The 50 Top Video Game Design Companies in 2021

The list of high-quality video game firms continues to expand as the gaming industry grows in popularity.

While countless new game design studios are on the market, we would like to highlight the very best of the best.

The game dev companies listed below are regularly voted to be the best in the world and have a reputation to match.Related:The 50 largest animation studios in the world

The Top 50 Video Game Companies

1. Nintendo

Nintendo HQ
Headquarters: Kyoto, Japan

This company is credited with the conception of handheld video games in 1979. Nintendo was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in September 1889. It is headquartered in Kyoto, Japan but has subsidiaries and offices in several other parts of the world.

Nintendo is the world’s largest video game company by revenue, with a net value of over USD85 Billion.

Some of the notable video game by this company are:

  • Mario
  • Pokémon
  • The legend of Zelda

2. Valve Corporation

Valve Corporation
Headquarters: Bellevue, WA

It’s headquartered in Bellevue, Washington and has a subsidiary in Luxembourg. It was started in 1996 by former Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington. It has total equity of over USD2.5 Billion. Some of the work produced by Valve Corporation includes:

  • Counter-strike series
  • Dota 2
  • Day of defeat series
  • Half-life series

3. Rockstar Games

Headquarters: New York City, NY

This company has its headquarters in New York, USA and is owned by Take-Two Interactive. It was founded more than 20 years ago in 1998 by Sam House, Dan Houser, Terry Donovan, Jamie King, and Gary Foreman.

Rockstar’s notable video games, amongst many others, are:

  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Red dead
  • Midnight club
  • Bully
  • Max Payne

4. Electronic Arts

Headquarters: Redwood City

It’s also referred to as EA Games. It was started in May 1982 by Trip Hawkins.

The company’s revenue is over USD4.5 Billion. Several video games have been produced by this company, for example:

  • Army of Two series
  • Battlefield series
  • FIFA series
  • The Simpsons series
  • Star wars series

5. Activision Blizzard

Headquarters: Santa Monica, California

The company had revenue of over USD4.6 Billion in 2015 and is a listed company whose shares trade on NASDAQ. Company president and CEO is Robert Kotick, while the Chairman of the BOD is Brian Kelly.

Many video games have been produced by the company, among them:

  • Call of duty series
  • Crash Bandicoot series
  • Spyro the dragon series
  • Tony Hawks series

6. Sony Computer Entertainment

Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan

The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the large Sony Corporation. It was established in Tokyo, in November 1993. It has several subsidiaries in Asia, Europe, and North America. Some of the game consoles from Sony C.E include:

  • PlayStation
  • PlayStation 2
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation Vita

7. Ubisoft

Headquarters: Montreuil, France

The company, originally Ubisoft Entertainments S.A was founded in France, March 1986 by five siblings of the Guillemot family. It has subsidiaries in 26 countries throughout the world. It trades on Euronex as UBI and had a revenue of 1.4 Billion Euros in 2014.
Game series from Ubisoft include:

  • Assassin’s creed series
  • Far cry series
  • Just dance series
  • Tom Clancy series

8. Sega Games Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

The company was founded in 1940, in Honolulu Hawaii. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the larger group, Sega Holdings and has several offices around the world. Some of the notable and best selling game consoles from this company are:

  • Sonic the hedgehog
  • Virtua Fighter
  • Phantasy Star
  • Yakuza
  • Total War

9. BioWare

Headquarters: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

It’s wholly owned by Electronic Arts. The company was founded by Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, who are medical doctors by profession.
Some of the products from BioWare are:

  • Mass Effect series
  • Dragon Age series
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Olds
  • Baldur’s Gate series
  • Republic series

10. Naughty Dog Inc

Naughty Dog Inc
Headquarters: Santa Monica, California

The company was founded in 1984 by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin. It is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment after a successful acquisition in 2001.
Products from Naughty Dog Inc include:

  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Jak and Daxter
  • The Last of Us
  • Unchartered

