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We all know of Naughty Dog, Bungie, Remedy, and Nintendo EAD. They are all wonderful developers, and have put out titles that have really pushed the boundaries in game design. However, just because there are all the big all-stars, that doesn't mean that the smaller studios don't contribute. And no, I'm not really talking about indies-I'm more referring to small studios, who may put out amazing titles that aren't as popular, or just maybe are niche titles.
I couldn't think of another title picture. :P
In any case, these are the developers I think should get more credit. Of course, there are definitely tons of small developers besides these ones that are unrecognized, but this is the list I came up with, based more on the games I've played.
7. Intelligent Systems
Intelligent Systems is at the bottom of this list for a good reason. They are a very high-profile developer, of such series as Fire Emblem, Paper Mario, and WarioWare. They are one of Nintendo's best developers, and, again, put out tons of great series that are popular and well received. However, the one little thing is that they just don't seem to get as much credit as other first-party developers for Microsoft and Sony, which is a real shame, considering how great their games are.
6. Brownie Brown/1-UP Studio
Now known as 1-UP Studio, this other Nintendo first-party studio is the studio that has worked on titles that are noteworthy yet a little small. These titles include Mother 3, which, of course, didn't come to North America, unfortunately, and also they helped work on Super Mario 3D Land. They've also worked a bit with Level-5, working on Professor Layton's London Life and Fantasy Life. Again, a high-profile developer, they just aren't talked about tons, I feel.
The only real reason I think h.a.n.d. deserves more recognition is because it helped co-develop Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days and Re:coded with Square Enix. Both were great titles, I feel, and the former is my actual favorite Kingdom Hearts title, because of it's story and unique leveling system.
4. Turtle Rock Studios
Turtle Rock Studio's most famous work is one you're probably familiar with, but one that you didn't know they made. I'm talking about the original Left 4 Dead, which they originally announced, and after Valve bought them, was co-developed with Valve. I'm not sure how much of a hand Valve had in the title, but I do know that the game turned out great, and even though Left 4 Dead 2 was developed by Valve internally, I think that Turtle Rock deserves credit for creating the original title.
Jupiter is sort of like h.a.n.d., because it's a smaller studio that worked on titles in cooperation with Square Enix, though it also has down some noteworthy titles on it's own. It's most famous work is, of course, The World Ends with You, which is the project it did in cooperation with Square Enix. They've also done the Picross titles, as well as Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, and Spectrobes, a small Nintendo DS title. In any case, they've done work on niche titles, but they've done it well, I feel, and deserve more recognition.
2. Monolith Soft
Monolith Soft is one of the best examples of a developer that hasn't had tons of recognition. This past E3, we saw titles like Titanfall take the stage, and everyone raving about ti and other games, but everyone seemed to ignore the new title from Monolith Soft for the Wii U, simply named "X". Comprised of many of the same developers as Chrono Trigger and the original Final Fantasies, Monolith Soft has put out several great series like Xenosaga, and one of my all-time favorites, Xenoblade Chronicles. While they are getting more recognition nowadays after the reveal of X and Xenoblade's major success, I think that their new title isn't getting the hype it deserves, considering the developer's pedigree.
1. Chunsoft/Spike Chunsoft
While Chunsoft had a merge with Spike last year in April, to become Spike Chunsoft, there are other titles that were developed before the merge that I wanted to include as reasons why Chunsoft deserves much more recognition than it already has. In the past, the developer has worked on Mystery Dungeon titles, including the Pokemon entries, and also a couple little titles called 999: Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors, and um...Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward. That game is PHENOMENAL. Why Spike Chunsoft, and the publishers for the game, Aksys in North America, and Rising Star Games in Europe/Australia, don't get more recognition for this game, is beyond me. They developed, in my opinion, the single greatest game of all time, and also one of the best stories in any medium, ever. They deserve tons of praise, I think, and well...yeah, they should be talked about more.
Well, that's my list. They all deserve more praise, and recognition for their upcoming titles, I feel. If you actually are unfamiliar with any of these developers, I hope this blog made you think a bit about them, as well as other developers that aren't as popular in our industry. See you guys tomorrow.