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Labor Day Query: Which Developer's Work Do You Most Respect?

So, it's Labor Day and that got me thinking: Which developer's labor do you we most respect and appreciate?

This is an interesting question, because your answer might be a developer who hasn't produced your favorite game(s). Maybe you simply respect them for creating very special experiences, even if they're not your cup of tea. Or maybe you appreciate a team for its risk-taking or dedication to polish and refinement.

You could also separate the question into categories. Which developer do I most respect in the visual presentation department? Which is the best at storytelling? Which one always impresses me with their super high creativity? I've always said Naughty Dog excels in overall production values and in fact, no other developer is even remotely close. But there's also teams like Quantic Dream, who seek to be push the interactive storytelling envelope, and CD Projekt RED, who strive to deliver a memorable role-playing experience with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. If you've read everything they've got planned for that game, you can't help but respect that ambition.

Media Molecule probably deserves some props in the "unparalleled imagination" department, and I still love Remedy Entertainment for making the thrilling and extremely well-written Alan Wake. Irrational Games' Bioshock titles are absolutely amazing and I adore the combination of an intricate narrative and a singular, endlessly engaging environment. Which developers are on your list? Single individuals or entire teams are acceptable, so make your respect known!

Tags: labor day, video games, gaming industry, game developers

9/2/2013 11:50:48 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (63 posts)

Vivi_Gamer
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:11:37 PM
Reply

When I think of Developers, I think of what developer has delivered consistently good titles through out the generation. For me that would be either R* or Naughty Dog. While there have been individual titles this gen I have liked like Catherine or Xenoblade, bother them developers have yet to make a bad game this gen and have made more than 4 titles for the main consoles which are top tier titles.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:13:11 PM
Reply

Valve. It used to be SquareSoft but Valve has been consistent throughout the years while SE has taken a nosedive.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:17:21 PM

...how long is the gap between Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 3 again? ;)

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:22:40 PM

I know, I know...perfection has its negatives I suppose. Thankfully there are other "filler" games that keep me busy.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:44:07 PM

Now that I got my VGA adapter I'll have to give Half Life another go on DC. See if I can get out of that lab this time.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:56:13 PM

World, what the hell is wrong with you?! Do you not like FPS?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:18:14 PM

Sure I do, why do you ask?

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:38:03 PM

Well the Half-Life series is regarded as one of the best (if not the best) FPS series EVER. I would think you would have played through them by now.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:57:40 PM

The only PC FPS I ever cared for was the Doom games and Duke Nukem 3D. People told me not to bother with the Orange Box on PS3 due to bugs so I was wary. Then when I heard all the horrible things Gabe Newell had to say I decided not to bother supporting him.

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Temjin001
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:52:04 PM

Woo hoo for Half Life. I wish more games followed more of a 6-10 year span between sequels. It seems pathetic looking at AC and CoD and thinking how incrementally enhanced each feel with each passing year. Kojima and Co is also awesome at not selling us a MG every year just because the fans want it. And yes, they would want to buy them all up. Annually if they could.
We need more devs producing out of their vision for expressioning the new and interesting and less about feeding an addiction =p

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Axe99
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:23:23 PM

@LimitedVertigo - I'm not knocking Half-Life (or Half-Life 2) by any measure, but I personally didn't find them terribly ground-breaking. They were interesting enough, but the action didn't particularly stand-out and the story was something that could have been put together by the conspiracy-theory committee. The only standout for me was the characterisation of that lass in Half-Life 2, and some entertaining use of the Gravity Gun. Good games, for sure, but on my scale they only made good, not great. Not saying others shouldn't enjoy them, but I can empathise with folk who didn't go ga-ga over them as well.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:20:37 PM

C'mon LV, everyone knows that Portal is the best franchise Valve has. THAT is why they get my respect these days. :)

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:59:59 PM

Axe,

Half-Life set the formula that every FPS after has followed. I'd say that's a tad-bit ground breaking.

Ben,

Portal is fantastic and I'm happy that you enjoy it as much as I do. The writing is incredible and a big reason I consider Valve a top tier developer. Quality over Quantity.

Last edited by LimitedVertigo on 9/2/2013 8:00:49 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 9:07:04 PM

Did you read my Portal 2 review?

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:09:02 PM

I sure did, I'm pretty sure I commented as well. I read all your reviews, come on now!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 12:47:45 AM

Oh right, silly me. :) I want Portal 3 soooooo badly.