11. Square Enix Holdings Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Shinjuku, Toyo, Japan

The company was founded by Yasuhiro Fukushima in September 1975. The company is public with shares listed on the Tokyo stock market. It had revenues of 155 Million Japanese Yen in 2015. Notable products from Enix are among others:

  • Space Invaders
  • Bubble Bobble

12. Capcom Company Ltd

Capcom Company Ltd
Headquarters: Chuo-Ku Osaka Japan

It is a public listed company that develops and publishes video games. It was started in May 1979. It is one of the largest game companies in terms of revenue, with reports in 2014 citing them at 25.9 Billion Japanese Yen.

Their video games include the following best sellers:

  • Monster Hunter
  • Resident Evil
  • Street Fighter
  • Mega Man

13. Bungie Inc

Headquarters: Bellevue, Washington, USA

It was established as a company by Alex Seropian who was then a student at the University of Chicago. It was later acquired by Microsoft in 2000.
Video games from Bungie Inc are among others:

  • Pathways into Darkness
  • Marathon
  • Myth
  • Halo: Combat evolved

14. Microsoft Corporation

Headquarters: Redmond Washington, USA

The company is a multinational corporation technology company, founded by Paul Allen and Bill Gates. The company had revenue of over USD95 Billion reported in 2015 and is undoubtedly one of the biggest companies in the world. Its successful video game brand, Xbox has the following products game consoles:

  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One

Working in Gaming:

15. Bandai Namco Entertainment

Headquarters: Shinagawa, Tokyo, Japan

It was founded in 1955 by Masaya Nakamura. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bandai Namco Holdings, with operations all over the world. Some of the companies are:

  • Dragon Ball series
  • Naruto: Ultimate ninja series
  • Ace Combat Series
  • Pac Man series
  • Katamari series

16. Mojang

Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

It was founded in 2009 by game programmer Markus Persson. Mojang reported revenues of 2.069Billion SEK in 2014. The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2014.
Some of the company’s video games include:

  • Cobalt
  • Minecraft
  • Cobalt

17. Epic Games

Epic Games
Headquarters: Cary, North Carolina

Epic Games Inc was founded by Tim Sweeney in 1991. It is a private company that has subsidiaries in China, Korea, UK, and Japan and serves worldwide.
The company has produced many video games, among them:

  • Bullet storms
  • Castle of the winds
  • Kiloblaster
  • One must fall: 2097

18. Game Freak

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan and founded in April 1989 by Satoshi Tajiri. It’s a privately owned company that is famed for developing the Pokemon series with:

  • Pokemon Red
  • Pokemon Blue
  • Pokemon Yellow

19. Insomniac Games Inc

Headquarters: Burbank, California, USA

It was founded in 1994 as Xtreme Software by Ted Price who’s the CEO to date. This company has been named before as the best place to work in America by Society for Human Resource Management and one of the best video developers by IGN.
Video games developed by this company include:

  • Spyro Series
  • Ratchet and Crank series
  • Resistance series

20. Infinity Ward

Headquarters: Woodland Hills, LA, USA

It was founded by Vince Zampella, Grant Collier, and Jason West in 2002. The company, which is a subsidiary of Activision has had its fair share of top management issues, with some key members of the executive leaving in2009 and 2010, but has since stabilized.

Infinity ward released video games that were ranked as some of the best sellers in the gaming world:

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

21. Take-Two Interactive Software Inc

Headquarters: New York City, USA, and Windsor, UK

This company was founded 23 years ago in 1993 by game developer Ryan Brant. They have development studios in Toronto, Canada and in North America. It’s traded publicly in NASDAQ.
Games developed by the company include:

  • Grand theft Auto
  • Civilization
  • NBA 2K
  • Red Dead

22. Gameloft

Headquarters: Paris, France

The company has won accolades for developing the best video game more than 3 times. It was founded in 1999 by Michel Guillemot.
They have the following titles among their products:

