These Top 20 Game Publishers Will Disappear – Unless…

Game Developer Magazine just published its Top 20 Publishers of 2008.

How many augmented reality games have these formidable companies published?

Sweet Fanny Adams. Diddly squat. Zilch.

Here’s a summary of the Top 20, with links to individual profile pages:

20. Midway
19. Eidos Interactive
18. Codemasters
17. LucasArts
16. Disney Interactive Studios
15. NCSoft
14. Capcom
13. Namco Bandai Games
12. Vivendi Games
11. Konami
10. Square Enix
9. Microsoft Game Studios
8. THQ
7. Sega of America
6. Take Two
5. Sony Computer Entertainment
4. Ubisoft
3. Activision
2. Electronic Arts
1. Nintendo

The article recaps the publishing landscape:

This year’s list seems to have been influenced somewhat by which companies could adapt with the times…most of the publishers in our top 20 have a decided console focus, demonstrating that the adaptation of new forms of games into the existing model will take some time.

Sure. When a game title costs upwards of $20M to develop (not including marketing) you got to sell a whole load of it. You can’t take risks.

Darvin said that if you can’t adapt, you’ll die. I will argue that in 10 years these publishers (and affiliated studios) will disappear from the list. That is unless they open their minds and wallets to reality games.

I have raved this month about a flood of augmented reality games coming to the iPhone, Google’s Android, and Nokia mobile devices. So what am I ranting about today?

Well, these mind-blowing games are not coming from the above top publishers; they are emerging from the fringe. Tiny boutique studios aren’t trying to predict the future; they are bringing it forward by pushing the envelop of game experiences.

If I were a betting man, I’d say these risk-taking-tiny-boutique-studios will top the charts in the future.

One Response

  1. Dunno.
    Its more a question of hardware risk then software, seeing as the hardware firms (Nintendo,Sony,Microsoft) will only release on their own devices.
    And the software firms tend only to release on things were the target audience is large enough.

    I can see EA and Ubisoft jumping on any bandwagon once its a proven success.
    But frankly, I dont have enough respect for those firms to want them to dive into the market yet. I think those early investers in the technology deserves the market to themselfs, and hope grow with it.

    If the big boys come in too early, it might add investment but drown out creavity.

    I think for the moment, the ball is in the hardware markers park. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft are the ones that should be pushing AR tech.
    They have both the hardware and software muscle to do so.
    They can release a machine with the spec they need to put the AR software they want.

    My own prediction for the future is probably Nintendo releaseing an AR enabled successor to the DS. Nintendo is not a company vanishing in a decade.
    They have adapted over a hundred years, very VERY rarely fairling to turn a profit.
    The DSi I think is Nintendos expirements in that area. I think they are testing the waters. Videos of the DSi show it doing “light” AR functions, manipulations of the video in various ways.
    If succesfull, I think their next portable will be an AR platform.

    Sony will probably up the hardware anti with heavy investment if they survive at all. Sony’s got the connections and ability to make a very nice AR device if they want too. And their eye-toy stuff shows they have some skills in that direction.
    However, the company as a whole dosnt have a healthy track record. It really depends on too few assets (Spiderman) to survive these days.

    Microsoft is a bit of a wildcard.
    Their photosythn would be wonderfully usefull to combine with AR tech. However, they have made no moves into the portable market, and have a track record of…well…not being expiremental in the slightest.
    In some ways Microsoft can be quite backward.
    (they still use “nearest-nabour” resizing in their browser rather then resampling, for instance)

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