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Axe99
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 3:59:24 AM

@ LV - it didn't really from my angle - I mean, what did it really do that hadn't been done before? It took in-game storytelling to a new level, but we'd already had in-game storytelling in Playstation FPS and TPS games that were release d around the same time. It was part of that wave, but while there weren't as many options on PC (although I'm pretty sure there were others) the game design wasn't anything special. From memory, it stood out visually, and I'm not saying it wasn't good, it was all quality, it just didn't get to 'great'for me. I mean, what really stood out, gameplay-wise, from what was being done elsewhere?

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Temjin001
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 2:40:05 PM

Gamespot is running 'the greatest game series of the decade' poll. HL and Portal went head to head. HL2 won with 60%

Though it looks like Skyrim or ME will take the best slot.

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Burton
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:18:07 PM
Reply

I respect Bioware as a studio, although they do seem misguided sometimes. The information about Inquisition has been refreshing and the Mass Effect 3 fiasco could have been handled worse.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:25:51 PM

I had respect for them at first with the Mass Effect 3 fiasco. But when they caved into the fans demand... that might well be one of the saddest days in gaming history, where the developer who has worked hard to get to their job is bullied by a dipstick with a keyboard and mouse.

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Burton
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:40:05 PM

To be honest the whole game was the ending of Sheppard's story, I felt every mission was closing up storylines prevalent through the first two games.

Too much focus on the red, blue & green endings and the negativity surrounding it. I had closure for every character before the ending happened.

They did give in, but any company under that immense amount of pressure would have to from a business standpoint. Bioware stood firm even then with the blue, green and red endings and just elaborated on their significance to each character. Not the greatest choice with all the theories circulating on the internet, but they cared enough to respond to the backlash.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:42:27 PM
Reply

Ninja Theory for plugging onward with great games even though nobody has the slightest respect for their hard work.

Quantic Dream for not letting anybody else tell them what a video game is.

Irrational for great stories and best settings.

Crystal Dynamics for exploding from second rate to AAA status with Tomb Raider.

Arkane for crafting the unique world of Dishonored and stabbing in the throat the concept that any new first person IP has to be a generic shooter to succeed.

Bethesda for the meticulous recreation of Washington DC into the greatest anachronistic future ever.

NIS America, the publisher and their dev teams for bringing Japanese love to the masses without dumbing it down.

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Burton
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:49:52 PM

All of those studios have done more to impact gaming in a positive way than all the COD games combined.

All I need to do is add Naughty Dog & Bioware to that list and I know that the gaming world will move on the from the mediocrity it is currently mired in.

Last edited by Burton on 9/2/2013 12:50:15 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:57:36 PM

Now if only Bethesda could make a game that actually runs well enough for me to enjoy.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:19:10 PM

The final version of Bethesda games run fine :) Perhaps not the expansions though...

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:32:36 PM

Did they ever fix that issue with Skyrim on the PS3 with the never ending growth of your save files?

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:38:31 PM

I beg to differ. I still have issues with Vegas and Skyrim on PC.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:58:24 PM

Well PC sucks anyway.

Yeah they fixed the giant save in Skyrim.

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JROD0823
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:28:51 PM

They don't call them Bugthesda for nothing. :)

I will never buy a Bethesda game unless it is a GOTY edition, because it takes them that long to get the games stable enough through patches to be a decent experience.

Now that they don't have to figure out how parallel processing works on the CBE, maybe they can make games of equal quality on a PlayStation system.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:21:24 PM

+1 for Ninja Theory.

I was wicked surprised at Crystal Dynamics and Arkane, too.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 9/2/2013 7:21:37 PM

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Jalex
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:01:46 PM
Reply

Off the top of my head, I would say:
1. Quantic Dream
2. BioWare
3. Kojima Productions
4. Level-5
There are lots of developers I love and respect, but those seem the most consistent to me.

Last edited by Jalex on 9/2/2013 1:02:16 PM

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PC_Max
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:20:34 PM
Reply

Quantic Dreams and Naughty Dog. Top two for me. Insomniac lost mine a while back along with Ubisoft. Thats not say they cannot win me back next gen when and if I get on board.

Keep Playing!

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KidPresentable
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:29:10 PM
Reply

Platinum Games And Grasshopper Manufacture. Easily my top favorites for this gen. Of all time....Data East.

