Favorite Game Companies

Okay, so we ALL know how people hate so many companies. EA... Ubisoft... EA... Telltale... EA..................EA...

How about we do a bit of the opposite here and instead talk about some of our favorite game companies and devs? The better ones. Feel free to mention AAA devs if there's any that you actually LIKE despite downsides, or talk about smaller indies if you prefer. Let's get some happiness in here.

To start us off, I'll mention probably my favorite dev.

I can't help but like Subset Games, since they made FTL, and I also really liked Into the Breach.

Then there's Klei, which made Mark of the Ninja and Invisible Inc., though I guess they're best known for Don't Starve.

Last but not least, Arkane, which recently made the Dishonored series and Prey (but I think Dark Messiah is still my favorite, silly as it is in places). They've been plugging away at their niche for a long time, and I'm glad someone is.

I remember Spiderweb from back in the Exile days. Unfortunately perhaps they seem to have gotten well ahead of the industry on the endless remastering cycle. I think they're on the second remaster/remake of Avernum (which in itself was a remaster of Exile 1-3 that at least expanded into the a six-part) and their other IPs just kind of died off (along with their custom campaign game Blades of Exile).

Arkane's a pretty good one. The Dishonoreds, Dark Messiah, and the same batch of folks were also the team for Thief.

Digital Extremes is another one. And Canadian (woo, patriotism?). But yeah, Warframe's solid, and the Unreal Tournamaents (where they designed much of the concepts and content for, around Epic's engine) were big personal favorites that have never really been matched despite the apparently massive appeal of online vs shooters.

Speaking of Unreal Tournaments. Psyonix, now prominently known for Rocket League. But the Super Acrobatic Cars games were also some fun bits of game time. And they did the vehicle work for Unreal Tournament way back in those ancient days.

While long dead and buried, and dug up to be the signpost for EA's online store. The original Origin was a staple of my earliest gaming days, and a vast swathe of influence on quite a lot of the genres and developers I enjoy nowadays. Unfortunately, none of the remnants have seemed to capture that again with their various Kickstarter projects.

Paradox.

As developer i actually like most of their titles. They are well made, with a lot of attention do detail and finetuning, they are innovative, pushing the boundaries of their genre which in rturn is now pretty much held alone by this company, the games are good value for money with a ridiculously long lifetime.

As a publisher, well, i have not heard of anything shady. Their other developers seem to stay healthy and be content. A lot of good other games get published in reasonable time and working condition. And Paradox does not seem to push loot boxes, always on, microtransactions or DRM

Hey, remember when these threads would have a lot of mentions of Valve? Or BioWare? Something, something, Pepperidge Farm ...

Anyway, another vote for Arkane Studios. I've liked everything by them I've played so far and, as Pyrian said, it's nice that there's still someone doing that style of game.

CD Project RED is alright, I guess. Witcher 2/3 are a good time (never played 1) and I prefer buying games from GOG if possible. Their social media presence can be rather tone deaf and looks like they suffer from the shitty working conditions that seem so endemic to the industry, but among the bigger name companies, I at least get the feeling that they're trying to do right by their customers, even if they don't always succeed.

Best studio of all time for me is Looking Glass (System Shock, Terra Nova, Dark Project) and it's successor Ion Storm (Deus Ex)

Honorable mentions:

- Westwood
- Blizzard (up until Cataclysm)
- Bioware (up until DA:Origins)
- Firaxis
- Paradox

I really don't know much about any company personally other than what's spewed about on the pleb-webs. I will say it's easy to give indie devs a nod because they're smaller and not big-headed yet from AAA success or corrupted by big publishers, but really it's more impressive to me when a AAA dev can retain their dignity and hold their ground against publishers in the wake of such success.

Having said that, I'll be really curious to see how Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and FROM will appear after its release being paired up with Activison. I'm tempted to preorder based on SoulsBorne pedigree but want to wait a bit for further launch details.

There is something inherently self-defeating on loving a game company (or a game developer you have never met in person in your whole life). In my self-defeating list of "they seem ok and make good games" developers, I have Toby Fox, Jonathan Blow, Davey Wreden and Marcus Persson

Rare, for Conker's Bad Fur Day.
And From Software for Bloodborne
and THQ for the Dawn of war series.

First off, I'm an Atlus Faithful. They routinely put out great stuff. I <3 the Etrian series SO much.

