work-life balance – 5.0
- Pay and Benefits – 4.3
- Job Security and Advancement – 4.3
- Management – 4.3
- Culture – 5.0
SEGA Games Co. Ltd.
Total Average Score: 7.12/10
SEGA was founded in 1960 as a coin-operated systems company. The video game company’s biggest arcade game hit was Periscope, however, the 1980s would force Sega in a new direction. In the 1980s, with the downfall of arcade games in the American marketplace, SEGA starts developing home game consoles and video games. The video game company’s first consoles were the SG-1000 and Master System, but they struggle with sales against the NES. In 1988, SEGA develops the SEGA Genesis, which is known as the Mega Drive outside of North America.
With the SEGA Genesis came the icon, Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic now has a comic book, TV series, and movies. After the downfall of Sega’s console development systems in the late 1990s, this video game company still publishes games and other multimedia.
SEGA’s Game Quality 2019
SEGA publishes fourteen games in 2019. However, some were re-releases for newer consoles of older games. Many of the games are fan favorites, including the SEGA Genesis Mini, which is a plug and play console containing several favorite games from the SEGA Genesis days. Of the fourteen games released, thirteen of them rank at 80% or higher for reviews.
#YGD counts the plug and play consoles as a single game.
SEGA’s Innovations 2019
- SEGA Mini
The SEGA Mini, while not a new innovation for the industry, is new for SEGA. This video game company releases a mini plug and play console that contains several of their classic SEGA Genesis games. The SEGA Genesis was one of the company’s most successful game consoles and brings some nostalgia back for many gamers in their 30s and 40s.
SEGA’s Marketing Techniques 2019
Sega’s YouTube presence includes 3 major channels; one for Japan, one for America, and one just for Sonic. All have fans in at least the triple digits with video updates at least a few times per week. The channels feature interviews with the developer teams and commercials for the games the company publishes.
The video game company’s online and static advertising focuses on Sonic the Hedgehog franchise and vintage marketing for the Sega Mini console.
The marketing is good, even nostalgic for people in their 30s and 40s. They don’t do any spam marketing, which is great. Sega has done safe marketing, which means the company did not take any risks or start any marketing trends.
SEGA’s Historical Impact 2019
Sega has been in the game industry since the beginning. This video game company starts with arcade games however, in the late 1970s, the company publishes software titles for the early home game consoles. In addition to software, in the 1980s and 1990s, Sega dabbles in the console market developing its video game consoles. Above all, Sega has been most successful with its software, primarily with the icon title of Sonic the Hedgehog.
In the early 2000s, Sega became primarily a third-party developer because of its success with Sonic the Hedgehog. The video game company has since then added multimedia to its portfolio, including movies and TV shows based on Sonic the Hedgehog. Let’s see what Sega accomplishes in 2019.
- Sega’s previous headquarters in Ōta, Tokyo sold in 2019
- Sega Genesis Mini releases in September 2019
- May 2019, Sega acquired Two Point Studios, which is known for the Two Point Hospital game
Most of Sega’s moves for 2019 are for business relations and possible expansion. Let’s see what they do in 2020.
SEGA’s Work-life Balance 2019
According to indeed.com, SEGA employees gave the following ratings for working there:
- Work-life balance – 3.9
- Pay and Benefits – 3.4
- Job Security and Advancement – 3.1
- Management – 3.5
- Culture – 3.8
#YGD Game Publisher Ratings
The scores given in the article are based on three different points. Firstly, the opinions of #YGD staff. Secondly, the ratings from Indeed.com. And thirdly, math averages of the accomplishments these game publishers achieve during the year 2019.
Xbox Game Studios ranks an average of 7.09/10, making it a very close contender for the number 5 spot.
We are noticing that the video game companies that rank high are companies that have a lot of moving parts. This is because they are not just publishing games, they are creating innovations. This allows video game companies to expand into other industries (movies or hotels for example)
We would love to hear about your favorite game publisher! Tell us in the comments below!