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:29:41 PM
Reply

Naughty Dog, Retro and Shigura Miyamoto. Naughty Dog because they have stuck with the linear, narrative driven formula that many gamers seem to hate these days and make outstanding games in that format. Retro because well, Metroid Prime that's why! And Shigura Miyamoto for his sheer imaginative ability and ability to keep old formula's feeling fresh. There just isn't any other platform we that plays as great as Mario in my opinion nor is there any game as original as Pikmin on any other platform. The dude lives in a cartoon world and I want to visit from time to time. :)

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 1:37:28 PM

Platformer*

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bebestorm
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 2:10:50 PM
Reply

Rockstar Games...
Hideo Kojima
Team Bondi
Tetsuya Nomura
Quantic Dream
Ubisoft
Criterion
ThatGameCompany

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PSTan
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:34:07 PM
Reply

Atlus, ND, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Rockstar, Bioware, Quantic Dream, Crystal Dynamics, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, DICE

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JROD0823
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:41:48 PM
Reply

Well, here goes, and hopefully I don't forget anyone. :)

Polyphony Digital
Naughty Dog
Sucker Punch
Insomniac Games
Santa Monica Studio
Media Molecule
Quantic Dream
Gearbox Software
ThatGameCompany
Rockstar
Irrational Games
Team Bondi
Valve
Zipper Interactive
Visceral Games
Rocksteady
Crystal Dynamics
Square Enix
Ubisoft
Harmonix
From Software
Atlus
DICE
NIS
Namco
Capcom
Housemarque

Well, that's all I can drum up off the top of my head, lol.

Last edited by JROD0823 on 9/2/2013 4:03:35 PM

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Temjin001
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:45:42 PM
Reply

I have a lot of respect for Polyphony Digital. I think they've both provided a lot of support to their fans and have also resisted pressure to become more 'gamer' friendly and maintstream gamer appealing. I hope they just keep doing what they're doing.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 9/2/2013 3:46:03 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 3:51:29 PM
Reply

Now let's do the loss of respect:

Bioware
Infinity Ward
Treyarch
Square-Enix
Capcom
Konami
Rockstar
Insomniac

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:29:45 PM

Interesting....why Rockstar?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:22:39 PM

'Cuz he really didn't like GTAIV. :)

I agree with the others, with the possible exception of BioWare. And Insomniac will always have my respect; I just think they never got a fair shake from consumers with the Resistance franchise. Can you necessarily blame them for going multiplat...?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:27:26 PM

GTAIV was boring and was at least 3/4s assassination missions.

Max Payne 3 was better than I thought it'd be but I think it went in the wrong direction.

RDR got repetitive early and downright boring once you got to Mexico.
_________________________________________


I don't blame Insomniac for going multiplatform but good God look at Fuse, and then that weird looking game with MS.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 9/2/2013 7:29:23 PM

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Jawknee
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:51:05 PM

An, I agree world. Thought I was alone in regards to both games.

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LimitedVertigo
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:09:49 PM

RDR was fantastic all the way through. I'm shocked that you think it was boring in Mexico.

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Temjin001
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:01:10 PM

LV, I've learned to not be shocked by what World likes or dislikes ;)

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Maruf
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 4:02:30 PM
Reply

I really like CDProjekt Red.
Gaming has become so big that the money aspect is restricting the number of innovative games that come out. Publishers don't want to risk losing money creating something that is new. Even if that is understandable, there are so many in the industry that just lie shamelessly to market their product. EA for example is full of insufferable lies. Any big games event like EA or gamescom is a festival of lies from EA or the like. Ofcourse some embelishment is necessary to market a new product but there is a line which they seem to keep lying shamelessly year after year. It seems that they think us, their customers, a bunch of idots and that we'll buy into their lies. EA make good games, they don't need to be such asses. This years highlight is Dan Greenwalt's lies about Forza 5 having laser scanned tracks. Anyone who follows motorsport closely enough can easily see he's lying.

Where is the passion, where is ideology? Henry Ford said that a business that only makes money is bad business.

I like CDProjekt Red and Kunoz Simulazioni for how they treat people with thier marketing. They don't lie about the games they make. They know what we want and they can deliver on their promise. I really like their honesty. I'm happy to and looking forward to giving them my money for Witcher 3 and Assetto Corsa.

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Axe99
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:24:27 PM

Well said, CD Projekt Red are awesome :).

