UPDATED: Who Is and Who Isn't On The Develop 100?

Heck, you may be asking yourself what IS the Develop 100 at the moment, no? For those of you not in the know, the Develop 100 is an effort not unlike Metacritic, except it aims to rank development studios around the world based on their review scores and critical reception. Which means that their partnership with Metacritic may not be surprising to you. What may be surprising, however, are the companies that crack the top ten:

  1. Nintendo EAD Tokyo (Mario Galaxy, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat)
  2. 2D Boy (World of Goo)
  3. Zeptolab (Cut The Rope HD)
  4. SCE Santa Monica (God of War 3)
  5. Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, Starcraft)
  6. Media Vision (Wild Arms)
  7. 1337 Game Design (Dark Nebula)
  8. Bungie Software (Halo)
  9. Rockstar Leeds (GTA: Chinatown Wars)
  10. TheCodingMonkeys

Thus the top ten represents 7 countries, all the platforms–including mobile gaming–as well as varying genres. One may note, however, that the US accounts for 40% of the top development studios in this top ten–and, if we look at the full list, it seems that the US accounts for a little over 30 percent of the companies represented.

Notice, too, some weird omissions. For example, Bioware is not represented in the top 100…or 200. Or 300! Hmm. How will this affect their very numbers-driven development, I wonder? Other unexpected omissions from the top 100 include studios such as Naughty Dog, Epic games and Insomniac games, not to mention Valve, to name a few. But the numbers do not lie! Right?

On the subject of the Bioware snub, Develop 100 has made the following statement:

“The truth: BioWare made poor content in 2010. Its Dragon Age Origins DLC policy was an unequivocal mess. A disaster. A monetisation strategy built on boredom. A year-long scattering of digital content that, much to the relief of EA, doesn’t come attached with a refund policy.

The nine Dragon Age Origins DLC packs carry the same creator’s name as Mass Effect 2 – a brand which people understandably trust. As such, all releases under that name have been included in BioWare’s Metacritic average. It’s the same policy for all studios.

The numbers hurt, but they don’t lie.”

It’ll be interesting to see if these rankings, like Metacritic, have any impact on studios developing games in the future. To be speculative for a moment, I would guess that this will make what is already a very cut-throat industry all the more ruthless. At the very least, it’ll make what is already a very metrics-driven industry all the more ‘numbers obsessed’.