10 Video Game Developers Every Gamer Should Be Thankful For
November is a time to be thankful for all of life’s blessings. This includes all of the great entertainment we have at our fingertips, and nothing is better for making you forget about some of life’s problems temporarily than video games. They have the ability to transport players to virtual worlds filled with memorable characters and thrilling action. However, these games don’t magically just come out. They’re the result of a ton of hard-working developers that create the great titles players can enjoy. With that in mind and Thanksgiving around the corner, Mandatory has taken a look at the developers that every gamer should be thankful for.
Cover Photo: Rockstar Studios
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Best known for Mega Man and Street Fighter, Capcom has been putting out great games since 1984. While the company has had its ups and downs, they've become one of the top studios once again in 2019. They've put out two of the year's best releases in Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry V, and have shown zero signs of slowing down. The future looks bright for one of Japan's premiere studios.
There are few risk-takers that have been as successful as Suda51 has been in gaming. The eccentric designer is the head of Grasshopper Manufacture and the studio has been putting out games since 1999. From the thought-provoking The Silver Case to the frantic fun of No More Heroes, the developer has released dozens of wonderfully weird titles over the past two decades. They've even found more mainstream success in the cases of Shadows of the Damned and Lollipop Chainsaw.
Photo: Grasshopper Manufacture
Since officially forming in 2005, Kojima Productions has been the home of the Metal Gear Solid franchise and now Death Stranding. Now wholly independent of Konami, Hideo Kojima's studio is allowed to do whatever their visionary founder wants to do. Bending genres and breaking boundaries has become normal for them, and they will continue to do just that in the next decade.
Photo: Kojima Productions
Sony's premiere development studio has been a household name for over 20 years. They first made waves with the Crash Bandicoot series and have since created two memorable franchises with Jak & Daxter and Uncharted. They're currently finishing up The Last of Us Part II, which looks to be one of the PlayStation 4's last great exclusives before the PS5 launches next year.
Photo: Naughty Dog
Ed Boon's NetherRealm Studios is a complete workhorse as they've put out games every other year since being founded in 2011. They've mostly alternated between their iconic Mortal Kombat and Injustice series of fighting games, but they've also made some mobile hits like Batman: Arkham City Lockdown and WWE Immortals. Each and every release has been held to a high standard of quality, and they haven't disappointed fans yet.
Photo: NetherRealm Studios
There is no publisher quite like Nintendo and their greatest internal studio is Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Development. In the past couple years, they've treated Nintendo Switch owners to modern classics like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and Super Mario Maker 2. They'll kickoff 2020 with one of the most anticipated titles, Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March. Nobody else makes games nearly as charming and filled with fun.
Ever since PlatinumGames was founded in 2007, the studio has housed fantastic action games like Bayonetta and Vanquish. They put out the best game of 2017 with Yoko Taro, NieR: Automata, and have continued their momentum with the excellent Astral Chain on Switch. The future is just as exciting as the past as Bayonetta 3 is on the way and director Hideki Kamiya teasing a new game of his own.
One of the longest-running British game developers, Rare Limited has been putting out great titles since the mid-'80s. Their list of titles include the likes of Battletoads, Killer Instinct, Donkey Kong Country, Banjo-Kazooie, and Perfect Dark to name a few. They've continued making great titles since being bought by Microsoft in 2002, and most recently put out Sea of Thieves last year. They most recently revealed their latest title, Everwild, which is a gorgeous adventure game with no release date.
Photo: Rare Limited
One developer that has pushed gaming forward the past two decades is Rockstar Studios. Best known for their work on Grand Theft Auto, they've pushed through many limitations of gaming to create massive open-world titles. They've also crafted some of the best stories in all of gaming. As a result, they've constantly topped the list of best-selling games. They recently brought Red Dead Redemption 2 to PC, and while their next move is unknown, it will make massive waves once it is unveiled.
Photo: Rockstar Studios
Valve is best known for their critically acclaimed games like Half-Life, Portal, and Left 4 Dead, but they're also the company behind the PC storefront Steam. They've redefined how players enjoy games on PC, and have kept a presence in the development scene thanks to releases like Dota 2 and Artifact. They've been pushing virtual reality heavily as of late, so don't be surprised if we finally get Half-Life 3 as a VR title at some point.
Photo: Valve Corporation