TSA’s Top 100 of 2011 – The Breakdown

This is the last Top 100 post I will ever write. Thousands of words later, it feels good to get this final report out in the open, a fitting resolution of one of the largest TSA features ever. Now that it’s all over, we hope this post will allow people to freely debate its findings and revelations.

A statistical breakdown of the Top 100, what follows may surprise some people; especially those who are fostering the opinion that, since TSA went multiplatform, we have shunned our beloved PS3s somewhat. We hope this categorically puts that idea to rest.

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Consider this TSA’s very own WikiLeaks. Without the house arrests and threat of my possible assassination.

Platform

First up, it should be noted that, as a team, TSA are still more acolytes of Sony than disciples of Microsoft in terms of console uptake. A lot of the writers here have 360s, though it should be stressed that some still do not. The same can be said of the Wii. While Dan proudly has Mario riding on the back of Zelda tattooed across his ripped chest, there are still some staff members who haven’t fallen for Nintendo’s pandemic waggle phenomenon. There are also a lot of the team that do not game on their PCs or Macs.

In short, the analysis that follows is obviously influenced by the platforms we, the team, game on. As we do not play all platforms equally (though it is getting closer it must be said), the below data can not be interpreted as TSA insinuating that Sony or Nintendo or Microsoft has already “won” 2011. The playing field wasn’t even. That said, only the most hardcore of fanatics could digest the following figures and spin them as a Microsoft win.

  • Multiplatform*: 60%
  • PS3: 24%**
  • PSP: 5%
  • PS3/PC: 4%***
  • PC/Mac: 3%
  • Wii: 3%
  • Xbox 360: 1%

Surprising no one, the clear winner is multiplatform gaming. That said, the PS3 is looking like a star pupil this year, with a mammoth 24 titles that can only be played on Sony’s HD console making our list. Our neglect for the Wii has shined through, it seems, with only Conduit 2, Mario Sports Mix and the new Zelda making the grade. What is very surprising, however, must be the 360’s wooden spoon award of having only one exclusive title within the 100. It’s Gears of War 3 in case you were wondering, and before people start debating what classifies as an exclusive these days, none of the PC games quoted above are also on the 360. Likewise, we decided to break the PS3 and PS3/PC games out separately.

What does this mean? Is Microsoft really on track for a poor year exclusives wise? Not necessarily. It’s important to remember the aforementioned preference we have for PS3 gaming here at TheSixthAxis. Also, a new Halo, the rumoured Alan Wake sequel, more Fable and Crackdown perhaps – all of these were not voted upon because we either don’t think they’ll make 2011 (and they might) or they’re simply too nebulous to include. Regardless, if you’re a 360 only gamer, the above does not make good reading no matter what retorts you may wish to deploy. Did we ignore all the great XBLA games coming this year? Perhaps. It still wouldn’t bridge the gap between the two main HD console platforms, however.

* Multiplatform is defined as any title that can be played on more than one device. E.g. Final Fantasy XIV is a multiplatform title as it can be played on the PC (now) and on the PS3 (next year).
** Count does not include the above PS3/PC games.
*** As above, these four games are treated separately. They are not represented anywhere else.

Digital Distribution

A hot topic in the industry at the moment, just how many console games on our list will be finding their way into our gaming hands via the magic of downloading rather than the drudgery of battling snowstorms on the way to the store? You may be surprised.

  • Digital only: 8%
  • Both retail and digital: 8%
  • Retail only: 84%

This one is a little hard to predict as, who knows, LittleBigPlanet 2 may very well go down the download route in years to come. In general though, our friends at GameStop are safe. The digital revolution may be coming, but in terms of how we’re getting our games next year, the tried and trusted traditional method of acquiring physical media is secure. For now.

Genre

Always something readers are interested in, what genres did we gravitate toward in the Top 100 after all the dust has settled?

  • Action: 29%
  • FPS: 18%
  • Adventure: 14%
  • RPG: 14%
  • Driving: 5%
  • Fighting: 5%
  • MMO: 4%
  • Sports: 4%
  • Puzzle: 4%
  • Music: 2%
  • Platformer: 1%

It’s always tricky pigeonholing games into one particular category. For instance, what’s the difference between an Action game and an Adventure game? Shouldn’t they be the same? Well, in an effort to differentiate between the likes of Gears of War 3 (Action) and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Adventure), we split them into their own groups. What’s Journey, though? Puzzle? It’s classified thusly, but we freely admit it could be perceived as an Adventure game. In other words: this is not an exact science. It does, however, give some indication how we, as a team, prefer our games. Often maligned as being generic and derivative, nearly one in every five games on the list is an FPS title. Makes you wonder.

Publisher

Who’s winning in the publishing field? Are the big guys like EA and Activision still making the games we at TSA are most likely to play next year? Or are upstarts like Warners, THQ and Bethesda cutting into their market-share? Here’s how the 100 titles breaks down by publisher.

  • Sony*:  20%
  • EA: 12%
  • Square Enix: 8%
  • Sega: 7%
  • Self-published: 6%
  • THQ: 5%
  • Ubisoft: 5%
  • Warner Bros.: 5%
  • Bethesda: 4%
  • Konami: 3%
  • Rockstar: 3%
  • Namco Bandai: 3%
  • Activision: 2%
  • Atari: 2%
  • 2K Games: 2%
  • Nintendo: 2%
  • Codemasters: 2%
  • Capcom: 2%
  • Microsoft Game Studios: 1%
  • LucasArts: 1%
  • Ignition: 1%
  • Deep Silver: 1%
  • Blizzard: 1%
  • TopWare Interactive: 1%
  • Perfect World: 1%

*For the sake of clarity, “Sony” is defined as all SCE divisions (SCEA, SCEE, SCEJ, etc.) and SOE. Yes, we know, they’re technically a different company. They’ve got Sony in their name, goddammit!

It’s hardly surprising Sony tops the bill considering the amount of PS3 exclusives on this list; an aspect we’ve discussed above. What is surprising is that, for whatever reason, we’re really not feeling Activision’s line-up for this year, with only True Crime: Hong Kong and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 featuring. Though you could lump the Blizzard title (Diablo III) in there if you so wish. Also, we’re assuming a lot of Activision’s games haven’t been announced at this time.

It’s looking like a good year for Sega, though, and Warners and Bethesda are definitely coming on leaps and bounds with their upcoming stable of titles, respectively.

Anything stick out to you as surprising? Let us know in the comments.

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39 Comments

  1. Can I enquire what the four games coming under PS3/PC and the 3 games under PC/Mac were?

    Some crazy stats in there. Still a ton of love for PS3, and rather surprising that the 360 doesn’t have more going for it.

    I’m not at all surprised at the Activision stat, though. I’ve not seen anything that appeals to me for around 2-3 years…

    • PC games were Star Wars: The Old Republic, Torchlight II and Diablo III.

      PS3/PC games were: DC Universe Online, The Agency, Free Realms and Final Fantasy XIV.

  2. I’ve been following this site since it’s early days of pure Playstation 3, and I’m glad things have stayed mostly the same, even though I’m happy for the coverage of Xbox 360 and all of the other platforms.

    Nothing in particular surprised me, except for Xbox 360’s stats.

    • Welcome (’bout time you stopped lurking) :P

  3. Smashing round up, and some very interesting stats in there.
    But may I ask whether the one game within the Platform genre is LBP2?

    • It is though that, too, is open to debate.

    • It’s not a game, it’s an operating system. :P

      • its a fps/racing/platforming/fighting all in one.now this is a game sony should class as it only does everything.

      • I like to think of it as a dev kit.

    • EVERYTHING

  4. 60% multiplatform yet only 8% are retail and digital, that seems off to me? Did you forget Steam, which covers most retail PC games these days?

    • They are talking about the games on the top 100 not every game.

    • He’s right. The stat was wrong so I changed it to just console. Sorry.

  5. I’m surprised there aren’t more platform games on the market this generation. There seemed to be a lot more on PS1/PS2. I bet if a new Jak & Daxter game was on the way interest in platform games would be higher.

    Anyway, i think TSA provides the best PS3 coverage out there, could maybe squeeze one or two more reviews in ( not just PS3 either ) and i admit i’m a slight gaming bigot when it comes to mobile/ iDevice “gaming” :b , but i like reading about the other consoles too. This is how i like my PS3 news delivered, by fans of Playstation who can get genuinely excited about something or evenly critical without being fanboys.
    Besides TSA could never diverge too far from it’s PS3 roots – not with such an attentive membership only too ready to speak up! ;)

  6. Kirby’s Epic Yarn…… seriously guys, how was it not part of the list? It’s a 2011 game for EU and right now it has a 88 score on Meta from the US release.

    • Don’t worry – it’ll get some love from us come release! One of my fave games of last year.

      • Good to know as I’ve been a big Kirby fan over the years ever since Kirbys Dream Land on the Game Boy.
        Kirbys Epic Yarn looks so much fun I’m looking to buy a Wii because there are now so many games I’d like to play.

        I’d also just like to take this opportunity thank Kovacs and the team for this epic undertaking which has provided much entertainment, lots of information and a great degree of anticipation as we progressed further up the list which ultimately led to a worthy winner which I’ve soaked up every snippet of information about ever since its announcement (though I will say if I could afford only afford one game next year, it’d be Deus-Ex). Superb work.

    • When we voted, Kirby was set for a 2010 release in the EU, I believe. I remember voting on it and then ruling it out.

      • When did you vote? We already knew back in August, that Kirby would be a 2011 game for EU :)

        But anyway, thanks for the reply.

      • October, and when I checked it said late 2010. May have been inaccurate information, though.
        *shrugs*

        Sorry, it wasn’t intentional, I’m really looking forward to Kirby, personally.

    • At a guess, because it’s a Wii title which makes it very tricky to squeeze passed the burgeoning Sony exclusives.

  7. Yet again, another outstandingly excellent article on Tsa. Great breakdown of the stats that make very interesting reading.

    • With Tony on this one. Fascinating. Especially that FPS isn’t top (yay!) and that Action/Adventure games are getting much-love on the consoles. They always do but it’s great to see that continuing.

      • Yep me too, thanks again TSA for your hard work. I have genuinely been surprised from the start with the difference in the quality games coming, and have been (reading the games of 2010 reviews), between Sony and Microsoft! Looking forward to another great year of owning a PS3!

  8. Great breakdown, and definitely some surprises in there.

    Though some may call it fanboy talk, I would say without hesitation that PlayStation owners are in for the biggest treat next year. Though I am also partial to my 360, Wii and even at times, my PC, it’s unlikely I will spend a dime on either of them, apart from Gears of War 3.

  9. Nice to see Sony on top, but if I was to own a 360 I’d look at some of it and say pfft. But Sony has a brilliant line up, they still need to work overtime to close the gap on console sales. Maybe announce a new price drop?

    • E3 2011?

    • Expect price drops for all three consoles this year. When the Wii hits €99 it might just gain sentience and invade a small country.

  10. I hope you do the same at the end of this year with the top 100 feature Mr Kovacs and your opening line was just mere jesting at the realisation of a good months work is over. p

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