  • Hero of Sparta
  • Castle of Magic
  • Assassin’s creed

23. ZeniMax Media Inc

Headquarters: Rockville, Maryland, USA

It was founded in 1999 by Christopher Weaver and Robert A. Altman. It is a privately owned company that currently employs 600 people.
Products to note:

  • Doom
  • Quake
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • Fallout
  • Dishonored


Headquarters: Seoul, South Korea

It’s a publicly listed company that was founded in 1997 by T.J. Kim. They have subsidiaries in several parts of the world and have developed the following games among others:

  • Lineage
  • City of Heroes
  • Wild Star
  • Aion

25. Blizzard Entertainment Inc

Blizzard Entertainment Inc
Headquarters: Irvine, California, US

It was founded in 1991 by Michael Morhaime, Frank Peace, and Allen Adham. It has been a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard since 2008. As of 2012, the company had a workforce of 4,700.

  • The Lost Viking
  • Rock and Roll Racing
  • Diablo series
  • Overwatch

26. Zynga

Headquarters: San Francisco, California USA

The company was founded in 2007 by Marc Pincus, Justin Waldron with two others. The company develops social video games that are stand-alone as well as to run on mobile platforms. It has a workforce of 1669 and a revenue of USD 764 Million in 2015.
Notable products are:

  • Farm Ville
  • Zynga Poker
  • ChefVille

27. Nexon Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

It was founded in 1994 by Kim Jung Ju and Jake Song. It had a workforce of 4,656 in 2014 and revenue of 190.263 Japanese Yen in 2015 and has offices in Germany, South Korea, and the US.

  • Nexus: Kingdom of the Winds
  • Shattered Galaxy
  • MapleStory

28. Konami Holdings Corporations

Konami Holdings Corporations
Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan

The company was founded in 1969 in Osaka, Japan, by Kagemasa Kozuki. By 2014, it had a total of 5,453 employees.

  • Scramble
  • Super cobra
  • Frogger
  • Dance Dance Revolution (2014 edition)

29. Bethesda Game Studios

Headquarters: Rockville Maryland, US

It is a subsidiary of Bethesda Softworks and was founded in 2002. It is a developer famed for the following video games:

  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Nights of the Nine
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim

30. Double Fine Productions Inc.

Headquarters: San Francisco, California, USA.

The company was founded in July 2000 by Tim Schafer. It has a workforce of 65 people. The company broke new ground when the executives used crowdfunding to raise USD 3 Million for the development of their first game, Broken Age. Their other products are Psychonauts and Brutal Legend.

31. id Software

Headquarters: Richardson, Texas, USA

The company was founded in 1991 by John and Adrian Carmack, Tom Hall and John Romero. It had over 200 employees in 2011 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZeniMax Media.

  • Wolfeinstein
  • Doom
  • Quake
  • Rage

32. Rare

Rare HQ
Headquarters: Twycross, Leicestershire, UK

The company was founded in 1985 by Tim and Chris Stamper. They initially worked with Nintendo, to develop some of their most successful games such as Cameos: Effects of Power, Perfect Dark Zero and Viva Piñata. The company was acquired by Microsoft in 2002. The workforce is about 200 people.

33. Retro Studios

Headquarters: Austin, Texas, USA

The company was founded by Jeff Spangenberg in 1998 to develop video games. Presently, it is a subsidiary of Nintendo, having been successfully acquired in 2000. The company has a workforce of about 100 and the following video games:

  • Metroid Prime Series
  • Donkey Kong Country series

34. Sonic Team

Headquarters: Ota, Tokyo, Japan

It was founded by Yuji Naha, Yaoto Nahshima, Hirokazu Yasuhara, and Mahabu Kusunoki. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sega in 2000.
Popular video games:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Phantasy Star Online

35. LucasArts

Headquarters: San Francisco, California

It is owned by Lucasfilms and founded by George Lucas in 1982. The company has a small intimate workforce of less than 10.

