Game developers have a lot of power over our lives — they are our all-powerful masters, both dole out punishment and grant divine rewards. But these developers… these are the developers who skip that awful first part and just give us quality. All hail the video game developers who so rarely let us down!
BioWare is a great example of how video game companies should treat their properties — make a lot of sequels, sure, but make sure they’re great sequels. While some of BioWare’s games have gotten some hate (Dragon Age II especially was not super beloved) they’re still much higher in quality than most of the generic garbage that gets released into the market. It’s the benefit of never becoming too big of a development team — you can focus all of your resources into one or two manageable projects.
These guys have been around for a LONG time, and they have made some damned classics, including the Fire Emblem games, Metroid, Super Metroid, and the WarioWare series. If you’ve ever wondered how Nintendo can continue to survive making hardware that gets way less support from third party developers than Xbox or Playstation, it’s because of in-house developers like Intelligent Systems.
Some would describe Naughty Dog as frustratingly consistent — they work on one franchise at a time, and that franchise tends to only be on one console at a time. That means they do all their games (The Last of Us, the Uncharted and Crash Bandicoot franchises) right, but it also means that their output is incredibly slow. Hey, that’s the price you pay for quality!
Yes, Firaxis mainly makes games that have the name “Sid Meier” in front of them, which is pretty much a guarantee that a game will be good. But even when they leave Sid at home, they end up making stuff like XCOM: Enemy Unknown. That game… is very, very good.
RIP Irrational games, makers of the best of the Bioshock series, as well as a couple good-for-their time games, and of course SYSTEM SHOCK 2, genuinely one of the best and most terrifying video games of all time.
So, Blizzard is obviously a part of several bigger developers, but they handle pretty much all of their own properties in house. This is good for them, considering they develop things… quite slowly. In fact, Blizzard gives Naughty Dog a run for their money in the “taking time to develop a game” category. But man, Diablo and Warcraft? And now Overwatch? It’s tough to imagine a better track record than that.