Who owns the best game developers?


Evil crushing behemoth or pioneering saviour of gaming? These days, it's not so clear. What is clear, though, is that EA is by far gaming's largest publisher, wielding the sort of financial clout that makes smaller publishers weep fat salty tears into their debt repayment notices.

In the last few years, EA's unremitting focus on churning out cookie-cutter sequels has given way to embracing the developers of other franchises (Burnout), attempting new things (Fight Night Round 3) and taking stale genres in exciting directions (Skate). It still spits out a new FIFA almost every six weeks, though.




EA Canada | Aquired 1991
The largest studio in EA's harem of development talent, EA Canada is home to the teams behind FIFA, Need for Speed, and SSX, as well as EA BlackBox, the devs who created this year's break-out skateboarding hit, Skate.
Studio score: 79%

Maxis | Acquired 1997
The Sims has to be one of the most unavoidable brands in gaming, just behind Mario and Sonic. MySims certainly wasn't up to Maxis' traditionally high standards, but who knows what's coming next. Eh? Oh. It's The Sims 3.
Studio score: 75%

EA Tiburon | Acquired 1998
Home of EA's Madden, NASCAR, NFL Street and, from this year onwards, Tiger Woods franchises, Tiburon has also dallied in action, with Mechwarrior 3050 and Superman Returns on its CV.
Studio score: 71%

EA Los Angeles | Acquired 2000
Made up of the remnants of Dreamworks Interactive, Westwood Studios and EA Pacific, EA's Lost Angeles studio has brought us Medal of Honor, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (best to foget about that one) and Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars.
Studio score: 81%

Criterion Games | Acquired 2004
Dedicated to bringing as much excitement to our eyes as possible, Criterion has pushed the excellent Burnout series onto even bigger and better things, with Paradise's open-world the next stop. Just don't ever tell them you "weren't convinced" by Black...
Studio score: 81%

EA Salt Lake | Acquired 2006
Now tasked with developing EA's Wii titles, EA Salt Lake began life as Headgate Studios - its first project being a scientific calculator for Windows. Before being acquired last year, Headgate worked on the Tiger Woods series.
Studio score: 71%

Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment | Acquired 2006
Or DICE, as it's more snappily known. This Swedish dev brought you the exhilarating Battlefield series, and is working on two ambitious projects - Razor's Edge and Battlefield: Bad Company. It also developed Shrek for Xbox. Go figure.
Studio score: 83%

EA Mythic | Acquired 2006
Creator of Dark Age of Camelot and now developing Warhammer Online, Mythic was clearly snapped up by EA in order to fill the company portfolio's MMO-shaped hole.
Studio score: 88%

BioWare | To be acquired 2008
Along with Pandemic, BioWare is set to join the EA stables in January next year. Not heard of them? Then you'll have missed out on Jade Empire, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, won't you? Silly you.
Studio score: 90%

Pandemic Studios | To be acquired 2008
A varied back catalogue here, with both Destroy All Humans titles, the Full Spectrum Warrior sequel and its Mercenaries series rounding out Pandemic's impressive CV.
Studio score: 73%

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  • Manguy17 - July 30, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    every time activision buy a studio and kitten cries Recaptcha:Iron exorcisms
  • sleepy92ismypsn - January 26, 2010 1 a.m.

    rockstar a 75%? FTW? i would love to work for any of these developers especially sony
  • battenfelder - March 3, 2009 4:33 a.m.

    THQ so low???? 77%? really, you guys must have been drunk when you wrote this.
  • devinejoh - March 2, 2009 9:26 p.m.

    rockstar a 75%? wtf?
  • CoD_22 - March 2, 2009 9:21 p.m.

    is it just me or was this written like its 2008?
  • Snarf - March 2, 2009 8:52 p.m.

    Haha, SEGA.
  • ashl91 - March 2, 2009 8:28 p.m.

    first good article
  • JohnnyMaverik - April 28, 2009 1:06 a.m.

    "rockstar a 75%? wtf?" and "THQ so low???? 77%? really, you guys must have been drunk when you wrote this." Can i just point out that they didnt give them those scores, they are based on metacritic scores of the last three games that were developed (i think that was it anyway)... Suprised to see EA so low considering they own so bloody much, also suprised to see Nintendo come out in front, although not nessesarily dissapointed.
  • nadrewod999 - March 4, 2009 12:11 a.m.

    The main things wrong with this article are that 1.) HOW ON EARTH DOES A CRAPPY STUDIO LIKE EA BUY OUT AN AWESOME STUDIO (Criterion) THAT REALLY DOES GREAT WITH JUST ONE SERIES (Burnout): and 2.) WHERE ARE THE NEW DETAILS ON ASSASSIN'S CREED 2?!?!?! Thank you for your time.
  • Cybermaster - March 3, 2009 5:05 p.m.

    Great article- One of GamesRadar's best. Mind you, Nintendo also own Monster Games (Excite Truck), HAL Labs (Kirby) and Game Freak (Pokémon). They've also just aquired Sora, (Sakurai's -Smash Bros. and Kirby- studio) and I belive they also own the ones who made Disaster.
  • RonnyLive19881 - March 3, 2009 6:40 a.m.

    GO NINTENDO! I loved this article!

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