January 9, 2020

What Do the Best Game Developers of 2019 Have in Common?

Game Development
Version Control

2019 was a great year for games. Here's what the best game developers of 2019 have in common.

Video Game Growth in 2019

According to analysts, the global game development industry generated $120.1 billion in revenue in 2019. That’s a 4% increase over 2018.

Mobile gaming generated the most revenue ($64.4 billion). PC ($29.6 billion) and console ($15.4 billion) followed.

That’s the quantitative state of the game dev industry — and it’s great! Now, let’s look at the qualitative.

The Best Games of 2019 List

The best games of 2019 included: 

  • Control
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Death Stranding
  • Classic WoW
  • Resident Evil 2

More on the Best Games

The editors of CNET — everyone’s favorite consumer electronics and technology news site — picked the best “must have” games of 2019.

With new consoles coming in 2020 (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X), more development is going into the next generation of consoles. But there were still plenty of excellent games produced in 2019. In total, CNET’s list of the best video games from 2019 includes 10 winning titles.

There are some truly outstanding games in this list.

It was definitely a big year for nostalgia and game remakes. The first game on their list was Classic WoW, a re-release of the popular 2006 World of Warcraft. The Resident Evil 2 remake was the second game on the list. It was also a nominee for 5 big awards at The Game Awards — including Game of the Year.

Other top AAA games of 2019 included Control and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Sekiro won Game of the Year at The Game Awards. Control was also nominated for Game of the Year. The editors at CNET proclaimed that Control is the best game yet from Remedy Entertainment.

It was also a big year for indie games, like Death Stranding. Death Stranding also won the Best Game Direction, Best Score/Music, and Best Performance awards at The Game Awards for 2019.

What Makes a Video Game Great?

This contest was not about how much money the games made. The judges — all enthusiastic game players — have their own perspectives on what makes a game great:

  • Artwork
  • Complexity of the game
  • Nostalgia for an old favorite
  • Innovation

Of course, how much fun the judges had playing the games is also a consideration, and that tends to be an outcome of the above criteria. The criteria for what makes a game great is subjective, and the results reflect that.

What Does It Take to Build The Best Games?

We asked over 500 of your peers what it takes to be successful in game development. Find out what they had to say about collaboration, funding, and emerging technology. Get the full insights in the report.

Get the Report

Who Were the Best Game Developers of 2019?

The best game developers of 2019 produced the top games. This included:

  • Remedy Entertainment (Control)
  • FromSoftware (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice)
  • Kojima Productions (Death Stranding)
  • Blizzard Entertainment (Classic WoW)
  • Capcom (Resident Evil 2)

What Do the Best Game Developers Have in Common?

Many of these large, sophisticated games were constructed over several years. They’re made of terabytes or even petabytes of assets. During this type of lengthy game development process, there are obviously many revisions to the code and artwork. And the changes need to be tracked at all stages.

Game designers and coders work in parallel. And they're often spread around the globe. As deadlines approach, the synchronization of work becomes more and more critical. This becomes even more important as the size of the build increases. 

This volume and frequency of work moving across studios is more challenging than what most IT shops are accustomed to. There’s a gigantic amount of data (don’t mind our technical language), and the number of sites, designers, and developers accelerates as games near completion. 

So, in addition to massive work effort, what do the best games of 2019 have in common?

They were built on Helix Core. Global teams use Helix Core to manage code and non-code assets during the development of their highly sophisticated (and, of course, delightfully playable) games.

We’re proud that a majority of the best games of 2019 were built using Helix Core, including:

7 of CNET’s 10 best games.

17 of 22 winners at The Game Awards.

The Best Games of 2018 Were Built on Helix Core, Too

16 of the top 22 best video games of 2018 (according to CNET) were built on Helix Core, too. They included God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Detroit: Become Human.

Hear from more of the top game developers on why they consistently choose Helix Core — and get their versioning best practices.

Get Versioning Best Practices [eBook]


Why the Best Game Developers Use Helix Core

Helix Core’s ability to scale is essential for growing teams to work seamlessly. Integration capabilities prevent delays by accelerating automation. This lets teams use popular off-the-shelf tools like Jenkins, as well as their own build tooling and processes.

With the global replication capability of Helix Core’s Federated Architecture, every participant feels like they are working locally, but the entire team is collaborating on a single source of truth. This ensures everyone has the current, correct version of code and design assets.

Whether you’re developing games for AR/VR, consoles, PC, mobile/tablets, or even hardware/software applications, you can count on Helix Core’s integrations with Amazon Lumberyard, Unreal, and Unity. And with our APIs, SDKs, and scriptability, you can customize your workflow. If you’re building your own engine, leveraging Helix Core’s architecture can make your dreams become reality.

In addition to the technical reasons that creative and successful companies use Helix Core, there’s another reason. Helix Core doesn’t get in the way of the creative process. Regardless of the role of the team member, build engineer, coder, designer, producer, system administrator — Helix Core runs in the background, seamlessly integrates, and connects everything.

See for yourself. Try Helix Core. It's always free for up to 5 users and 20 workspaces.

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