The editors of Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer
magazine have announced that its anticipated yearly "Top 20 Publishers" report has been released, definitively charting the movers and shakers, and outlining the current shape of the video game publishing industry.
The study rates the world's leading game publishers' performance in several areas. Six different measures are taken into consideration on top of revenue -- annual turnover, number of title releases, average review score, producer quality, reliability of milestone payments, and the quality of staff pay and perks.
For the third year in a row, Electronic Arts (EA) has grabbed the top slot on the "Top 20 Publishers" chart. EA reached an annual revenue of more than $3.1 billion, continued high output and received positive average reviews for its titles. However, the company faced some serious competition from fellow publishers like Activision, Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, all of whom had very strong showings this year and rounded out the top 5 in that order.
"Game Developer magazine's survey compiles the essential ranking for each publisher, not just simply using raw revenue values," Simon Carless, editor, Game Developer magazine, said. "This year's research reflects the continuing consolidation of third-party publishers, as well as strong software line-ups by the major hardware manufacturers." Highlights from the report include:
- Activision jumped from last year's ranking of No. 7 to No. 2, as the company saw popular titles such as X-Men Legends, the Tony Hawk's Underground
series, Spider-Man 2
, and Rome: Total War
register positively under multiple criteria.
- Microsoft dropped down one spot to No. 3, following Activision's strong multi-SKU showing, but is looking to the Fall launch of the Xbox 360 to provide a strong, well-reviewed first-party lineup
- Stronger years for Bandai, LucasArts and Capcom have helped the companies secure spots on the list, knocking Koei and Empire out of the Top 20 and filling the gap left by Acclaim's bankruptcy
- Atari unfortunately slipped four places to No. 13, but is relying on key titles such as The Matrix: Path of Neo
to reestablish a powerhouse brand.
Game Developer magazine's 2005 Top 20 Publishers guide is now available on most major newsstands and bookstores through November 14. For more information about this issue, and to subscribe to physical or digital copies of the magazine, interested parties can visit the official Game Developer website