Kind of wanting to see what everyone thought of the developers/publishers this gen compared to your past experience with them or being newly introduced to them this gen. Did you think more of them with their offerings this gen or things they've done, less, about the same as last gen or what? Do you still care about a particular studio/publisher's output or have you moved on from them cause you don't know what the hell they're doing or don't like the way they've been acting? I guess what I'm asking you to do is rant about developers and publishers this gen and what you liked, didn't like, what you would/would have liked, etc.. Few examples:
Where to start? I pretty much would give anything by them I could find in the PS1 days a chance (when I first started playing their games) and I'd say that the PS2 days were where the relationship came to an end. I loved Final Fantasy X and X-2, don't get me wrong, and enjoyed the gameplay in Final Fantasy XII, enjoyed Kingdom Hearts and playing Front Mission 4 but coming to this gen, they just seem to have become irrelevant to me. I have no interest in Final Fantasy XIII or the various sequels and although I have an interest in Versus, we've got peanuts worth of info on it and haven't seen it in ages. I'd like to play Final Fantasy Type-0 but that's not getting localized it seems. Their stance towards the PS3 has been just questionable. Wada was trash talking it before even putting out a title on it (while handing out exclusives elsewhere while XIII was stripped of it's exclusive status and XIII was their first release for the platform so you see how long it took them to get out), we never saw Last Remnant (probably still listed for PS3 on their JP site), and they pretty much struggled to do what they wanted with the Crystal Tools/White Engine, which was to make a company engine.
I'd say they've struggled most of the gen, only now maybe finding a footing with their restructuring and focusing on the digital space. Yakuza has done well for them this gen but it seems most of their other ventures this gen have been middling or just handled plain wrong. Platinum Games has gotten what, 5 games published by SEGA (pretty much one-shots) but due to SEGA's situation, they back out of Bayonetta 2 which leaves the sequel having to be picked up by the platform holder that didn't even have the 1st game and leaving the fans having to pick up a Wii-U if they want to play the sequel when expecting it on the same platforms as before. You have other titles like Anarchy Reigns and Vanquish that didn't exactly do well commercially for SEGA (Madworld was the other game) so I guess with SEGA's current situation, Platinum may just be moving on unless someone else funds sequels for those franchises (already doing 2 games for Nintendo and working with Konami on Metal Gear Rising). Kind of irked now, having played Bayonetta, that I won't be playing the sequel unless I buy a platform I really don't want =\
Valkyria Chronicles fans would have a bone to pick with the company with the handling of the series (moving from PS3 to PSP and then not even localizing VC3 despite fan outcry/begging). Most fear the series is dead in the water now unless they attempt a PS3/Vita cross title to get at both sides of the fanbase (console and handheld). So I'm kind of **bleep** at how they've gone about the series. Glad they're still keeping up with Virtua Fighter atleast as I mean to get Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown on the PSN as Virtua Fighter 5 was the first game I bought alongside my PS3.
From the shaky start, I'd say they've found a solid footing now, no thanks to their 1st party output and showcasing what the hardware can do when taken advantage of. Although I got a lot to catch up on from the previous years, looking forward to The Last of Us amongst others. Kind of wish they'd do a bit better on the handheld front with attention/support, at the very least in reviving their old franchises and moving them there. Also would help if they'd open a division/studio to handle localization of titles for 3rd parties from Japan which was a big issue for the PSP (still is) for fans that actually do enjoy/want games but are pretty much out of luck cause 3rd parties don't see the viability in localizing a game for what they consider not a big enough audience outside of Japan. Ideally, I'd like to see them expand some of their studios to make Vita/PSN games. Just small teams from the big names that get to use Vita/PSN as an outlet for smaller ideas that don't work with the current big projects (also a means to shuffle the teams around to mix things up from working on the same IPs throughout the gen if that's what they're doing).
I do like that they've been taking risks on new IPs throughout the gen, with various levels of success. Media Molecule and Sucker Punch got picked up for their stellar efforts and I'm kind of expecting them to pick up Quantic Dream next. They've recently trimmed off a few studios as well though (BigBig, Zipper, Studio Liverpool, some 2nd party studios). Kind of wish studios like Bend and Cambridge (who are now under Guerrilla and working on the Vita Killzone) got a chance to do their own original IP. I'd like to see them kind of reach out a bit more on the 3rd party front for the series/IPs that other publishers just aren't bothering with anymore or to jointly work on something (like FROM with Demon's Souls and Inafune's studio for Soul Sacrifice). Funding/co-publishing some old fan favorite IPs that have been MIA for some time and taking that 'taking risks' approach with some 3rd party studios if they have an opening and want to get away from doing the same IPs (like Sony working with/funding a Kojima project since he seems stuck making Metal Gear Solid games).
