What Publishers Do You Respect?
I know at first glance this may sound like an odd question. We all know that the consensus among many gamers is that publishers are evil, money-grubbing scrooges who feast on the bones of developer's children and the like. I tend to think that about more than a few myself. However, when you've been gaming for a long time, you start to see patterns in the titles they release and how they tend to act as a company. I was thinking recently about the publishers that more often than not, I find worthy of my general respect as a gamer. These are companies that are definitely not perfect, but when I give them my money for one of their titles, I feel like I'm generally supporting a company that does good for gaming. I'm curious what other people think in this regard. Here are my picks for publishers I respect
Ubisoft: Have released a number of top-notch titles, definitely more good than bad; tend to support their releases (including the commercial failures) after launch with patches and community involvement; their titles, even the successful ones tend to have price drops quickly; often release niche titles that they know won't sell huge such as the Maddox flight simulators or the Silent Hunter series; rarely do platform exclusives.
Take-Two: Gives their internal studios wide creative freedom; stands up for their teams and their games even in the face of overwhelming negative press; most of their games are released in good shape, rarely needing excessive patching; their Joytech brand makes one kick-ass AV switch.
Nintendo: With rare exception, releases fantastic, fun, super-polished games; has supported innovative ideas and concepts in hardware throughout their history; definitely doesn't go with what's "safe and comfortable"; I find myself liking their games more for their pure fun value than for other more abstract traits.
Microsoft Game Studios: Rarely releases a title that isn't polished and in good shape; has not had many games that have been of poor overall quality, is generally well-respected among developers; tends to let majority of their developers retain their IP rights.
Those tend to be my top picks. Not one of these companies is perfect and in fact, they are all far from it, but I find them to be among the better at what they do and they tend to get more of my business than others. I have several publishers I respect that are no longer around, but I won't bother with those. I also have several such as EA, Atari, Vivendi & Eidos who I will occasionally buy games from, but generally don't hold in high regard, but those are for another discussion.
Overall, my preference is to always show support for the developers more than the publishers as they are the ones with the creative vision who actually make the games we enjoy. However, many of the games we love the most would not have been made were it not for a publisher's involvement and those that tend to excel more at the trade I will tip my hat to. What do you all think?