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Maruf
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:26:32 PM

also for all these reasons

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2013/09/02/developer-salute-cdprojekt-red.aspx

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NightHawk17
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 5:21:48 PM
Reply

Rockstar hands down, the amount of love and detail put into their games is ridiculous. I still play GTA IV and still find new things each time I get on, albeit it's tiny details but it's so awesome.

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Draguss
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:17:42 PM
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The Namco Tales Studio, for whatever reason now dissolved into Namco Bandai, for continuing to make JRPGs true to their roots instead of desperately trying to "appeal to the west".

Quantic Dream, for having the balls to push the industry in the right direction as best they can (even if they do keep abusing the word 'innovation').

Bioware, for the moment. We can never be sure of how DA3 will turn out, but they seem at least willing to learn from their mistakes, which can be said of few devs these days.

CD Projekt RED, for the awesomeness that is The Witcher and GOG.com.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 7:30:14 PM

Tales Studio rules

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firesoul453
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:25:29 PM
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ND, Valve, and Blizzard

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Axe99
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 6:26:23 PM
Reply

All the usuals, of course (Naughty Dog, Sony Santa Monica, Rockstar, etc;), but for my two less usual choices:

Gaijin Entertainment - Serve a niche and serve it well, don't give in to trying to make everything like CoD.

Paradox Development Studios - pretty much the same story. They make awesome games, but they're so hardcore most PC gamers that call themselves hardcore won't go near 'em.

Zipper and Psygnosis/SCE Liverpool - sadly no longer with us, but both crafted excellent pieces of interactive entertainment, and Zipper gave us MAG and SOCOM :).

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bigrailer19
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 8:24:37 PM

Glad to see respect for Zipper. Always were a favorite of mine.

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bigrailer19
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 8:22:58 PM
Reply

Naughty dog tops the list for sure.

Among them is Sony Santa Monica. The GoW series is the defining game in the genre and they have done things with their engine thats just unbelievable. Plus any project they are involved in has a spectacular amount of shine.

Id also have to say Zipper was always a favorite of mine. They made some great shooters and unfortunately trying to make Socom something it wasnt hurt them to the point of it being to much. I really dont blame Socom 4 but maybe it was the icing on the cake. Either way they did great during the PS2 days and MAG was just awesome.

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Bigimpactpooch
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 8:56:33 PM
Reply

For me it has to be Kojima Productions

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Zerrekk
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 9:23:25 PM
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Quantic Dream - I have never had a gaming experience like the one I had playing Heavy Rain. My honorable mention goes to Naughty Dog, the Uncharted Series has become one of my absolute favorite franchises of all time.

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Teddie9
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 9:48:04 PM
Reply

Naughty Dog, quantic dream, and CD projeckt red have a particular love for the medium and genuinely see great potential in it.

Levine and the gang at Irrational doesn't seem to care what's going on in the industry and so they tell the stories they want to. Love them for it.

Valve is consistent

But I think this generation the cake goes to ThatGameCompany for being brave enough to go to end with Journey even though it bankrupted them. Fortunately their still kicking and are committed to produce real art in a medium with the worst stigmas.

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PlatformGamerNZ
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 4:56:47 AM
Reply

yea i have to agree with you ben. plus i might add insomniac,gearbox,besthesda,DICE, evolution studios, sony santa monica,spicey horse, ubisoft, blue byte and probs a few others i can't think of but there are a gud chunk of devs out there that i respect admiral and enjoy their work.

happy gaming =)

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 9:15:14 AM
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As much as I think David Cage is a complete tool, I have to say Quantic Dream.

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xenris
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 10:27:02 AM
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Top developer for me is CDProjekt Red. The Witcher series is one of my favourites hands down. These guys make great games, and actually support their games for at least a year after launch. They don't impose DRM, and they dont even care when people pirate their games. They have an interesting philosophy with the whole pirating scene which is nice to hear from a dev.

All in all these guys are top devs for me. I respect a lot of other devs, but I'm starting to see more devs cave to mainstream expectations when these guys don't.

I guess the devs who made the Metro series I love a lot too, but sadly I can't remember their name :\

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Kai200X
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 6:23:55 PM
Reply

Top 3 on my list:

1. Naughty Dog
2. Rockstar North
3. Santa Monica Studio

Last edited by Kai200X on 9/3/2013 6:24:13 PM

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