  • Maniac Mansion
  • Habitat
  • Worlds Away

36. Level-5 Company

Level-5 Company
Headquarters: Fukuoka, Japan

It was founded in 1998 by Akihiro Hino and his team of developers. The company has a workforce of 280 people and the following games among others:

  • Dark Crowd series
  • Professor Layton series
  • Ni no Kuni

37. Atari

Headquarters: California, USA

The company was established in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It has undergone several acquisitions in its years of existence, to be currently owned by Atari Interactive. Some of the games developed by this company caused some major revolution throughout the gaming industry. They are:

  • Pong
  • Atari 2600

38. Thatgamecompany LLC

Headquarters: Los Angeles California, USA.

It’s a privately held company founded in 2006 by Kellee Santiago and Jenova Chen, then students at the University of Southern California.
They’ve since developed:

  • Flow
  • Flower
  • Journey

39. Beenox

Beenox - Quebec, Canada
Headquarters: Quebec, Canada

The company was founded in 2000 by Dominique Brown, and then later in 2005 was acquired by Activision. It has about 440 employees and the following video games to its name:

  • Bee Movie Game
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe

40. 1C Company

Headquarters: Moscow, Russia

The company is headquartered in Moscow, Russia and has over 700 employees. It was started in 1991 and has been pre-dominant in the European video game market. Some of their famed games are:

  • Cliffs of Dover
  • Theatre of War
  • Hard Truck 2

41. EA Maxis

Headquarters: Redwood City, California, USA

Maxis is a public company established in 1987 and ran independently until the acquisition by EA in 1997.
Some of the games developed by Maxis are:

  • The Sims series
  • Spore
  • Dark spore

42. Polyphony Digital

Headquarters: Fukuoka Japan

The company was founded in April 1998. The company has at least 140 employees, with an operating income of 10Million Yen. They have developed these games among others:

  • Gran Turismo series
  • Tourist Trophy

43. EA Dice

EA Dice HQ
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden

The company was founded by 1992 and ran independently until the 2006 acquisition by EA. The company employs over 560 people and has an annual revenue of over 798 Million SEK.
Notable productions:

  • Battlefield series
  • Mirrors Edge
  • Star Wars Battlefront

44. Intelligent Systems Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Kyoto, Japan

It’s a Japanese game developer founded in 1986.
The company is a limited liability company with a workforce of 130 people and the following games in their fold:

  • Fire Emblem
  • Paper Mario
  • Wars

45. SCE Santa Monica Studio

Headquarters: Playa Vista, LA, USA

It’s a development branch of Sony, established in 1999 in Santa Monica. They employ over 220 people and have developed the following games:

  • Kinetica
  • God of War series

46. EA Canada

Headquarters: Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada

It houses the largest video game test operation in the world and employs 1300 people. The company was founded in 1983 and is a division of EA. It’s best known for:

  • NHL Series
  • FIFA series
  • Need for Speed series

47. PopCap Games

PopCap Games
Headquarters: Seattle, Washington, USA

This company, founded in 2000 is credited for taking simple games concepts and turning them into a game that catches the eye of the seasoned gamer. With a workforce of about 400, the company has developed the following games among others:

  • Bejeweled
  • Book Worm
  • Zuma

48. Petroglyph Games

Headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

It is a privately owned company that was started in 2003 by Westwood studios when the latter shut down. The company has about 115 employees and has developed the following games among others:

  • Star Wars: Empire at War
  • Universe at War: Earth Assault
  • Grey Goo

49. Relic

Headquarters: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The company is owned by Sega and has had a very successful run with some of their earlier releases:

  • Home World
  • War Hammer: 40,000
  • Company of Heroes

50. Treasure Co. Ltd

Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan

The company was founded in 1992 and employs over 25 people currently. The following games have been developed here:

  • Wario World
  • Mischief Makers
  • Gunstar Heroes

The 20 Best Video Game Publishers (2020)

The Best Video Game Publishers
When we boot up our gaming systems, ready to play our newest game, we’re quickly flooded with a slew of company logos. Although we just want all these credits to fly by so the gameplay can begin, there is a certain comfort to seeing some of those well-known company names.

