Sunday, 17 March 2013

Business: Industry review

As a part of the business studies module I also have to do an industry review on five companies I'd like to work for. So this is basically a list of games developers that I admire for various reasons as I'd really like to go into the games industry when I finish uni. It's by no means a comprehensive list as there are dozens of companies out there producing amazing work that I admire.

Rockstar North
Rockstar has studios worldwide, however the studio I'm talking about specifically is the one based in Edinburgh. An animator from Rockstar came in to give us a guest lecture in our second year and that's what sparked my interest in the company. I haven't played many of their games due to being too young when a lot of them were released, but I'm enjoying Red Dead Redemption and am looking forward to the new GTA.

Ubisoft Reflections
Again Ubisoft have studios worldwide, but it is their Reflections studio based in Newcastle that I'm interested in at the present. What I find impressive about Ubisoft's workflow is the fact that their studios collaborate on a game simultaneously, which must take a lot of work and organisation. This is how they produced the majority of the games in the Assassin's Creed series, one of my favourite series of current gen games. The same strategy is being used to produce one of their latest titles, Watch Dogs, which from the current trailers and gameplay footage is shaping up to be something pretty exciting. However it's not these games, but the original Rayman that initiated my interest in the studio, as it is one of my favourite childhood games.

Media Molecule
I wasn't expecting to love the LittleBigPlanet games half as much as I did, but they drew me in with their charm and addictive gameplay. Based in Guildford, Media Molecule has the appearance and ideology of a small, friendly company despite producing such a bestselling series. They are currently working on a game called Tearaway, amongst other projects, which looks to be as innovative as LittleBigPlanet.

Valve is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, and is possibly my favourite developer on this list. In my opinion they've never released a bad title and the games Portal, Half Life, Team Fortress 2 to name but a few are amongst my all-time favourites. The reason for the level of quality found in their games can be attributed to Valve's artistic integrity, they will never compromise on quality even if it means pushing back a game's release date because they are committed to the end product. The company is also responsible for creating the Steam digital distribution system, which allows users worldwide to purchase games from a wide catalogue, from the latest AAA title to an independently produced game from smaller studios.

Naughty Dog
Based in Santa Monica, California, Naughty Dog are responsible for creating two series that I cherish from my childhood, namely Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. What I admire most about the company is that they recognise when it's time to move on to a new IP. Each series they've worked on only has a few games made before they move onto something fresh. It's this dedication to quality rather than profit that I find inspiring, as Naughty Dog could have continued to profit off of the Uncharted series by making more games and relying on the series' reputation to sell more units, however instead they chose to focus on making another new IP. This new game, The Last Of Us, is due out this year and judging by the trailers and behind the scenes footage released thus far it seems set to follow in the footsteps of the company's past games in terms of quality.

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