Top Games of 2022: It Takes Two, Metroid Dread, Psychonauts 2, and more.
January 25, 2022

What Do the Best Game Developers of 2021 Have in Common?

Game Development
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Video games helped us all stay sane since 2020. Amid the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, and off-and-on stay-at-home orders around the globe, new games have emerged.

So, what were the best video games of 2021? And who were the best game developers of 2021?

What Were the Best Video Games of 2021?

Some of the best video games of 2021 include:

  1. It Takes Two
  2. Metroid Dread
  3. DeathLoop
  4. Psychonauts 2

1. It Takes Two

It Takes Two from Hazelight Studios/EA won several awards at The Game Awards in December 2021. This co-op games proves that a healthy marriage is key to success. May and Cody take a dazzling journey from garden shed to their house. Nominated in several categories, It Takes Two won the biggest award: Game of the Year.

Other big wins for It Takes Two include Best Family and Best Multiplayer. As we spend more time separate from others, many rely on games to connect. It Takes Two showcases the importance of creating immersive experiences that can be shared with others.

2. Metroid Dread

Metroid Dread from Mercury Steam won Best Action/Adventure at The Game Awards. The game follows the events of Metroid Fusion (2002) and allows players to investigate the source of a mysterious transmission from planet ZDR. It has quickly become the fastest-selling Metroid came across Japan, UK, and the US.  

3. DeathLoop

DeathLoop from Arkane Studios was a big winner at The Game Awards. With stunning visuals and outstanding game play, it walked away with both Best Game Direction and Best Art Direction.

4. Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 from Double Fine Games may not have won any awards this year, but it continues to be a fan favorite. Like the game’s predecessor, it follows a young acrobat that is training to become a Psychonaut. With favorable reviews, many feel like it lived up to the quality of Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. 

Other Notable Winners

Other notable winners of The Game Awards include the following:

  • Forza Horizon 5 won Best Audio Design and Innovation in Accessibility.
  • Resident Evil 4 won Best AR/VR.
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits won Best Indie.
  • Marvel’s Garden of the Galaxy won Best Narrative.

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 2021?

The best game developers of 2021 produced the top games. This included:

  • MercurySteam
  • Hazelight Studios/EA
  • Double Fine Productions/Xbox
  • Capcom
  • Insomniac Games/SIE

What Do the Best Game Developers Have in Common?

The best game developers use Perforce Helix Core. In fact, 19 of the top 20 AAA studios use Perforce Helix Core (including 4/5 studios nominated for Game of the Year). 

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 2021 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.