As if it wasn't tough enough to create one great game, doing so multiple times takes something truly special, the end result creating incredible products that continue to entrench themselves across the global gaming community, all the while establishing an identity for the developers in the process. While memorable games are a prerequisite for a studio to attain greatness, the ethos by which they approach this is also important. Have they sought to redefine gaming genres or the entire medium in some way? Have they taken a stand against dodgy industry practices and shown that games can achieve success in ways that challenge the norm? Here we commend those developers who have helped shape the games industry and drive it forward, with both their end products and approaches towards game-making overall. Some of them no longer exist, others have long since passed their golden years but still deserve to be remembered for the good times they gave us, whilst others still are new kids on the block determined to shake up the industry.
10. LucasArts (1990-2000)
Before LucasArts came along, PC gaming just felt a bit sterile; a domain reserved mainly for techy types who could be bothered to type commands into DOS Shell to open games, then play dry adventure games across five floppy disks. But that all changed when LucasArts pretty much single-handedly kickstarted the point-and-click adventure genre. It developed some decent adventure games throughout the 80s, but things really took off when they released The Secret of Monkey Island in 1990. The game's Douglas Adams-style humour captured everyone's imaginations, and they went on to dominate the decade with adventure games like Grim Fandango, Monkey Island and Sam & Max. LucasArts' in-house Jedi Engine was fantastic too, if vastly underrated, being used for several of the studio's Star Wars spin-offs (Dark Forces II was pure magic at the time), and the cult-classic western first-person shooter, Outlaws. Unfortunately, LucasArts slipped into remakes and licensing its name to mediocre Star Wars games from the turn of the millenium. It was eventually bought out by Disney in 2013 and had most of its staff laid off. But in their 90s heyday, they were a developer unafraid to do things differently, offering some of gaming's best-written and most memorable characters in the process. Notable titles: Monkey Island series, Sam & Max series, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Outlaws, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, Grim Fandango, Zombie At My Neighbors.
Gamer, Researcher of strange things.
I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.