Thursday, October 6, 2016

Top Five Publishers With the Greatest All-Star Arsenals

A publisher can live or die off the strength of its franchises and characters. Sure, I might be getting a bit too dramatic here, but really, the most fondly thought of and popular publishers in the gaming industry possess the greatest arsenal of memorable characters. This special top five list details what SuperPhillip Central thinks are the five publishers with the greatest lineup of all-star characters and franchises. This takes into account sales, longevity of the characters, relevance, and a lot more. After you've checked out SuperPhillip Central's list, which publishers in the gaming industry do you think have the greatest all-star arsenal?

5) Microsoft

The youngest publisher when it comes to the video game industry on this list, Microsoft has been able to build a pretty reputable brand of iconic characters. Sure, a lot of it is thanks to Microsoft's purchase of Rare back in 2001, taking on the characters like Banjo-Kazooie, Conker, Joanna Dark of Perfect Dark fame, the Battletoads, and many more. However, Microsoft itself has been able to construct some notable characters on its own, such as one of the biggest faces, if not THE biggest face, on the FPS scene, Halo's Master Chief. Then, there are characters like the C.O.G. forces from Gears of War, Marcus Fenix and the crew, as well as having franchises like Crackdown, Forza, and much more. Microsoft's IP may not resonate as strongly as the other publishers' line of franchises and characters, but to say the publisher has no pull with gamers is a faux pas.

4) Sega 

If this was back in the 1990s, a golden era of gaming, then Sega would be higher on this list. However, really, the only character from the embarrassment of riches that Sega had that is still relevant and commonly used today is Sonic the Hedgehog, and his games haven't been the most enviable to have. I mean, when a social media account that posts daily memes as "humor" is what's talked about most lately considering Sonic the Hedgehog, then things aren't looking too hot. Still, it's nice to think of Sega's history of characters, but since most aren't around anymore, I don't feel that Sega should be as high on this list as other publishers. Though, I can very much see the opposite end of the argument. Regardless, today, Sega has franchises like Phantasy Star Online still going strong, Hitsune Miku that has grown into a cultural sensation in Japan, and numerous popular PC series going on to this day. While not as relevant as it once was, Sega still has franchises that are a force to be reckoned with.

3) Sony

Don't mind some of these third-party characters. They just wanted to share the spotlight.
Sony and its PlayStation brand have a massive amount of iconic franchises to their credit. However, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale showed that PlayStation's brand of all-stars aren't as massive in popularity as the other publishers on this list. Still, for every Evil Cole that was a part of the lineup, PlayStation has characters like Uncharted's Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos, Twisted Metal's Sweet Tooth, Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, Jak and Daxter, LittleBigPlanet's Sackboy, and many more. Sure, not all of these are a part of franchises that sell extraordinarily amounts, but the variety of characters is quite amazing and astounding. A big part of this is Sony as a publisher's reliance on cultivating new IP and not over-reiterating on the same franchises again and again like many publishers on this list. That's darn impressive and commendable. Thus, Sony has earned its position on this list undoubtedly.

2) Capcom

Between Mega Man, the cast of the Street Fighter series, the cast of the Resident Evil series, Dead Rising's Frank West, Phoenix Wright, Breath of Fire's Ryu and Nina, Darkstalkers, Strider, and many more, Capcom is absolutely loaded with modern and classic characters associated with some very popular franchises. The Marvel vs. Capcom series showed that Capcom has got the goods character-wise in regard to video games that Marvel has when it comes to characters comic book and film-wise. While not all of Capcom's franchises are still as relevant as they used to be, the ones that still are remain some of the most popular and worthwhile from a third-party publisher, much more any publisher. It is for these reasons that Capcom has ended up at the number two spot on this list.

1) Nintendo

Really, who else could it be? Not only has Nintendo has several decades as a video game company to build its illustrious library of IP, but it helps when Mario is in the same league as Mickey Mouse in familiarity. Heck, Mario even made it onto the international stage this past summer, appearing in Tokyo, Japan's Olympic preview event in front of millions upon millions of people. Then, there's all of the endearing franchises and characters that continue to entertain gamers the world over, such as the aforementioned Mario, Link, Zelda and Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pikachu from Pokemon, Kirby, Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and new franchises like the Splatoon that somehow resonated with millions despite being on a poor-selling system. Nintendo remains relevant in the gaming scene thanks to its collection of worthwhile characters and franchises, and it's the only company who could somehow keep a console afloat for most of its life off the back of its own franchises.

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