If there’s one thing we know about video game developers, it’s that they endure far more trials and tribulations than the vast majority of companies in the entertainment industry. With that, of course, comes not only the pressure of trying to forge a best-selling game — but earning each every player’s respect, to the point of making them want to return in good faith a ways down the road.
Anyway, 2022 has seen a cascade of video games, some of which have undoubtedly earned players’ love and support more than others. The question is, which developers have amassed the lion’s share, and which have continued to prove their worth as industry veterans? Well, here’s how we see it. Here are, in our opinion, the five most respected video game developers of 2022.
5. Naughty Dog
Naughty Dog, a studio known for developing some of the biggest story-driven action-adventure games on the planet, is deserving of every accolade in the book, and then some. From Crash Bandicoot to Jak and Daxter, Uncharted to The Last of Us, this is a studio that has continued to strike gold year after year. Even in 2022, with only a single release in the pipeline, the studio retains its popularity due to the superior quality it brings with every launch.
Although some would consider its latest endeavour to remake The Last of Us: Part I a slight cash grab, many will gladly argue that, being a game loved by millions, it’s a tale well worth retelling. Plus, with rumors to reignite the Uncharted saga looming, eyes are most definitely cast on the guys over at Naughty Dog right now. Makes perfect sense, though, as they’ve secured a reputation for being one of the most creative collectives to ever grace the industry.
There’s no way you can fault Nintendo for their loyalty to the gaming industry. Even if you’re not all that big on the Switch exclusives that come to pass, there’s no denying the fact that Nintendo, along with its infinite wealth of innovative ideas, are the heart and soul of the community.
Of course, Nintendo may take a backseat a lot of the time, reserving its right to remain a publisher over all else, but that doesn’t mean they’re incapable of developing the odd global phenomenon. Just take The Legend of Zelda, for example. As year’s end draws nearer and nearer, so do the billion-plus eyes to Breath of the Wild 2, a game best known for being one of the most anticipated action-adventure titles of the last decade.
FromSoftware set its name in stone following the release of Demon’s Souls back in 2009. Since then, the reputable company has only continued to blossom and explore new opportunities within the role-playing department. Although not everyone’s cup of tea by any means, its banquet of extremely difficult games are still considered to be the epitome of action role-playing games.
Of course, with Elden Ring just about mopping up every award in the book in the first half of 2022 alone, it’s evident gamers are looking to FromSoftware for the new big thing. Because if there’s one thing we know, it’s that those guys know how to make fantastic, albeit incredibly soul-destroying works of art.
2. Guerilla Games
There’s no denying the fact that, when it comes to crafting visually appealing settings, Guerilla Games pretty much has it dialed. Horizon: Forbidden West, of course, proved that back in the first quarter of the year. And to be fair, with the quality the action-adventure sequel radiated like a gleaming light, it was evidently clear that Guerilla only had eyes for the finest ingredients and tools.
Guerrilla Games holds its place as one of the most respected developers of all time for the simple fact that, unlike its rivals, it looks only to tell award-winning tales without any financial incentives. Although its releases are every once in a blue moon, it still remains a key player on the board. And even now, with Forbidden West slowly fading into the background, fans of the studio are still lathering endless amounts of praise over it like butter over burnt toast.
1. Square Enix
With another thirteen video games set to release over the next twelve months, Square Enix is definitely feeling the heat of the spotlight these days. It doesn’t help, of course, that the majority of its titles are often coined as being the most anticipated games of all time. With that, the pressure is an incurable factor, and we can’t help but respect Square for keeping its head above water in such trying times.
Of course, with Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion scheduled to arrive relatively soon, that does leave Final Fantasy VII Remake, Dragon Quest XII: Flames of Fate, and Kingdom Hearts IV to carry the torch forward into a new era. And so, while Square clearly has its plate full this year, history has shown us that its talented folk clearly possess the palate to digest nearly everything it dares to consume. Our faith remains at an all-time high, as does our respect for its ambition.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any studios you would’ve added? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.