Published by the editorial team behind Develop magazine ( www.develop-online.net)– the leading international publication for games developers - the Develop 100 listing is produced in association with Metacritic and sponsored by gamecity:Hamburg.
Metacritic's global review score data for games released in calendar year 2010 was used to formulate the list, providing a thorough and accurate rundown of which studios create the best games, be they retail or digital releases, or PC, console or mobile games.
The Develop 100 is a snapshot of the global games industry today: 19 countries are represented, with developers of all sizes present - from one-man bedroom coders to studios owned by the biggest entertainment companies in the world.
Nintendo's own EAD Tokyo takes the number one spot, thanks to the critically acclaimed release of Super Mario Galaxy 2 for Wii - one of last year's highest rated games.
But two-man Californian indie team 2D Boy takes second place, with Russian Zepto Lab taking third. Both produced some of the highest-rated iOS games released in 2010.
The Top Ten in full are:
1 Nintendo EAD Tokyo (Japan)
2 2D Boy (USA)
3 ZeptoLab (Russia)
4 SCE Santa Monica (USA)
5 Blizzard Entertainment (USA)
6 Media Vision (Japan)
7 1337 Game Design (Sweden)
8 Bungie Software (USA)
9 Rockstar Leeds (UK)
10 TheCodingMonkeys (Germany)
The full 100 can be found online at www.develop100.com.
Just over half the list consists of teams responsible for popular and applauded iPhone and iPad games - a stirring sign proving how new smartphone formats and digital distribution has offered new opportunities for games developers.
"This is the seventh edition of the Develop 100, a must-read annual full of insight into which games developers are shaping the industry," said Develop editor-in-chief Michael French. "Metacritic's input has helped us put together a list of not only the 100 best developers of recent times, but the 100 best games too."
"The potent mix of traditional boxed console and PC games with plenty of digital releases sold through the likes of Xbox Live Arcade and the Apple App Store shows the vibrancy of the games industry. For the first time since we've published the Develop 100, a huge proportion of the list are independent developers, proving that there has never been so many opportunities open to those making games."
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