Capcom is probably the weirdest one of the gen. I know people sung of their praise at the start of the gen with new IPs like Lost Planet and Dead Rising, new Street Fighter, Devil May Cry, the various offerings of old games on DL services and what have you and then...they just seemed to go off the deep end. Seems like Lost Planet has lost any luster/good will that the first game established, there was a huge backlash with DmC, Resident Evil's heavy move to action, the recent handling of Megaman (announcing a game, then asking people to pay for a prototype to fund the actual game that was canned altogether, take away the prototype part and you have the same result of another Megaman game aimed at consoles), Monster Hunter being moved from PS entirely at this point it seems (MH3 announced for PS3 then moved and now it seems the handheld ones are moved as well), DLC being questionable which I guess you can't lay entirely on them as it's something everyone seems to be doing now, running their fighter offerings into the ground (SFIV, SSFIV, SSFIVA or something, MvC3, UMvC3 in the same year, the mess that was SFxTK if I remember correctly with the characters being on disc but being held back for the Vita release or something) and it just seems to go on with them.
Gonna leave the likes of EA, Bioware, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. to the rest of you'll to touch on.
Square Enix is someone I'll agree on. Before their merger happened I was playing Kingdom Hearts at the time. This was not an excellent game by my standards. However, this wouldn't be the first time that Squaresoft had a title that gave me less joy than I expected out of them (Legend of Mana, for example). Meanwhile going into the PlayStation 3 generation, I still had my party suit on when anticipating a major game from Final Fantasy XIII. The game's early trailer stunned, and it still does. Then a few years later they announced the pull from exclusivity of the game. Going multiplatform turned them off from the game's original engine, and delayed the game for longer than was initially planned. After a long time of waiting... Final Fantasy XIII was not the great whale we all had planned for. While not exactly bad, it was far from the benchmark the series had been known for throughout its long lifetime. Last year's sequel is even worse.
Where did they go? Konami has put out a number of games I used to buy in the past, including the Silent Hill series, Zone of the Enders, Metal Gear Solid, LifeLine, Shadow of Destiny, amongst others. When the PlayStation 3 came they put out Metal Gear Solid 4 after awhile, and then nothing. Well, at least nothing that's been of interest. With the likes of Castlevania and Silent Hill as of late, I've never taken a liking to Belmont's vampiric excursions. And with Silent Hill I've tried Silent Hill Origins, not liking it. It also seems as if the likes of Homecoming and Downpour won't be able to lift up my skirt. Having their legendary series passed off to Western developers is an odd move. Why can't they just do it themselves like they once have?
Capcom is another publisher I've been shying away from. Lost Planet and Dead Rising are two such games that have little to no appeal. I bought Resident Evil 5 this generation, thinking it could be another huge success like Resident Evil 4 before it. It wasn't, at least not on the same level. While a pretty good game in itself, that level of shine and originality wasn't there anymore. It was as if all Capcom could do from that point on was try and repeat itself. Resident Evil 6 certainly seems to have changed things, but by the looks of it I'm not expecting much for the better. Asura's Wrath is one of Capcom's other few games that shined this generation.
And yet another company that has fallen off the face of the Earth, THQ is someone in the olden days that used to pump out some games that I really liked. There are very few games that I picked up or played from the company this time around, including Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Saints Row 2. Where Saints Row did nothing for me, Warhammer had strength in it. Costume Quest too is also surprisingly fun. Now that THQ is in the process of being departed, I look back and remember the times when Red Faction greatly impressed or that the MX vs. series did well on the track.
To be fairly honest, I used to despise this company. The only ever good games I saw them come out with where sports-related games. Untill the release of Battlefield 3 I never really expected much of anything good with EA. I can kind of see EA trying to get in more with the shooter genre, but besides that, I can hardly see anything bright in thier future. I guess after Westwood Studios got engulfed into EA in early 2002-2003, I sort of lost all trust in EA since they scrapped all of their ideas. This is just of course my opinion but I think if EA wants to be more successful they should just stick with making sports games (hence EA Sports).
I'm not expecting alot out of them this year at all, but I pretty much now EA is going to be sticking around for a lot longer than anticipated. Probably for the next ten years or so. I just hope they pull out something amazing.
I'm not going to go in depth as I agree with very much of the previous posters but I do want to add a short opinion.
Sega - Basically dead to me. There's little left about Sega I look forward to. It's been a tough break-up.
SquareEnix - Questionable decisions
Sony - See Above
Capcom - Where's my Dungeons and Dragons arcade games in HD on the PSN?
Konami - Yeah where the hell did they go? The real Konami, not their outsourcee's.
Western Developers have dominated this generation. Even Sony's best franchises are all made outside Japan this time around.