Lightning strikes twice for the untouchable Japanese studio

Develop 100: How Nintendo reclaimed first place

Nintendo has once again demonstrated the link between critical and commercial success by holding the highest position in this year’s Develop 100.

The company won the very same accolade last year – an extraordinary triumph considering that the framework for calculating the top 100 has completely changed in that period.

Last year Nintendo’s EAD studio came first because it made the most money at retail. This year it takes the top spot because it’s the highest-scoring studio on Metacritic.

The back-to-back first-place finishes put Nintendo EAD firmly in the centre of the game development ecosystem.

Last year Nintendo rose to the top after earning an eye-watering £203 million in UK sales across 2009.

This year it holds first for its blockbuster Wii game, Super Mario Galaxy 2, which earned an exceptionally rare Metacritic score of 97.

All studios in the Develop 100 – which is available to read in full here – are rated by the average Metacritic score from all their games released last year.

Mario Galaxy 2 was Nintendo EAD’s only release in 2010, meaning the studio’s average score is the same number.

EAD Japan, which formed in 2004, also claimed the top spot in 2008, having finished second the year prior. The Kyoto-based studio also took second place back in 2007, falling just behind FIFA studio EA Canada.

Develop 100, in association with Metacritic, is sponsored by Gamecity:Hamburg.

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