id Software, love all their games.
Valve, even if I didn't enjoy either of the Portal games.
Ubi Montreal when it comes to new stuff ( not the rehashed AC )
Santa Monica studios for God of War
Epic Games for Unreal and Gears
Rockstar finally convinced me with Red Dead and Max Payne 3
Intelligent Systems for my favorite Nintendo RPG's
CDProjeckt RED for everything they touch with the Witcher and Cyberpunk franchises.
I would have included Westwood and Pandemic but they're gone. I don't think I ever have disliked a game from them that I bought.
Yeah Pandemic had my back for a good few years.
I just wish they had managed to stay up until after Mercenaries Inc came out...I know Mercs 2 was buggy as hell, but it's still my favorite game. The Battlefront games were great as well, and I really enjoyed The Saboteur.
I also just found out that Mercenaries 3: No Limits was a thing when Pandemic shuttered, and now it's cancelled. That...killed a little of my soul just now. I really hope EA, or...just...fucking someone, picks that back up and makes it a thing.
- Sucker Punch because I love both Sly and inFAMOUS.
- Naugthy Dog because I love Uncharted, their characters and stories. I would buy The Last of Us in a heartbeat.
- Valve for Portal. Only Portal.
- Sanzaru Games because Sly Cooper Thieves in Time is a fantastic game.
- Rocksteady because BATMAN!
- Irrational Games.
- Sony Santa Monica.
CD Projekt haven't made many games, but they seem to really "get it". And by it, I mean everything. They just seem to be doing everything right, when so many other companies are fumbling.
No DRM. No costly DLC. Free, large scale updates. Consequences and choices that matter. True RPG mechanics instead of dumbing everything down into action schlock..
They're basically what Bioware was 10 years ago.
- Neatherrealm and Lab Zero know what makes fighting games fun and good, and I really like the direction both studios are taking right now.
- Double Fine made a game entirely around dumb buggy shit in the Kinect, and any company that can get away with that must be wonderful. Also they're all around swell guys and gals.
- Intelligent Systems is my favorite first party developer for Nintendo.
- Atlus is pretty cool and their localization teams are top notch.
- From Software always makes weird games that turn out to become some of my favorites.
- Level 5. Don't really need to say more.
For me, Bethesda. So far, you pretty much know what you're getting from them and they don't disappoint. Maybe they're not for everyone, but I like their pacing, world-building, and most of all, friendliness to the modding community. I don't think they're going to stick a shiv in their fans just to please the stockholders. Even their guffaws aren't that egregious. Now, I will admit that day-1 releases are usually riddled with bugs and most characters in their games look like they were beaten with a broom, but that's part of their identity. PC players can find community created content to repair any of Bethesda's short-comings. That relationship with their audience is one of the reasons I do trust them today.
CDProjektRed, thatgamecompany, Valve.
I haven't had quite enjoyed Valve's last few releases as much as their older stuff (everything up to and including the HL2 Episodes and Portal) but I still have plenty of faith in them and mountains of respect for them as a collective of artists and businesspeople. After Journey I can't wait to see where thatgamecompany go next and CDProjektRed are a shining beacon of integrity in an industry that is beginning to lack it.
Been a bad year for me and my favorite devs.
Would've been Criterion easily but I hated Most Wanted. Until Most Wanted I would've said they were bulletproof.
Would've been BioWare ... I guess I still trust they'll make games I enjoy, or at least have the BioWare elements I like (great characters, good dialogue options, extremely detailed settings). But I don't think they'll make a game I like as much as Mass Effect 2 again. Maybe that's okay?
Sort of the same thing with Platinum and Persona Team over at Atlus. They make games with elements I really adore but I'm not necessarily all in on every element of their games. Same with Naughty Dog... So far I've only liked two of their games. Recognize their talent though.
Firaxis, maybe? They've yet to OH WAIT
Obsidian! I trust Obsidian to do what Obsidian always does; put out an incredibly written and completely broken game. My vote here is for Obsidian.
Every developer I would have put on this list has tripped up at least once this generation (ex. Naughty Dog, BioWare, Visceral, etc.), but that said, I still look forward to virtually any product they plan to release.
God, I hope The Last of Us makes up for the underwhelming Uncharted 3...