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NEOPLE So let’s get the first thing out the way – it’s a portmanteau. ‘Neople’ stands for Neo + People and Neo + Pleasure, summing up this studio’s attitude to keeping staff happy, and pleasing its community. Starting out an independent but becoming a Nexon internal team via acquisition in 2008, the team is responsible for Dungeon & Fighter/Dungeon Fighter Online. D&F debuted in 2005 but, after years of updates, it is now Nexon’s most lucrative game, outstripping tentpoles like MapleStory. The game was predominantly Asia-facing and technically didn’t have a European presence until a ‘global’ relaunch of the game in March 2015.

ABOUT Country: Korea www.neople.co.kr

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KING STOCKHOLM This is one of four King Digital studios on this list and the star performer in the social-casual giant’s portfolio. King Stockholm devised Candy Crush Saga and its Soda Saga follow-up, the tentpoles in the King empire. Soon, after the multi-billion move by Activision Blizzard to acquire the firm, it will be part of a bigger stable that includes Call of Duty’s stewards Sledgehammer and Treyarch and many others. Our estimates put this team just ahead of Activision’s, with $600m in revenue from the Candy Crush games. Critics say the shine has come off King’s games, but its massive audience suggests the saga isn’t over yet.

ABOUT Country: Sweden www.king.se

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STUDIO HOTLIST

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