Op-Ed

Op-Ed
The Escapist's Game Industry Power Rankings: Inaugural E3 Edition

Joe Blancato | 20 Jul 2007 22:21
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6: Bungie
Even though they're running into co-op multiplayer problems, Bungie's hype machine is rolling strong. EGM's got a slew of new info, and the FPS everyone but me loves should finally conclude the damn Halo 2 story and get you cursed out by adolescents on Live in no time.

7: Harmonix
Rock Band, my heart pines for thee, even though I suck at drums. Harmonix's baby was the talk of the town in Santa Monica, and the Guitar Hero evolution takes all the fun from the first two games and multiplies it by four instruments. If you didn't start clamoring for Band Hero after 15 minutes of GH co-op, you're not human. For the rest of us, Harmonix has delivered in a big way.

8: Activision
Even though Rock Band edges out Guitar Hero 3 in collaborative cool factor, it's still freakin' Guitar Hero 3. With over 70 songs, new gameplay modes and rock star guest appearances, GH 3 isn't something to write off completely. And that's just one bullet in Activision's chamber. They've also got Call of Duty 4 in the chute, and Quake Wars: Enemy Territory may be the Battlefront for the 360.

9: Nintendo
Everybody's all about the Wii, and it's about time. With a slew of new games from EA, Atari and pretty much everyone else on the way, the console owned by 5 million people no one knows is due for a big game injection. Tack on the fact the DS is still cleaning up, and it may be time to reevaluate your stock purchases. The only thing keeping Nintendo from the top five is Wii Fit, which is best described by this video.

10: Blizzard
As if World of Warcraft weren't enough, Blizzard's got a little ditty called StarCraft 2 they're working on. Even though it looks like more of the same right now, they've got some improvements on the way, which should make sure Korea's national sport version 2.0 should be worth taking a look at.

11: id
Put simply, id tech 5 puts id in a position to both clean up engine-wise and develop their games on the 360, PC, Mac and PS3 simultaneously. Their Enemy Territory franchise is taking off in a big way, and even Carmack's pet project, Orcs & Elves, is picking up a lot of steam. After that weird Doom 3/Quake 4 lull, id seems back on track.

12: LucasArts
In addition to their heavy focus on Star Wars, LucasArts is again expanding in all (but a few of) the right ways. In addition to LEGO Star Wars, The Force Unleashed and a Battlefront PSP game, LucasArts is ready to toss out a theme park/roller coaster sim called Thrillville: Off the Rails, aimed at the younger and family demographics. Fun on its own, Thrillville is riddled with minigames that make the best use of the Wii remote I've ever seen. Expect a sleeper hit there. The only thing holding them back is Fracture, a cool-in-principle shooter, but its terrain deformation gimmick might not be as sticky as they hope.

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