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Top Ten Japanese Developers For 2004 Revealed

Top Ten Japanese Developers For 2004 Revealed

June 20, 2005 | By David Jenkins

June 20, 2005 | By David Jenkins
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Japanese consumer magazine Famitsu has listed the top ten most successful game developers in Japan, according to the number of units of software sold in Japan during 2004.

Toping the list is Pokémon originator Game Freak, with almost 4 million units sold in Japan alone last year. The second highest ranked developers are Nintendo’s first party teams, who saw success last year with titles such as Pikmin 2 and the Famicom Mini (aka NES Classics) series.

The third highest ranked was role-playing developer Level 5, followed by Capcom's internal teams, Konami’s Tokyo based studio and the developers of Koei’s massively successful Dynasty and Samurai Warriors series.

As can be seen, several of these developers had only one game on release last year and yet still managed to post Japanese-only sales figures that would dwarf many Western titles – with Dragon Quest VIII accounting for over 3 million sales alone.

This magnitude of success illustrates exactly why some Japanese developers and publishers are still happy to cater almost solely to their home market, without needing to dilute their products in order to attract a wider global audience. However, Capcom's self-avowed attempts to reach a Western market with titles such as Shadow Of Rome shows that worldwide reach is increasingly important, even to the largest Japanese publishers.

Pos.DeveloperUnits SoldNo. of titlesMost Notable Release
1Game Freak3,999,7603Pokemon FireRed/Leaf Green
2Nintendo3,558,07913Famicom Mini series
3Level 53,231,2881Dragon Quest VIII
4Capcom2,244,5769Onimusha
5Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo1,867,3143World Soccer Winning Eleven 8
6Omega Force1,696,2863Samuari Warriors
7ArtePiazza/Matrix1,611,1551Dragon Quest V
8Namco1,059,3716Ace Combat 5
9Sammy902,1051Jissen Pachi-Slot Hisshouhou
10Hudson833,3182Mario Party 6


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