Video games are a huge part of our life today. People of different ages like to spend their free time playing video or mobile games. Some people even approach it professionally and make their living by playing games. It is hard to go against playing a perfectly designed game with amazing content. Such games are created in-game development companies. Nowadays, it is not very difficult to launch a good game development company, thanks to technological advancements. Of course, for this, you should have a large investment, as well. However, over the last few decades, it was not this comfortable. Some game development companies that produced several of the best games even did not see the credit they deserved. In this article, we will discuss the four underrated game development companies.
Every male child born in the late 80s, early 90s have probably played Mortal Kombat at least once. This fantastic game is still one of the best in its genre. If you have played Mortal Kombat, too, perhaps you did not know either that it belongs to Midway Games. The company was established by Henry Ross and Marcine Wolverton in1958. Back then, the company’s name was Midway Mfg. Co. They were producers of entertainment equipment mainly. It was in 1973 when they turned to a game development company, presenting arcade games. Five years later, their main success occurred when the game “Space Invaders” was released. It took Midway Games another 19 years to be known all over the world. This happened thanks to the release of Mortal Kombat. The game is still widely considered one of the best fighting arcade games of all time. It includes fighters, some of which are ninjas, each of whom has specific incredible powers. The game brought $5 billion to Midway Games in total sales. Two films of the game were released, as well, in 1995 and 1997. Apart from Mortal Kombat, Rampage, Spy Hunter, NBA Jam and etc. are among Midway’s notable games.
In 2006, The Company lost $77 million in sales. This was followed by a further $100 million loss next year. These two unfortunate events slowly brought the end of this game development company. They sold their last assets in 2011. Despite such a breakthrough success as a result of Mortal Kombat, today, people do not value Midway enough for its services for the industry.
Bandai Namco is another must mention the company that we could not forget to add to the list. Besides being a video game developer, it is also a mobile game development company. Based in Tokio, Japan, the company has its headquarters located in the USA and France, too. Namco was originally founded by Masaya Nakamura in 1955 as a game development company. After 50 years, Bandai Namco arose as a result of the merging of two companies, Bandai and Namco in 2005. For the time, they established the third biggest game development company in Japan. There are several world-renown games produced by Bandai Namco, such as Tekken, Galaxian, Pac-Man, Gundam, and etc. Besides being the company’s most successful and popular game, Tekken is also in the top 3 in its genre.
Players observed the initial release of the series in 1994. Since then, nine more releases of the game have been realized by Bandai Namco. The main story of the game happens around the clash of Mishima clan members. The main protagonist of it is Jin Kazama, fighting against his father and grandfathers. You can choose different characters specializing in diverse martial arts to play. Tekken has received critical acclaim by players and critics. As of 2019, the total sales of the game have reached 48 million copies. For this number, it is in second place in the ranking for the genre. Despite the massive success of Bandai Namco in the name of Tekken, most people have forgotten the company in recent years. This is definitely one of the most underrated video game development companies in the world.
Konami has been one of the big video game companies in the world for years. Founded in 1969 in Japan by Kagemasa Kozuki, it started to produce entertainment machines for video arcades. In 1978, the company presented its first video-game. After this, Konami started to export products to USA based on demands. During the 1980s, Konami’s major success appeared. It was in this period that famous games, such as Gradius, Castlevania, Contra, and Metal Gear were produced. These games made Konami a wealthy game development company bringing its profits to $300 million in 1991. Apart from the aforementioned games of the company, Pro Evolution Soccer (PES) and Silent Hill were hugely commercial. A football-themed game, PES is currently among the best-selling video games ever. Till today, it has sold more than 100 million units worldwide. The game first appeared in 1995, under the name of J-league Jikkyou Winning Eleven. In 2001, the name was changed to Pro Evolution Soccer. Since then, Konami has released it yearly.
Another prominent game of Konami is Silent Hill. A horror-themed game, it was first released in 1999. The story of the game is about Harry Mason, the protagonist who looks for his missing daughter. In 2006, the film of the movie was released, as well. In general, Silent Hill is considered one of the best games ever produced in the horror genre.
Just like Bandai Namco, Konami is specialized too, in mobile game development. It has been mainly good in Android and IOS game development. Although Konami has provided such masterpieces, in recent years, it has not seen enough appraisal. This is probably due to not presenting new interesting games in different genres.
Capcom is the last game development company appearing in our underrated list. This company is known to players with games like Street Fighter and Resident Evil. The company was founded in 1979 by Kenzo Tsujimoto under the name of I.R.M. Corporation. Tsujimoto named the company Capcom in 1983. Their first product presented in the same year. It was a coin-operated video game called “Little League.” The following year they released the real video game called Vulgus. It was in the genre of arcade. The major international fame of the company came in 1996 when Resident Evil was presented. It is a horror-themed game. The main story of the game is about people who fight against the ones who have T-virus. The virus is able to transform people into zombies and animals to other horrifying creatures. Films have been inspired by the game, as well. Since 2002, 6 films based on the Resident Evil game. The box office of the films combines has surpassed $1.2 billion. This makes the series the highest-grossing. Meanwhile, Resident Evil being the most successful game of Capcom, it is also the best-selling horror-themed ever. Total sales of it have excelled 93 million copies. Capcom is also specialized in IOS and Android game development.
Another flagship of the game development company is Street Fighter. The favorite ever game of male children of late 80s and 90s. A very successful series, Street Fighter, has totaled 43 million sales since the first release in 1987. In total, the series has earned more than $1 billion to Capcom in revenues.