I'm also a huge fan of Nine Dots, mostly because they're an example of devs who formed for the purpose of proving the industry wrong about what indie devs are capable of, without bad business practices like crunch time. (I still feel honored that I got to work there for a summer)

Digital Extremes are great too, the original Unreal Tournament is still one of my favourite shooters, and Warframe is a fantastic example of Free to Play done right. The kickass aesthetic and story are icing on that cake.

Let's see, who else...

Chucklefish are pretty sweet, Nintendo and their second parties are consistently good despite some really dumb blunders from time to time, Toby Fox is one of those creative madmen who can make stuff that either weirds me out (Homestuck) or fall in love with (Undertale/Deltarune)...

And there's plenty of others I like, but I'm not fangasming over, like Arkane (Prey 2017 was excellent), Subset (<3 FTL), Klei, and Firaxis.

I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, but I only have so much mental processing space.

Sir Tech takes it for me. Never had a bad experience with their products, and there was always great quality control with their RPG's.

I also have a soft sport for a little group called Horrorsoft. They only did but a few RPG's (Elvira 1 and 2, Waxwork and Personal Nightmare) but they have an artistic style I admire to this day. You KNOW it's one of their games just from a look.

More contemporary wise, Devolver. They're about the most gamer-friendly publisher out there.

Publisher? Probably Bethesda at the moment, recently they've been publishing a lot of amazing games like Prey, Doom, Wolfenstein and The Evil Within.

As for developers....I'm not sure, it used to be Bungie until they released the first Destiny, now they're just a shell of their former self. I don't think there's been a developer that's been releasing constantly great/Something out of the ordinary games this decade, I don't know.

Monolith Soft and Retro Studios are the best.

BabyfartsMcgeezaks:
Publisher? Probably Bethesda at the moment, recently they've been publishing a lot of amazing games like Prey, Doom, Wolfenstein and The Evil Within.

As for developers....I'm not sure, it used to be Bungie until they released the first Destiny, now they're just a shell of their former self. I don't think there's been a developer that's been releasing constantly great/Something out of the ordinary games this decade, I don't know.

I agree on both Bethesda and Bungie. While I never played Halo, I know their quality by reputation and the impact those games had on the genre as a whole (not one I like, but that's a different story). Bethesda have been releasing quality titles, but I'm worried because since "Creation Club" and paid mods, I believe they've started down a dark path. Paid mods, Fallout 76 which is getting so much negative press (for the right reasons), 7 years before they even announced TES6 and FO4 being a step back from FO3 in terms of roleplaying. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now, but with a little worry.

I also think From Software and CDPR are great studios, and agree with someone who mentioned Klei above. From needs no introduction. Frankly they make incredible games with a level of craft and polish that few others even come close too. CDPR set an immensely high bar with TW3, perhaps only now is it equalled or surpassed with RDR2 and CP2077 will blow even RDR2 out of the water. They have ambition and like R*, are actually capable of delivering.

Klei are immensely talented indie devs that make exceptional games that are just brilliant to play. I don't there's anything more to say. To me, they kinda represent what old school games studios were like, a group of talented, passionate people who make what they dream up, instead of Call of Assassins 18.

Also, a shout out must go to Obsidian. They do make great games, top RPGs and despite a reputation for buggy releases, are IMO what BioWare used to be before they were killed by EA in 2007/08. Oh, and the people who make XCOM/XCOM2/Civilisation (firaxis?). They know their stuff, they're games are unique and well crafted.

Hot take: I like Ubisoft. Their open world design appeals to me a lot and they have a great track record with delivering mechanically sound games with at least passable stories (and there's a lot of narm charm in their attempts at pathos).

As of now its 4A games.

they started of as small developers but now they are doing what Crytek did with Crysis 10 years ago. making sandbox game and pushing graphics to limit.

other is Id software. they were and still king of FPS.

Obsidian, Paradox, CD Projekt are my top 3 developers. Mostly because they make the type of games I like.

I like Blizzard as a developer, I hate Acti-Blizzard as a publisher.

I guess Grinding Gear Games, even though they really only have one game, are a great publisher and developer combo.

Okay, time for me to be an ass and tell you guys whether your tastes are objectively correct or not.

Chessrook44:
Okay, so we ALL know how people hate so many companies. EA... Ubisoft... EA... Telltale... EA..................EA...

EA? Yep.

Where's Activision?

Who hates Telltale?

As for Ubisoft...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ussCHoQttyQ

How about we do a bit of the opposite here and instead talk about some of our favorite game companies and devs?

