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2006's Top 20 Game Publishers Ranked 33

simoniker writes "Game Developer magazine's Top 20 Publishers list for 2006 has been published online — the list from the industry magazine ranks publishers by using multiple factors, including revenue, average game review score, and anonymous feedback from game industry insiders. In the 2006 version of the poll, which looks at software produced (and doesn't factor in hardware), Electronic Arts came out on top, closely followed by Nintendo, with Buena Vista Games and NCSoft making first entries into the Top 20."
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2006's Top 20 Game Publishers Ranked

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  • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:31PM (#17509444) Homepage Journal
    Geez, that's nice. I bet by their metric WalMart is the best place to shop, McDonald's is the best place to eat, and MySpace is the best way to have a presence on the Internet.
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:45PM (#17509620)
    I'm surprised that Atari is still on the list and NWN2 was not mentioned (should've been the big title for this past holiday season). Atari been in a downward spiral since I left the company as a lead tester in 2004 after being there for six years. Most of the studios that were originally acquired at two to four times their actual worth before the dot com bust been sold off for pennies on the dollar. The only thing they have left is the back catalog and a few new titles. Looks like all hope is riding on the re-launch of the "Alone in the Dark" franchise. This is the same company that thought that the Matrix franchise would save the day.
    • Well, obviously, the solution to Atari's problems is for you to go back to your job as a lead tester.
      • No chance in hell since I was number three out of a dozen senior testers to leave the department that year after an unpopular supervisor became the QA manager. Last I heard from friends still on the inside, it's a dark and evil place now.
    • Atari just barely made the list and NWN2 *was* mentioned though this article was originally published in October. By the way, were you lead tester on Temple of Elemental Evil because I think you missed a few things?
      • If you want to know what titles I was responsible for, check out my resume []. Temple of Elemental Evil was not my bomb, it wasn't even QA's bomb. It was one of those titles that had to ship so the company could make the quarterly numbers. In the strange world of financial numbers, it's better to ship the product and have it DOA in the marketplace instead screwing the quarterly numbers to have a product that does well in the marketplace. As usual, QA got blamed for the title not doing well even though we shout
        • Could you explain that a little more? I don't follow at all.
          What about the companies renowned for a "when it's done" philosiphy, like Nintendo, Blizard, Valve, and one might even say 3D Realms?

          Basicly what you're saying is that after an investment of say, $10 Million, you'd rather ship your product the quarter it's scheduled for and have it take a loss, or very little gain (Say, $15 Million in Rev) than you would wait two quarters and have it bring in say, $50 Million, but in a different financial quarter.
          • That's incredibly short sighted and dumb.

            It is and that's how some companies operate. The Atari stock price been on a downward spiral for the last six years, going from $10/share to $0.60/share. (A recent reverse split got the stock price up to $5+/share, now trading under ATARD -- which rhymes with "retard" in my mind.) If the numbers are missed for the quarter, then the stock could tank because it didn't meet analyst's expectation. Atari's parent company, Infogrames (France), is on the verge of bankrup
  • The List (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:48PM (#17509662)
    The list is helpfully spread out over nine pages, so here it is in full:

    1. Electronic Arts
    2. Nintendo
    3. Activision
    4. Sony Computer Entertainment
    5. Take-Two Interactive
    6. Microsoft Game Studios
    7. THQ
    8. Ubisoft
    9. Konami
    10. Sega Sammy Holdings
    11. Namco Bandai
    12. Vivendi Games
    13. Square-Enix
    14. Capcom
    15. NCSoft
    16. SCi/Eidos
    17. Lucasarts
    18. Buena Vista Games
    19. Atari
    20. Midway

    One line caught my eye, though: "Square Enix nurtured its online games business during the period, with Final Fantasy XI receiving an expansion during the year and increasing its subscriber base to over 500,000 users."

    This is amusing, because prior to the release of WoW, they had 650,000 subscribers. Apparently their subscriber base has increased by an impressive -150,000 subscribers.
    • Any list that doesn't include Rio Grande Games at or near the top is just plain wrong.
      • Or, it means Rio Grande Games wasn't one of the top money earners in 2006, as the list is ranked by revenue, not opinions.
  • by ThinkWeak ( 958195 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @12:54PM (#17509754)
    FTA: For the fourth year in a row, EA resides at the top of our ranking. Despite a loss reported in its earnings for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2006, a $15.6 million settlement paid to end a lawsuit over the company's labor practices, and results below company expectations in 2005's holiday season, the publisher managed to maintain robust revenue.

    So aside from mistreating employees, monopolizing sports licenses, and releasing buggy/featureless/innovationless drivel - they are the #1 Publisher? Fantastic. Maybe the rest of the world will catch on to this business model. Imagine, the next time you go out to a restaurant you are greeted by a hostess who spits in your face, serves you Chef Boyardee, and then proceeds to drop-kick the bus boy.

    I hope everyone enjoys their next copy of Madden with New live-action direct bank account debits. It'll be the shiz.
  • by Jartan ( 219704 ) on Monday January 08, 2007 @01:23PM (#17510260)
    I found this pretty suprising from gamastura. For a "game developer's" top 20 you'd think it would be about either who's good to work for or about who does a good job of encouraging good game development.

    In either case EA would obviously be near the bottom of the list.
  • Insomniac only puts out one game per year, but they're always entertaining and usually more creative than the average game.
  • I wonder what their sources are?

    I read in my local newspaper that Ubisoft is located at fourth place, yet this is not what this article is saying. What numbers do they use to calculate their ranks? Or who's lying? my local newspaper, or Gamasutra?

    And didn't the headquarters of Ubisoft moved from Paris to Montreal some years ago?

    I doubt the quality of the list.

    EA's first, no surprise there. But for the rest?
    • by Fulg ( 138866 )

      I read in my local newspaper that Ubisoft is located at fourth place, yet this is not what this article is saying.

      That's what I remember as well.

      And didn't the headquarters of Ubisoft moved from Paris to Montreal some years ago?

      No, the headquarter is still in Paris. The president of the Montreal branch changed though, creating a small scandal since the original one (a fervent defender of the Non-Compete Agreement) left for Vivendi...

  • I can't believe there were 20 publishers worth note at all this year (at least for the period considered for the list). It's kind of been a crap year for games...most of the games I currently list as recent favorites or can recall being excited about were in '05. There are some out just recently (Rainbow Six: Vegas, Call of Duty 3) and coming soon (Spore, Warhammer MMO), but mostly it's been a dud year, to me at least.
  • wow (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 )
    I find it hard to believe they are still making games for TOPS-20. The PDP-10 is a nice box but really it can't hold a candle to my Amiga.

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