What is a game publisher?

Well, it often isn’t the developer. It’s a company that publishes the video game created by the game studio. They usually finance the creation of the game, involving themselves in all of the advertising and marketing, leaving the actual ‘game’ aspect to the developers.

With that said, let’s take a look at the top 20 game publishers. Now, I could easily just rank these publishers based on revenue. However, I’m going to take in a few things into account as well as revenue: game catalog, company consistency, and other factors.

Here we go, the best video game publishers this year.

1. Capcom

Capcom video game publisher
Capcom has been a staple in the gaming world for decades. They are responsible for some of the most iconic games. Street Fighter, Resident Evil, and Mega Man are just some of the beloved titles that Capcom has developed or published.

They have a great record of accomplishment with publishing games both in house and from third parties. On Metacritic, they have an average score of 79.3%. The remake of Resident Evil 2 was a serious win for the publisher.

2. Nintendo

nintendo video game company
What more needs to be said about Nintendo? Their wide array of game franchises and loveable characters speak better to their track record than anyone could ever put into words.

Most recently recorded, their revenue was $9.9 billion. Recent projects funded like the Nintendo Switch, Mario Odyssey, and Splatoon 2 have further solidified their valuable hold on gaming. Metacritic has them sitting at 76.4%. Things are only getting better for Nintendo at this point; they really can’t fail.

3. Sony

Sony is truly a powerhouse. With great sales with the PS4 and a recent earning of $16.5 billion, Sony is sitting pretty at the top of many lists.

Their recent release of God of War in 2018 was a major windfall for the publisher and further showed that they are a force to be reckoned with. Metacritic scoring is 71.8%.

4. Microsoft

Microsoft has, in the past, taking the blame for its somewhat clumsy approach to marketing the Xbox One and its catalog, but it didn’t make a dent in sales.

Microsoft is earning $10.4 billion and shows a determination and tenacity going into the future that other publishers better watch out for. The only negative of their year was disappointing reviews and sales of the then anticipated Sea of Thieves, which currently has a user score of 4.1—yikes.

5. Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Video Game Company
EA has been a punching bag for some due to their blunders regarding Star Wars Battlefront and their DRM policy, but like Microsoft, it didn’t faze them at all. The finances speak for themselves—$5.2 billion.

They also have franchises like Madden, the FIFA series, and their own digital platform, Origin. EA has no worries about going into the future. Metacritic’s rating is 77.5%

6. Sega

Beloved makers of Sonic have recently had great success in their recent PC title, Two Point Hospital. Their reach is wide, with them releasing many different titles this year not related to franchises like many other publishers. Metacritic has them at 78.5%

7. Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Video game company
What a doozy. With profits of $7.2 billion, the beloved publisher of modern classics of League of Legends and World of Warcraft is smooth sailing this year.

Profits from the aforementioned games plus esports sponsorships have helped the company dominate the online gaming market. Metacritic has them at 77.4%.

8. Tencent Games

Tencent is always a surprise to me. You have all the well-known publishers like Nintendo, then Tencent sneaks up on you and surprises you with a revenue of $4.4. billion.

Tencent is one of the premier mobile gaming companies. Of course, they have PC titles, but their mobile gaming is what brings the real money in.

9. Bandai Namco

Bandai Namco Studios
I love Bandai Namco. Not only are they a game publisher, but they do so much more. They take advantage of the insane media properties they own like Dragonball Z and Gundam.