Never!

On a more serious note, I can't really list that many. There aren't that many developers that I really follow, as my interests tend to lie by genre rather than developer. Same applies for art in general - I may love Harry Potter, doesn't mean I'm interested in the Cormoran Strike series, even if they're both by Rowling.

Chimpzy:
Hey, remember when these threads would have a lot of mentions of Valve? Or BioWare?

BioWare yes, Valve no. It's been ages since I've seen Valve get pitched around in this context.

To be fair, Valve has technically kept making games, but I don't have much interest in Valve's IP list.

Silentpony:
Rare, for Conker's Bad Fur Day.

And Donkey Kong, and Banjo-Kazooie, and GoldenEye, and Jet Force Gemini, and Diddy Kong Racing, and Perfect Dark...

Yeah, I miss Rare's golden age. I'll take something like Sea of Thieves over...whatever they did in the Xbox 360 era, but, yeah.

and THQ for the Dawn of war series.

THQ was the publisher. Developer was Relic Entertainment.

aegix drakan:

Chucklefish are pretty sweet,

Hasn't Chucklefish only developed Starbound?

On the other hand, Wargroove looks neat, if only because it could scratch my Advance Wars itch.

Nintendo and their second parties are consistently good despite some really dumb blunders from time to time,

Much as I rag on Nintendo, they do spring to mind when "top developers" come to mind.

Abomination:

I guess Grinding Gear Games, even though they really only have one game, are a great publisher and developer combo.

Doesn't Tencent have a pretty negative reputation?

On that subject, while I dislike Path of Exile, it does raise a question for me (along with stuff like Chucklefish) - if a developer has only ever released one game (or in the case of something like CD, released every game in the same universe), can it really count as a "favourite developer?" Where does love for the game end and love for the developer begin? Or if you only love one IP of a developer's repitoire.

Meh.

Hawki:
BioWare yes, Valve no. It's been ages since I've seen Valve get pitched around in this context.

Yeah, it's been a while but I've been here long enough to remember when Valve was one of the Golden Boys who could basically do no wrong, alongside BioWare and Blizzard. Enough that it earned them 3 March Mayhem wins, for whatever that's worth (BioWare only got 1 win. 4 runner-ups tho.)

Hasn't Chucklefish only developed Starbound?

They also publish games. Risk of Rain and Stardew Valley among them, iirc.

Supergiant Games. They've only made three titles, but I have a lot of love for them. Bastion, Transistor, Pyre. Smaller innovative projects with a lot of heart, creativity, and the desire to try something different with every new game's mechanics and story-lines. Oh and their music's great. Listening to Setting Sail still always makes me happy.

It's hard for me to shake my love for Double Fine either. They've had hits and misses, but I admire them for taking risks and always playing around with comedy and different genres. Also I'm biased because I love Psychonauts, and I desperately want to believe that the coming sequel can live up to the first.

I would have said Bioware as well for a good long while. Mass Effect and Dragon Age will always hold a special place in my heart, even if the mark of EA has taken its toll. It hurts knowing that they may never even be allowed to make a real RPG again, but I'll always have the memories.

Gethsemani:
Hot take: I like Ubisoft. Their open world design appeals to me a lot and they have a great track record with delivering mechanically sound games with at least passable stories (and there's a lot of narm charm in their attempts at pathos).

Yeah, I feel kinda the same. It no doubt helps not buying and playing every game on release, god knows how people can do that when it isn't their day-job. Still need to try Far Cry 5 and Odyssey yet. There is a frustration felt with the tug-of-war struggle between the corporate and creative elements of the company though, where sometimes one comes out on top of the other for any given title. But they show signs of being able to acknowledge and act on criticism and maintain certain levels of self-awareness, even if the corporate side does what the corporate side always do.

Mikejames:
Supergiant Games. They've only made three titles, but I have a lot of love for them. Bastion, Transistor, Pyre. Smaller innovative projects with a lot of heart, creativity, and the desire to try something different with every new game's mechanics and story-lines. Oh and their music's great. Listening to Setting Sail still always makes me happy.

It's hard for me to shake my love for Double Fine either. They've had hits and misses, but I admire them for taking risks and always playing around with comedy and different genres. Also I'm biased because I love Psychonauts, and I desperately want to believe that the coming sequel can live up to the first.

Also agree with those two for suresies. Supergiant have far less under their belt, but incredibly consistent and very pleasing for the musical art charm glands.

 

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