PS3 Attitude’s Top 100 Developers – Part 3
Believe it or not, the PlayStation 3 was released nearly four years ago, and since then the console has been graced with hundreds of great titles. Therefore, we at PS3 Attitude thought we’d take some time to pay tribute to the people who create the games that make our mundane lives just that little bit more entertaining: the developers.
Over the next few weeks we’ll be revealing our one hundred favourite developers, and believe us when we say that there are some incredibly talented teams included. We’ve now revealed the first twenty developers in our mammoth list, and today we’re revealing the next ten.
Please note that the list is in alphabetical order, so don’t worry if it looks like we’ve missed off your favourite developer, because the chances are that it will appear in a future article (or has already been featured in a previous article).
EA Canada – Canada
Distinctive Software was founded in the 1980s, but was eventually purchased by Electronic Arts in 1991 and became EA Canada. Today, the company is one of the biggest components of the EA Sports brand, and is responsible for many popular series such as NHL and NBA Live.
However, without a doubt this developer is most famous for the FIFA series of football (or soccer, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on) games, which in recent years has gone from being a yearly rush-job, to one of the best sporting videogame series ever.
Many thought FIFA was doomed to play second fiddle to Konami’s rival series, Pro Evolution Soccer, but on PlayStation 3 there is no question as to which is the better franchise. Great graphics, fluid gameplay and fantastic presentation are all present in the series, and we look forward to FIFA 11’s release in a few weeks’ time.
EA Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment – Sweden
EA DICE are the masterminds behind the incredible first-person-shooter series, Battlefield. To date, they have developed three titles in the series for PlayStation 3; the awesome PSN game Battlefield 1943, and the two Battlefield: Bad Company games. The future of the series on PS3 will even see Battlefield 3 come to the console… just don’t expect it any time soon.
DICE also developed the online multiplayer for the upcoming Medal of Honor reboot, as well as the underrated first-person free-running game, Mirror’s Edge. In a time when most FPSs tend to just be Call of Duty clones, DICE succeeded in creating something unique and fresh. We just wish they’d hurry up and officially announce Mirror’s Edge 2!
EA Los Angeles – United States of America
EA Los Angeles began life in 1995 as DreamWorks Interactive, and is most famous for creating the Medal of Honor series on the original PlayStation. The series continued strongly on the PlayStation 2, and went on to become the inspiration behind the highest-selling series of all time, Call of Duty.
So far, the EA LA team have released two games for PlayStation 3 – Medal of Honor: Airborne and Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 – but it’s their next release that we’re most excited about. It’s ironic that Call of Duty was originally inspired by Medal of Honor, because with the next MOH game, it’s definitely the other way round.
Bringing the series into the present day is a bold move by EA, and we look forward to its imminent release, especially as the Limited Edition includes Medal of Honor: Frontline exclusively for PS3, which for our money is still the best game in the series.
EA Tiburon – United States of America – Echo307
Even if you’re not a fan of sports games, EA Tiburon is one of those developers that you almost have to respect because of how many balls they have in the air at any one time (pun intended). The Florida-based studio boasts a history of over 40 games that have shipped to retail, and five different franchises that are currently seeing new iterations every year, including Madden NFL, Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf, and NCAA Football.
With all those projects being developed at the same time, you’d think that it would be impossible to keep a high level of excellence, but Tiburon always seems to manage. Their most recent instalment of Madden NFL is one of the best we’ve ever played. The presentation, the new game-flow system and all of their online enhancements continue to make Madden the top American football franchise on the market today.
Overall, there’s very little to pick on when it comes to EA Tiburon and it was a very easy decision to add them to our list. How many other studios out there can compare to their yearly release schedule and consistent level of quality? Not many.
Eat Sleep Play – United States of America
Eat Sleep Play was founded in July 2007 by Scott Campbell and David Jaffe, the creator of God of War and Twisted Metal. It was established after Campbell and Jaffe left their previous company, Incognito Entertainment, who developed the PSN game Calling All Cars!, the awesome online-only shooter Warhawk, and many of the Twisted Metal games.