This team publishes classic franchise titles like Ace Combat Dark Souls and Tekken. They are a powerhouse in Japan particularly, receiving $3.6 billion in revenue. Metacritic rests at 71.8%

10. Square Enix

The developers and publishers of the Final Fantasy series have a reputation that precedes itself. Classics like Dragon Quest and Kingdom Hearts made this company a force to be reckoned with. 2018 was a more difficult year for them, however.

Since they didn’t release another Final Fantasy title or something from deeper in their catalog, their sales were $2.2 billion—still nothing to smirk at! Hopefully, they’ve benefited greatly from the release of Kingdom Hearts III in early 2019. Their Metacritic score is 71.0%.

11. Ubisoft

Ubisoft Video Game Company
Everyone’s favorite developer of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry is right at home on the list. With a crisp $2 billion in 2018 revenue, the French company is dedicated to their franchises, constantly building on them, and making them into powerhouses.

It really shows too: recent titles like Far Cry 5 and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey were amazing successes for them. Metacritic score is 73.7%.

12. Paradox Interactive

A personal favorite publisher of mine, Paradox deals in many strategy titles for the PC. Their major success comes with their great game Cities: Skylines and its expansions. Metacritic has 75.2% for them.

13. Bethesda Softworks

 is one of those publishers you can count on. Games like Skyrim, Fallout, Doom, and Wolfenstein have all gone through Bethesda’s hallowed halls. Metacritic score of 71.4%

14. Warner Bros. Interactive

Warner Bros. has found recent success in publishing titles like Batman Arkham series, the Lego series, Shadow of Mordor and its sequel, Shadow of War.

With a total of 20 distinct products released during the year and a solid score of 73.3%, Warner Bros. Interactive is quickly on the rise.

15. Take-Two Interactive

 had its publishing roots in helping games like the Grand Theft Auto series and the Borderlands franchise. They’re keeping bust today, releasing 9 distinct products, and averaging a score of 77.0%.

Take-Two found their biggest success of the year in releasing a port of Sid Meier’s Civilization VI for the Nintendo Switch.

16. Focus Home Interactive

Focus recently published the story-driven game The Council for PC, Xbox, and PS4. This title helped the publisher achieve an average of 69.8%, with their lowest title, Space Hulk: Deathwing receiving mixed to poor reviews.

17. NIS America

Nis America
NIS stands for Nippon Ichi Software and like the name states, it’s the American branch. This past year saw them publish 17 distinct titles to earn them an average score of 69.5%. Their biggest benefit was the release of Disgaea 1 Complete for the PS4.

18. Koei Tecmo

The Japanese publisher responsible for games like Dead or Alive and the unending stream of Dynasty Warriors games, mostly deals with historical, RPG, and adventure titles.

Their average rating was 69.9%, their best titles of the year being Dead or Alive 6, Dynasty Warriors 7: Extreme Edition, and Attack on Titan 2.

19. Devolver Digital

Devolver Digital Video Game Company
Devolver is a unique publisher dealing with titles like Hotline Miami, The Talos Principle, and the insane Broforce. Devolver has a great track record for publishing, earning them an average of 75.5%.

20. Plug-In Digital

Based out of Europe, Plug In Digital is now known for titles like Knight of Pen and Paper +1 Deluxe Edition, which earned them a sweet 80 score on Metacritic. This was their highest-scoring title of 2018, and eventually earns them an average of 69.4%.

As you can see, this is merely scratching the surface. There are hundreds of other game publishers out there. Most likely, the top spots will remain where they are, maybe switching spots now and then over the next couple of years.

But who knows? Maybe one of the lesser-known studios could make a game that surpasses anything we have seen before.

Warhorse Studios came out with the sleeper hit of 2018, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, and ended up making a game, (although somewhat polarizing), make a big splash in gaming.

Could something similar happen, making their way onto another top 20 list? Let’s wait and find out. But in the meantime, definitely check out more games from these great publishers.

(Image Sources: capcom-unitynintendolifemergrthestarbandainamcostudiosubigamersdecidegamerantwccftechdontfeedthegamers)

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