Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that looms large over other forms of media. Gamers of all ages, genders, and creeds spend their free time traversing the digital worlds offered by the spectrum of interactive entertainment. And there's also the esports sector, which has paved the way for professional gamers to compete on a professional level and rake in cash prizes thanks to their talents. There are so many top gaming companies that are responsible for publishing and developing the biggest titles on the market, plus some of the overall structures for these companies are strengthened by the acquisitions of other gaming institutions. We're going to take a look at 22 of the most prominent gaming organizations and detail why they're in the important positions they're in during their current incarnations.
The Top 20 Gaming Companies
Based Out Of: Kyoto, Japan
Nintendo really showed up to save gaming as a whole after the video game crash of 1983. And ever since its Nintendo Entertainment System injected life back into video games on the American market, the Japanese-based company has commanded a huge slice of the pie in the gaming market. Nintendo's home console business is always strong, plus the way it utilizes its vault of iconic characters to reach other forms of media and attach them to major merchandising opportunities is major. You can't talk about the top gaming companies of all time and not mention the house that Mario built.
2. Tencent Games
Based Out Of: Shenzen, China
Tencent Games, which is the video game publishing division of Tencent Interactive Entertainment, is responsible for publishing some of the biggest free-to-play online games on the market. If you've played the likes of Ring of Elysium, Street Fighter Duel, PUBG Mobile, and Arena of Valor, then you've played just a few of the attention-grabbing PC and mobile games brought forth by Tencent. On the ownership front, Tencent has financial stakes invested in other gaming companies like Riot Games, Epic Games, and Activision Blizzard.
3. Epic Games
Based Out Of: Cary, North Carolina
The gaming publisher/developer giant known for bringing the world Fortnite is none other than Epic Games. Besides its introduction of the most popular battle royale shooter in the world, Epic Games is also best known for its "Unreal Engine" game development engine that's used to create internal and external video game projects. Epic Games also owns a few development studios that are also crucial to its success - those studios include Psyonix, Mediatonic, and Harmonix. And when you factor in the Epic Game Store, Epic Games as a whole has its arms in different company ventures that yield grand results.
4. The Pokémon Company
Based Out Of: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
The Pokémon franchise is still a juggernaut that has a foothold in gaming, TV, movies, collectible cards, toys, etc. Thanks to the efforts of The Pokémon Company, the global reach of the world's cutest and most celebrated "Pocket Monsters" is massive. The brand management, production, publishing, marketing, and licensing efforts of the Pokémon franchise as a whole are all due in part to what this company does. You can thank The Pokémon Company for all the entertaining manga/anime, games, and precious plush dolls lifted from one of Nintendo's most recognized IPs.
5. Sony (PlayStation)
Based Out Of: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
After a deal between Nintendo and Sony that was meant to create a CD-ROM collaboration console fell through, Sony sought to make a play for itself as a gaming pillar. In 1995, the first Sony PlayStation arrived to make that goal attainable. Ever since the PS1 arrived, Sony has risen to the top as one of the foremost gaming publishers/developers in this current day and age. The PlayStation console line is home to some of the greatest first-party games on the market, plus Sony's assorted gaming endeavors have led to successful multimedia ventures in the movie and TV realms.
6. Microsoft (Xbox)
Based Out Of: Redmond, Washington, United States
November 15, 2001, marks a monumental day in the history of the historic tech giant known as Microsoft. And that's because that's the monumental date when the original Xbox console entered the console arms race. Since then, Microsoft has stayed in the top three alongside Sony and Nintendo - its home console business, PC gaming projects, and Xbox Game Pass subscription service are the biggest reasons why Microsoft is recognized by gamers as a paramount gaming entity.
Based Out Of: Chūō-ku, Osaka
Capcom's 80s and 90s dominance is the stuff of legend. And nowadays, the Japanese gaming publisher/developer is still a mainstay thanks to its beloved franchises. Street Fighter, Mega Man, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and more have reached iconic status in the gaming world. As one of the world's biggest third-party gaming publishers, Capcom has raised its stock to world-renowned levels and spread out its influence all across other forms of media. The box office success of the Resident Evil movies is reason enough to showcase why we think Capcom has every right to be acknowledged as one of the top gaming companies.
Based Out Of: Montreuil, France
Rayman. Sam Fisher. The Rabbids. And the lethal assassins hailing from the blockbuster gaming franchise Assassin's Creed all come from the house of Ubisoft. The French third-party publisher/developer has been a gaming staple thanks to its vault full of memorable characters that have become embedded in gamers' memories forever. With movie adaptations tied to The Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed series, Ubisoft's mainstream reach has gone far and wide.
9. Electronic Arts
Based Out Of: Redwood City, California
Electronic Arts grabbed everyone's attention when it hit the ground running with the best football simulator in the world, John Madden Football. That IP has gone on to become the annual go-to game for pigskin fans around the world. But that's not the only monumental franchise EA is most known for. Apex Legends, Mass Effect, Battlefield, Burnout, and a whole bunch of other marquee games you've likely played since you entered the gaming hobby are tied to the publishing/development expertise of EA.
