Currently writing a chapter on gameworkers and the characteristics of work-life in the computer and video game industry. In doing so, I started compiling some notes on the major game publishers in the world today - beyond the dominance of the three console giants Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
Although I am sure people in these industries have better things to do than this, I'd still call on industry insiders to let me know (mdeuze at indiana dot edu) whether I am on the right track, what I am still missing and where I am going over the top...
The global top five of this list are firms that consists of numerous smaller game studios, specialist companies and other service providers (such as outsouring agents, marketing and public relations, technological assistance, software development and product distribution):
1. Electronic Arts: founded in 1982 in the U.S., with 6,500 employees worldwide including 4,100 in game development (after cutting 5 percent of its global workforce in February 2006), based in five hub studios in Redwood Shores, Los Angeles, Orlando (all U.S.), Vancouver (Canada) and Chertsey (U.K.), along with development studios in Chicago (U.S.), Montreal (Canada) and Tokyo (Japan);
2. Activision: founded in 1979 in the U.S., with about 2,000 employees (after cutting its global workforce by 7 percent in February 2006), headquartered in Santa Monica, California with additional offices in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Spain and the Netherlands;
3. Ubisoft: founded in 1986 in France, employing 3,500 people of which 2,800 dedicated to game production, headquartered in Montreuil-sous-Bois, France with 15 studios in 11 countries (particularly in the U.K., Germany, and the U.S.), also founded the ‘Ubisoft Campus’ in Montreal in February 2005, offering a series of college and university level training programs in video game development;
4. Konami: founded in 1969 in Japan as a jukebox rental and repair business, 5,127 employees of which 2,664 in its Digital Entertainment Business division, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with key offices in Redwood City and Los Angeles (U.S.), as well as in Germany;
5. THQ: founded in 1989 in the U.S. and exclusively producing video games since 1994, worlwide approximately 1,700 employees, headquarted in Calabasas, California and owning reportedly quite independently functioning studios in the U.S., Canada and Australia.