The team’s first game as Eat Sleep Play was a PS2 port of the PSP title, Twisted Metal: Head-On, and their first original title, Twisted Metal for the PS3, was announced at E3 in June. It’s already looking like great fun, and is the first title in a three-game exclusivity deal for Sony consoles, so we look forward to seeing what the company does next.
Epic Games – United States of America
Epic Games is one of the biggest companies in the industry, and owns a number of studios around the world. However, their in-house development team is most well-known for the futuristic FPS series, Unreal Tournament. Unreal Tournament 3 was the first game in the franchise to release on a PlayStation console for seven years, and is the only console version to support mods, as well as mouse and keyboard input.
However, we couldn’t include Epic in this list without also mentioning the Unreal Engine. The third version of the game engine has powered an incredible amount of current and upcoming PlayStation 3 titles, including Batman: Arkham Asylum, BioShock Infinite, Borderlands, DC Universe Online, Medal of Honor, and Mirror’s Edge.
Evolution Studios has been a staple of the PlayStation brand for a long time. The British developer, founded by Martin Kenwright and Ian Hetherington, started small. After developing a demo for a PC racing game, Sony took an interest in their work. From there, they went on to create five consecutive WRC games for the PlayStation 2.
As if their dedication to the PS2 platform wasn’t enough, they also helped Sony launch the PlayStation 3 by developing one of its first titles, MotorStorm. Not long after that, they followed it up with the release of MotorStorm: Pacific Rift. These intense off-road racers offer up some of the most heart-pounding moments we’ve ever experienced in a racing game, and they’re a real visual treat as well.
Evolution, who were acquired by Sony in September 2007, look to continue their already successful quest for greatness with the release of MotorStorm: Apocalypse. Just as they helped lead the charge on the PlayStation 3 when it first launched, they’re also one of the studios leading the pack when it comes to 3D implementation as well. That, paired with their astounding track record and bright future makes them a perfect fit for our top 100 list.
FreeStyleGames – United Kingdom
After the first Guitar Hero brought rhythm games to consoles in 2005, PlayStation users have been positively drowning in plastic instruments. Therefore, before its release we were as sceptical as everyone else about DJ Hero. However, in the end our worries were pointless, as it turned out FreeStyleGames had created an exciting new take on a genre that had become rather stagnant.
The turntable controller presented players with a surprising amount of techniques and features to master, meaning that many of the 94 mixes included in the game are a real challenge on Expert difficulty. The soundtrack, presentation, and gameplay were all top notch, and all look to be improved upon in DJ Hero 2, which comes out next month.
From Software – Japan
From Software was founded in Tokyo in 1986, and is most well-known as a developer for the Armored Core series of mecha-based combat games. Every single console title of the franchise has been released on a PlayStation console, with two of those being on PS3. The next game in the series, Armored Core 5, is expected to be released later this year in Japan.
However, their spot on this list is mostly due to the epic role-playing game, Demon’s Souls. The game’s unusually high difficulty level has been well documented, and is an interesting shake-up for the JRPG genre; as is its unique online features, such as the ability to ‘invade’ other players’ games. Despite being a new IP and having next to no advertising, the game has gained a large fan base all over the world, so we certainly hope From Software create a sequel.
Frozenbyte – Finland
The Helsinki-based developer Frozenbyte was founded nine years ago, in 2001. Their first major release was the shoot ‘em up Shadowgrounds for PC, but they are more well known now for Trine; the beautiful and clearly lovingly crafted 2.5D platformer for PSN, which if you ask us is one of the best looking downloadable games of all time.
The three unique characters mean that many of the game’s puzzles can be completed in a variety of ways, depending on the player’s own preferences. Our only complaints were the lack of enemy types, and the underwhelming co-operative play, however Frozenbyte thankfully look to be rectifying these issues with Trine 2, which we unfortunately have to wait until next year to play.
And that’s it for this week! As always, be sure to check back every Monday, when we’ll be revealing the rest of our epic Top 100 Developers list.