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Who’s the biggest games publisher?

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You might have a favourite publisher; a company that keeps putting out the games that you want to play. In 2011, it seems that that company was Electronic Arts, who had the largest market share among the big-name publishers. Ubisoft, in a briefing to investors, has collated the information from sources such as NPD, GfK Chart Track and Nielsen, detailing each publisher’s market share – and the results aren’t too surprising.

Here’s how it currently stands.

Market share 2012; 2011 values in parenthesis (via Games Industry International)

  • Activision 19.5% (15.7%)
  • Electronic Arts 18.4% (19.7%)
  • Ubisoft 11.2% (8.8%)
  • Nintendo 10.8% (12.4%)
  • Take-Two 6.4% (4.8%)
  • Microsoft 5% (4.8%)
  • Sony 3.5% (5.3%)
  • THQ 3.3% (4.9%)
  • Warner Bros. 3.3% (3.7%)
  • Capcom 2.4% (1.2%)

Yes, Activision is now the largest games publisher in the world, with nearly 20% of the current market. EA’s has actually dropped, as has Nintendo’s; with Activision, Take-Two, Ubisoft and Microsoft being the only ones whose market share has increased in the last year. The most surprising thing there, for me anyway, is that Microsoft still has a larger market share than Sony – that’s despite the 360 having very few MS-published exclusives. Take-Two’s is also a little surprising in that they have so few releases – but it shows what an emphasis on quality over quantity does.

Activision’s spot at the top is largely due to Call of Duty, which has been the single biggest selling title for an incredible 7 years in a row. Love or hate COD, but that’s quite an achievement.

Last Updated: May 17, 2013

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