10. Bandai Namco Entertainment
Based Out Of: Minato, Tokyo
This company merger that transpired between Bandai and Namco resulted in one of the largest entertainment corporations being born. Not only is Bandai Namco best known for its video game excellence, but it's also heralded for its immaculate work when it comes to producing action figures and statues dedicated to some of the most admired entertainment IPs of all time. If you ever find yourself playing a game based on your favorite anime or putting together the latest Gundam model in your collection, then you probably owe a few thanks to Bandai Namco.
11. Take-Two Interactive
Based Out Of: New York, NY
Take-Two Interactive has earned the honor of being one of the most revered video game holding companies due to these significant game publishers/development studios falling under its umbrella. Those studios include Rockstar Games, 2K, Private Division, and Social Point. With blockbuster IPs linked to Take-Two, such as Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, NBA 2K, and Borderlands, it's easy to see why this recognizable gaming institution is known as one of the top gaming companies.
Based Out Of: Shinagawa, Tokyo
Genesis. Saturn. Dreamcast. Sonic the Hedgehog. Yakuza. Those three examples of home console hardware and two uber-successful gaming IPs are forever tied to the one gaming company that challenged Nintendo for the top spot in gaming during the 90s. Sega's legendary status has been solidified by its past run as one of the top gaming console manufacturers and currently one of Japan's most respected publishers. With a wide variety of IPs covering several genres and the smashing success of the Sonic the Hedgehog movies, Sega is riding high in this day and age.
13. Activision Blizzard
Based Out Of: Santa Monica, California
When Activision, Inc. and Vivendi Games entered into a merger, a powerful union was born in the process. This gaming giant's catalog of IPs regularly sells insane numbers every time they produce a new series entry. The current king of first-person shooters (Call of Duty), the biggest top-down action RPG (Diablo), and two of the premiere strategy RPGs that PC players hold in high regard (Warcraft and Starcraft) are all a part of the gaming giant that is Activision Blizzard.
14. Square Enix
Based Out Of: Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
The merger between Square and Enix brought together two of the biggest Japanese powerhouses in the world of role-playing games. If you're a fan of mega-hit franchises such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts, then you owe your thanks and appreciation to this Japanese gaming favorite. What makes this merger even more prominent is the third gaming company that's housed within it (Taito).
15. Embracer Group
Based Out Of: Karlstad, Sweden
Embracer Group (formerly known as Nordic Games), which is a Swedish-based video game and media holding company, is definitely interested in the business of acquisitions. Just look at this list of subsidiaries that the company has within its possession - THQ Nordic, Deep Silver, Saber Interactive, Gearbox Entertainment, Crystal Dynamics, and Eidos-Montréal are a few of the big names attached to Embrace Group. And by the looks and sounds of it, it may be getting its hands on even more big-name gaming publishers/developers sooner rather than later.
16. Warner Bros. Games
Based Out Of: Burbank, CA
Warner Bros. Discovery's video game publishing arm has a ton of colossal IPs that are either longtime gaming staples or titles that feature the WB's best and brightest characters. NetherRealm Studios' Mortal Kombat franchise calls Warner Bros. Games home. And then you have games like MultiVersus, the Batman: Arkham series, and the vast assemblage of LEGO-based titles that showcase WB's cherished licensed characters.
Based Out Of: Seongnam-si, South Korea
NCSoft Corporation acquired its worthy placement alongside the other top gaming companies on this list due to its extensive line of fan-favorite MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing) games. Guild Wars, Lineage, and Aion represent some of the publisher/developer's standout projects that have brought in millions of players since launch. Its strong foothold in South Korea is notable right alongside its continued attempts to spread its games out to other regions to as many gamers as possible.
Based Out Of: Hangzhou, China
NetEase Games, which works primarily as the online games division of NetEase, Inc., is massive when it comes to the mobile gaming market. Along with original projects such as Knives Out, Identity V, and Onmyoji that have garnered huge player bases, NetEase has also produced games based in the world of Marvel, The Lord of the Rings, and Dead by Daylight. And thanks to console/PC titles such as Naraka: Bladepoint, NetEase Games' footprint has spread beyond mobile devices.
Based Out Of: Seoul, South Korea
The next South Korean-based video game corporation we have on this list is Netmarble Corp., which happens to be the country's largest mobile-gaming company. While it has its own line of original IPs that have gotten plenty of attention (Seven Knights and Evilbane should ring a bell!), Netmarble's biggest games utilize the recognizable characters and worlds attached to the largest media properties in the world. Marvel: Future Fight, BTS World, and The King of Fighters All Star are strong examples of Netmarble's ability to pump out mobile gaming hits with established IPs.
Based Out Of: Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
The final selection on our list of the top gaming companies is the Japanese-South Korean video game publisher called Nexon. In the world of mobile, console, and PC gaming, Nexon has produced a number of worthwhile titles that have stood the test of time. Franchises such as MapleStory, KartRider, and Dungeon&Fighter are proof of Nexon's massive success and penchant for maintaining a foothold across all sorts of gaming hardware.
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