The best video games of 2020 were The Last of Us Part II, League of Legends, and Half-Life: Alyx.
December 17, 2020

What Do the Best Game Developers of 2020 Have in Common?

Game Development
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Video games helped us all stay sane in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and off-and-on stay-at-home orders around the globe. So, what were the best video games of 2020? And who were the best game developers of 2020?

What Were the Best Video Games of 2020?

The best video games of 2020 include:

  1. The Last of Us Part II
  2. League of Legends
  3. Hades
  4. Final Fantasy VII Remake
  5. Half-Life: Alyx

1. The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II from Naughty Dog/SIE swept The Game Awards in December 2020. This post-apocalyptic game dominated seven categories, including the biggest award: Game of the Year.

Another big win for The Last of Us Part II was for Innovation in Accessibility. Accessibility is growing in importance for the video game experience. By winning in accessibility for this game, Naughty Dog have established themselves as important players in the space.

The Last of Us Part II also won for Best Audio Design. As video game development evolves, immersive experiences become more critical for success. Succeeding in audio design is a key piece of this.

2. League of Legends

League of Legends from Riot Games dominated eSports categories of The Game Awards. This multiplayer online battle arena game won Best eSports Game. Winners of the eSports athlete, team, and event categories were for League of Legends, as well.

eSports is one of the most popular segments of video games today. In a recent report from Perforce, 61% of game developers said they believe eSports will have a significant impact on the future of game development. The best game developers understand the importance of eSports.

3. Hades

Hades from Supergiant Games was the biggest indie game winner at The Game Awards. This action role-playing game won Best Indie and Best Action game.

4. Final Fantasy VII Remake

Final Fantasy VII Remake from Square Enix was another big winner at The Game Awards. This popular action role-playing game won Best Role Playing game. It also picked up Best Score and Music.

5. Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx from Valve was the biggest virtual reality winner at The Game Awards. This VR first-person shooter won for Best AR/VR.  

VR software development is one of the biggest trends in game development as studios seek to deliver immersive experiences.

Other Notable Winners

Other notable winners of The Game Awards include the following:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons won Best Family.
  • Mortal Kombat 11/Ultimate won Best Fighting.
  • Tell Me Why won Games for Impact.

What Makes a Video Game One of the Best?

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 Top Game Developers of 2020?

The best video game developers of 2020 produced the top games. This included:

  • Naughty Dog / SIE
  • Riot Games
  • Supergiant Games (Warner Bros)
  • Square Enix
  • Valve

What Do the Best Game Developers Have in Common?

The best game developers use Perforce Helix Core. In fact, 12 of 15 of The Game Award-winning games were built using Helix Core.

Massive Work Effort

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. The changes need to be tracked and coordinated 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 sizes of the builds increase. 

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. 

The Right Tools

So, in addition to massive work effort, what do the best games of 2020 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.

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 Unreal, Unity, and Open3D Amazon game engine. 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 the best game developers 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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