Who would have thought that there was so much to make from a tranche of games where a high difficulty level, near-impossible bosses and a steep learning curve was the order of the day? But in the Dark Souls series, and this year’s PS4 exclusive Bloodborne, From Software has gone from being a seemingly niche Japanese developer to a mainstream star, and without compromising any of its principles. 2m copies of Bloodborne sold so far since March, and the studio’s popular back catalogue and Steam releases should all add up to sales in excess of $110m.
ABOUT Country: Japan www.fromsoftware.jp
ABOUT Country: United States www.netherrealm.com
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You might scoff that the studio responsible for Mortal Kombat, which may have changed names and owner but is still under the stewardship of creator Ed Boon, makes it so high on this list. But under Warner Bros, this team has thrived. We estimate $100m in revenues over the last year, and the platform split is most interesting. It could be close to a third of its money made on mobile– unheard of for a typically console-centric studio. But superhero fighter Injustice on mobile is doing the business on the portable front, while Mortal Kombat X also made a strong impact. It’s a business strategy that’s proving as far from a fatality as possible.