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develop 100


ABOUT Country: Japan

Surprised to see Nintendo in the top tier here? Well, it is a bit of a fudge: as is Develop 100 tradition, we’ve put together an amalgamated entry for Nintendo, including all its Kyoto development teams in one. This might seem like a cheat, but according to insiders this better represents the community inside Nintendo collaborating on multiple projects under one roof. It’s also how the firm has historically chosen to be recognised. Put that aside for one minute though and consider that internally-created Nintendo software has generated in excess of $1.3bn in software sales in the last year. In the context of the Develop WWW.DEVELOP100.COM

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100, where the frontrunners are almost all online-centric or F2P digital games, this fact is in even sharper relief. Is Nintendo the exception to the rule here, or does it prove something the others are missing? Well, it always did play to its own beat, so yes. But also: no. Nintendo’s unwavering focus on software for its hardware has been a core principle since the company moved into games in the mid-‘80s. Anyone surprised that this offers the commercial rewards, even if they don’t match previous performance or aren’t in-line


with industry trends, is missing the point. Critics are always keen to point out that it relies mostly on physical sales, has been quick to move online, and caters for a dwindling audience. But that’s arguably all relative – Metacritic pegs Nintendo as one of the best performing publisher/developers in a critical sense. Nintendo’s games and brands have an unrivalled respect and are cherished by millions. Plus, Nintendo is in the midst of changing to serve the audience that Supercell and GungHo have courted so well, with a recently announced widening of its offering to include apps and mobile-centric hardware – even if this strategy has only come about after prolonged shareholder lobbying. STUDIO HOTLIST

12/10/15 09:49

Develop 100  

Our 10th anniversary edition once again ranks the world’s most successful studios, this time more comprehensively than ever before. Taking i...

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