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Revealed: The most successful UK game developers

Based on boxed UK sales

UKIE's Best Selling Games Awards took place this evening, which revealed the most successful video games released in the UK to-date.

The event is part of the trade body's 30 Years Of Play campaign.

And UKIE and GfK have shared with GamesIndustry.biz the list of the 40 most successful UK game developers, based on UK boxed game sales (1995 - 2018), too.

GfK's database features over 22,000 games by individual boxed SKU, featuring country details, developer name and whether the titles are indie or publisher-owned.

Of course, there are a bunch of caveats that need to be included here. As the list is based purely on boxed sales, there are no mobile game developers in here. And Jagex, one of the UK's biggest game developers, is entirely absent as RuneScape is a free-to-play PC title.

The absence of digital also does a disservice to primarily PC-orientated game developers, such as Creative Assembly and Frontier, both of which have enjoyed huge sales via Steam in recent years.

Nevertheless, it's a fun list that highlights some of the great UK game developers from years gone by (indeed 18 of the Top 40 are no-longer operational), and reminds us of the significance of the boxed market historically.

Here is the Top 40. Thanks to UKIE, GfK and 30 Years Of Play for the list.

1. Rockstar North

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: GTA V (PS3, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One)
Also Famous For: Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption II

2. Traveller's Tales

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: LEGO Batman (PS2, PS3, 360, Wii, DS, PSP, PC)
Also Famous For: LEGO Indiana Jones, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Harry Potter, LEGO Lord of the Rings, Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex

3. Codemasters

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Colin McRae Rally (PS1, PC)
Also Famous For: TOCA, Micro Machines, Brian Lara, F1, Dirt

4. Sony Studios (PlayStation London)

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: The Getaway (PS2)
Also Famous For: EyeToy, SingStar, F1, Wipeout

5. Sports Interactive

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Football Manager 2007 (PC, 360, PSP)
Also Famous For: Championship Manager

6. Core Design

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Tomb Raider 2 (PS1, PC)
Also Famous For: Tomb Raider, Fighting Force

7. Eurocom Entertainment

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: James Bond 007: Nightfire (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Also Famous For: GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, Spyro: A Hero's Tale, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 007: The World Is Not Enough, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Vancouver 2010, Beijing 2008, Dead Space: Extraction, Athens 2004

8. Criterion Games

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Also Famous For: Burnout, Black

9. Rare

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: GoldenEye (N64) and Kinect Sports (360)
Also Famous For: Perfect Dark, Banjo Kazooie, Diddy Kong Racing, Viva Piñata, Donkey Kong Country

10. Team17

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Worms
Also Famous For: Overcooked, The Escapists

11. Ubisoft Reflections

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Driver (PS1, PC)
Also Famous For: Stuntman, Destruction Derby

12. 4J Studios

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Minecraft (Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox versions)

13. Creative Assembly

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Rome: Total War (PC)
Also Famous For: Total War series, Alien Isolation, Rugby

14. Sumo Digital

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Sega Superstars Tennis (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS)
Also Famous For: Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, Crackdown 3, LittleBigPlanet 3

15. EA Bright Light

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Also Famous For: Monopoly, Harry Potter, Battlefield 2: Modern Combat

16. Rebellion

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: The Simpsons Game (PS2, Wii, PSP)
Also Famous For: Sniper Elite, Alien vs Predator

17. Bullfrog

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Theme Hospital (PS1, PC)
Also Famous For: Dungeon Keeper, Theme Park, Populous, Syndicate

18. Bizarre Creations

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Project Gotham Racing 4 (360)
Also Famous For: F1, Blur, Metropolitan Street Racer, The Club, Geometry Wars

19. Climax

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Theme Park World (PS1)
Also Famous For: Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, Robot Wars: Arena of Destruction

20. Rocksteady

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Batman Arkham City (PS3, 360, PC)
Also Famous For: Batman Arkham Knight, Batman Arkham Asylum

21: Hothouse Creations

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Who Wants To Be a Millionaire (PS1, PC, Dreamcast, GBA)
Also Famous For: Pop Idol, Gangsters

22: Lionhead Studios

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Fable II (360)
Also Famous For: Fable, Black & White, The Movies

23: Argonaut

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stones (PS1)
Also Famous For: Croc, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Alien Resurrection

24. Evolution Studios

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: DriveClub (PS4)
Also Famous For: Motorstorm, WRC

25. Blitz Games

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Bad Boys II
Also Famous For: Bratz, Spongebob Squarepants, Glover

26. Playground Games

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One)
Also Famous For: Forza Horizon, Forza Horizon 2, Forza Horizon 4

27. Frontier Developments

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (PC)
Also Famous For: Elite, Kinectimals, Kinect Disney Land, Planet Coaster, Jurassic World Evolution

28. Exient

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Need for Speed: Undercover (PS2, Wii)
Also Famous For: FIFA (DS/GBA), Various Need For Speed Games (Wii, PS2 and DS)

29. Pivotal Games

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Conflict: Desert Storm (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Also Famous For: Conflict: Vietnam, Conflict: Global Terror, The Great Escape, Conflict: Denied Ops

30. Relentless Software

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Buzz! The Music Quiz (PS2)
Also Famous For: Various Buzz Games, Murder Files

31. Gremlin Interactive

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Premier Manager 98 (PS1, PC)
Also Famous For: Actua Soccer

32. Media Molecule

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Also Famous For: LittleBigPlanet 2, Tearaway

33. Kuju Entertainment

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Microsoft Train Simulator (PC)
Also Famous For: Battalion Wars, Buzz: The Sports Quiz, Crescent Suzuki Racing, Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior

34. Asylum Entertainment

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Peppa Pig: The Game (DS, Wii)
Also Famous For: Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth/Return To Earth, Horrid Henry's Horrid Adventure,

35. Dark Energy Digital

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: World Championship Snooker (PS1)
Also Famous For: Hydrophobia, G-Sufers, Pool Shark 2

36. Slightly Mad Studios

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Need for Speed: Shift (PS3, 360, PC)
Also Famous For: Project CARS

37. Free Radical Design

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: TimeSplitters 2 (PS2, Xbox, GameCube)
Also Famous For: TimeSplitters, TimeSplitters 2, Second Sight, Haze

38. Probe

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Die Hard Trilogy
Also Famous For: Alien Trilogy, XG3, Forsaken

39. Rage Software

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: David Beckham Soccer (PS1, PS2, Xbox, GBA)
Also Famous For: Jonah Lomu Rugby, Rocky, Striker, Wild Wild Racing

40. Psygnosis

Most Successful UK Boxed Game: Lemmings
Also Famous For: Wipeout, G Police, Colony Wars,

Thanks to GfK and UKIE for the market data. All data is from 1995 - 2018. The list is based on unit sales of boxed games (so not revenue) and does not include digital. The reveal is part of UKIE's 30th anniversary celebrations and the list of the most successful UK boxed games were revealed on-stage at a special awards ceremony in London. For more details on those titles, click here.

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Latest comments (1)

Not happy they started this from 1995.. companies like Sensible Software and Bitmap Brothers sold millions of boxes in the 5-10 years preceeding this.. It is like they have written off the whole home computer era like it didnt exist.
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