We’ve entered an era of gaming in which the lines are frequently blurred between different platforms. Browser games are being rebooted for mobile devices, console titles are getting mini versions for phones and tablets, and even online casino sites are spreading their content out for mobile users. What’s more, that’s all before we even get to virtual reality, which appears to be pulling a little bit from every conceivable genre and platform.
The point is that it’s trickier to recognize which companies are putting out which games, and what software providers and game designers are most reliable. It all feels like a giant communal effort at times. In the end, there’s no official answer as to which software providers are the “best,” or which ones put out the best games. But based on a combination of reach, quality, and quantity of content, here are some of the more influential game makers in the industry today.
Nintendo EAD was the number one company on a list of the top video game makers in the business, and with good reason. Responsible for most of the legendary exclusive titles that have come out on Nintendo devices, this company has done more than any other to define and reinvent video games. On the high-end console market Nintendo has fallen a bit behind the likes of Microsoft and Sony in recent years, but for pure innovation and influence this name should still be on any list like this one.
Blizzard helped to change (or rather, expand) the gaming industry through iconic games that redefined their respective genres. The company made its name by perfecting the RTS genre through Warcraft and StarCraft and made one of the best action role-playing titles ever when it released Diablo. But when Blizzard made World of Warcraft in 2004 it changed gaming as we know it. There were MMORPGs before but WoW took it to the next level and now Blizzard has captured the imagination and attention of players all over the world. They continue to roll out new expansions for WoW, and have recently dropped another modern classic with their hero-based shooter, Overwatch.
It might not always be the first thing you think of when it comes to PC gaming, but it’s important not to overlook the casino industry, which is always growing and expanding. NetEnt is one of the leaders in this field, and one rundown of popular software providers talks about how it is producing some of the most anticipated games each year in the slots genre. Some of the most popular games in this category are those working with licensed material from popular TV shows and movies for a more fun, recognizable, and exciting experience, and NetEnt is often behind many of the best.
Getting into the mobile gaming, there are a lot of different options that could be highlighted on a list like this. This area is still emerging, and we’ve seen some indie developers gain fame and fortune overnight. Supercell represents one such phenomenon. According to one analysis of some of the most prolific mobile developers, the company’s 2015 sales exceeded $2.3 billion, and at the time its only real claim to fame was Clash Of Clans. Nevertheless, the real-time strategy gaming has had a rise not unlike that of MMOs years ago, and Supercell has been in the thick of it.
We’ll wrap up with one more look at the console market. There are more significant developers than Infinity Ward in 2017, but if we’re talking about who’s been most influential, it’s hard to argue with this selection. Best known for the Call Of Duty franchise, Infinity Ward helped to develop what we think of as the modern first-person shooter, which has become one of the most popular types of games. Many would argue that alternatives from Battlefield to Halo have left Call Of Duty in the dust, but Infinity Ward still deserves a great deal of credit for helping to revolutionize the genre.