Chart: Games in the Top 100 by Company over Time

Each week throughout the Top 100 Games of All Time, According to GameFAQs series, I’ll be including an interesting chart that summarizes the results in some kind of unique way. These will, hopefully, give an extra layer of insight into the results. At the conclusion of the series, I’ll also be posting the raw results online for anyone to check out and analyze in their own way.

This week, we’ll look at changes to company popularity over time, similar to last week. In the chart below, each company is given a row, and each year is given a column. Green cells indicate years in which that company had at least one game. Blue cells indicate years between the company’s first and last game, but wherein it did not have a game. Orange indicates years either before the genre’s first year or after the genre’s last year. Thus, orange represents “idle” time while blue represents “active” time. Although it’s not terribly scientific, we can think of this as years of each company’s prominence.

The first and most obvious takeaway here is Nintendo’s dominance. We saw a couple weeks ago that Nintendo has by far the most games in this list with 18, but we see in this graph that its dominance is spread out over time rather than contained within one area. They possess the first game on this list (Tetris, although one could argue over whether it is truly a Nintendo game) and the most recent one (The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds). Square is still around, of course, with the recent release of Final Fantasy XIII-3: Lightning Returns, but its heyday is long past it: the company’s popularity dropped off in 2002. I did separate out Square-Enix for this list, but the latter company has had only one game in the Top 100 — 2008’s The World Ends With You. Through these rows, we also see the rise and fall of some of gaming’s biggest powerhouses: Nintendo’s former nemesis, Sega, has not had a Top 100 game since 1994, and Nintendo’s old friend Rare did not have one after 2000’s Perfect Dark. Rockstar, Naughty Dog, and Game Freak join Nintendo as the dominant developers nowadays, although Valve makes a respectable appearance as well.

Several companies are bolstered in this chart by a single franchise as well. Game Freak, for example, subsists entirely on the Pokemon franchise. Konami has some variety, but the majority of its entries are Metal Gear Solid games (joined by Suikoden, Castlevania, and Silent Hill). Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption is its only entry outside the Grand Theft Auto franchise, just as Bethesda’s Fallout 3 is its only entry outside the Elder Scrolls franchise. Almost the entirety of Nintendo’s dominance is contained in the Mario and Legend of Zelda franchises, with only four of its 18 games coming from completely outside those two franchises. Other companies, however, have impressive variety: Square enters games from five different franchises, Valve from three, Rare from three, Capcom from five, and BioWare from four.

09 - Companies vs TimeClick the chart to bring up a full-screen view of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *