The 2018 Golden Issue Award for Favorite Video Game Studio

With 2018 winding down, it’s important to take a look back at all the great games we’ve seen [...]

With 2018 winding down, it's important to take a look back at all the great games we've seen over the past year. And with the Golden Issue Awards expanding into that area, it's up to us to pick the best of the best -- as difficult as that may seem.

After all, this year brought us not only top-notch efforts from established studios, but also a number of newcomers that proved their worth with indie efforts. For every Cory Barlog and Sony Santa Monica with God of War, we also got Matt Makes Games with Celeste. It's a year worth celebrating, for sure.

And the winner of Favorite Video Game Studio is…


Insomniac Games!

As if this studio, headed by Ted Price, didn't already have enough of a reputation as it is with outstanding efforts like Sunset Overdrive and the Ratchet and Clank series, it managed to take us all by surprise when it launched Marvel's Spider-Man back in September.

The game set new standards for the PlayStation 4 when it came to superhero action, even toppling the mighty Batman games with its abundant replayability, fantastic web-swinging controls, intuitive use of secondary weapons, puzzle-solving capabilities, and perhaps the best graphics we've seen Insomniac produce to date. And considering the company's repertoire, that's saying quite a bit.

Not only that, but Marvel's Spider-Man also won us over with its story, which focused almost as much on the man beneath the costume, Peter Parker, as well as the various people within his life. Seeing a tender moment between Peter and Mary Jane was just as satisfying as defeating members of the Sinister Six. Plus, you have to appreciate that gentle nod to the late Stan Lee.

And the adventure continued onward with DLC chapters, including an engaging reintroduction to Hammerhead as well as a fun chapter featuring Black Cat and a third yet-to-be-introduced chapter that should debut in time for Into the Spiderverse. That, combined with the game's main story, makes it well worth diving back into, as if the hidden goodies (backpacks, backpacks everywhere) weren't already enough.

Marvel's Spider-Man didn't just raise the bar when it came to comic book-based games, it's also pushed Insomniac Games to a whole new level of development. Where the company goes from here is anyone's guess, but we can't wait to see what's coming. Excelsior, team!

List of Nominees:

  • Insomniac Games [Winner]
  • Bethesda Game Studios
  • CD Projekt RED
  • Rockstar Games
  • Sony Santa Monica