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5: FreeFire – Garena

In music and sports it is very common to find artists who are very successful and soon disappear completely. This phenomenon also occurs in video games, as it is not uncommon to find companies that, after launching a great game, never make anything up to par and live off that single success. Our first example is Garena with free fire.

That’s what we’ll talk about today, One Hit Wonders, that is, companies that released a tremendous video game, but could never do something as good.

Garena was founded in 2009, relatively recently, but despite not having developed many games, 5 years after its foundation, it was valued at 3 billion dollars, and its founder, Forrest Li, is one of the richest men from Asia. One would think that this is due to its varied offer of successful video games, but in reality it only has one: free fire.

The company’s history is very discreet. He has collaborated with other giants such as League of Legends, FIFA Y Call of Duty, but in the mobile sector. Outside of that they have developed fire fall, Garena Speed ​​Drifters, Point Blank and its own social platform: Garena+. They are little known to us, but in several Asian countries they have generated a lot of money.

Even so, it is not enough to consider them a pure gem development machine. If we’re honest, we wouldn’t know about them in the West if it weren’t for free fire, because it is the video game that put them on the map 8 years after its foundation, and the reason for its monetary success. To give you an idea, the Battle Royale has the 5th place of most downloaded online games in the world. If it weren’t for him, no one would locate Garena.

Since 2017, free fire It has caused a lot of noise, but Garena has not developed something like it, and we highly doubt that it will. The only way we see it viable is if he jumps back on some trend, like with Battle Royale, but that would be obeying the Western audience and forgetting about his turf.

An unparalleled global phenomenon

4: Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft

Lately we’ve been going all out against Ubisoft, and we’re very disappointed that they don’t listen to their fans or what we want. It would be ridiculous to say that the company is a One Hit Wonder and that it only has one game that it has fully lived off of, but the French company really exaggerates, and has Assassin’s Creed in creative ruin.

But how do we get to this? If there are mythical franchises in your history such as Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, rayman, Prince of Persia and of course, Assassin’s Creed, but if we go through its history, we notice that since the assassin saga debuted, its quality has dropped a lot, and the dependence on these games is evident. To give you an idea, since the series debuted, they have released 12 main titles, almost one per year.

You will say, what about farcry, Watch_Dogs, Just Dance Y Mario+Rabbids? The first 2 trace a formula that clearly comes from Assassin’s Creed because it was a success, the dance game is annual and they realized that it is a gold mine, but it really does not innovate year after year and for that reason it is very easy to develop, and the last one relies heavily on the fame of the mustachioed and is heavily supervised by Nintendo.

There are exceptions, like Child of Lightthe games of South Park or the one of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, but the first title was moderately popular, and the other 2 are licensed. Do you realize our point? Ubisoft relies heavily on Assassin’s Creed because since their debut, all they’ve done is blow up the franchise and ruin others that were once similarly successful. To top it off, their new IPs are pretty forgettable.

If you still think that we are exaggerating when we say that at present Ubisoft only lives from one franchise, we remind you that the French company plans to release 6 titles from Assassin’s Creed in the next few years, one of them, an online multiplayer. Just watch games like Roller Champions Y Hyper Escapewhich were new ideas but executed very poorly, and this has been its history recently.

They already compete with FIFA and Call of Duty
They already compete with FIFA and Call of Duty

3: Angry Birds – Rovio

For several years now, mobile games have gained a lot of popularity, mainly because they are very cheap or completely free. Bringing your Game Boy to school became the iPod touch, which makes us feel very old. The title that could never be missing was the one that quickly became a worldwide phenomenon because everyone in high school spent their time pulling the little bird. That’s right… Let’s talk about Angry Brids.

What did you say, pigs? We mean that the characteristic characters and the simple and addictive gameplay caught children and adults, but especially children. This led to the franchise growing in popularity so much that it collaborated with other legendary sagas such as starwars, Sonic, Minecraft, transformers and many more. Also, we eventually get spinoffs, merchandise, and 2 movies.

It’s hard to find someone who has never seen a product of these colorful and angry birds, but have you ever wondered who their creator is? This is Rovio Entertainment, a company founded in Finland in 2003 by several students from the Helsinki University of Technology. From its opening to angry Birds a long time passed, what did they do in all those years?

Nothing more and nothing less than 52 games. That’s right, since its birth, Rovio strongly ventured into the world of mobile games; some did well, but outside their country they did not make much noise. It was thanks to the birds that they finally exploded, safely, and received the attention of the entire world. Again, without hesitation. Thanks to the franchise, they made so much money that they were able to relocate and acquire other studios.

Other titles they have done since 2009 are Darkfire Heroes, Small Town Murders Y sugar blast. We don’t blame you if you don’t know them, because the truth is that Rovio’s fame is due solely to angry Birdswhich on the one hand is good, because by 2020 the company was valued at more than 500 million euros, but the bad thing is that they will live with the curse of being a One Hit Wonder.

Rovio Classics.  As if there were many.
Rovio Classics. As if there were many.

2: Call of Duty – Activision

Activision is one of the largest companies in the world, and its name is constantly on everyone’s lips. Either because of their controversies or because of how well they are doing in sales, but have they realized that their fame is due more to the fact that they are distributors? Say they did Crash Bandicoot 4the remakes of spiro Y Tony Hawk it’s false. His only great developed game is Call of Duty.

It sounds strong, but it’s true. The fact that they are distributors does not detract from their merit, on the contrary, without their capital many games would not exist or would not be as well known, but the company is what it is today thanks to the success of Call of Duty. It’s funny, because most of the games in the franchise weren’t developed by them either, but rather by Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Raven Software, but they created the series and helped in the first one.

In that we do give them credit: the idea came from their head and they molded it with their hands, but if it weren’t for the success of the first Call of Duty and all that he achieved afterwards, we do not know if Activision would be the monster that it is today and if it would have the franchises that it boasts in its possession. In their defense, all their lives they have been in charge of distributing; they were the first independent distributors of the Atari 2600 games.

What surprises us is that they are not ignorant in the field of development, for example, they did Pitfall!, for many, the first platformer in history, but still decided to focus solely on distribution. Therefore, removing Call of Dutyhis track record is not that impressive, a very different thing from his brother Blizzard, who took care of world of warcraft, star craft, Devil Y Overwatch.

We repeat, Activision has done many things to be the giant it is today, but if we get picky, in the field of development they are a One Hit Wonder. As distributors they are among the best, but this is not a TOP distribution. When we do that, the company will probably be among the top positions.

There are 2 sure things in life: death and a new CoD every year
There are 2 sure things in life: death and a new CoD every year

1: Minecraft – Mojang

The present is great for independent developers, as they have the opportunity to shine despite being partially unknown. One example is Yacht Club Games, which made several installments of Shovel Knight and already prepares a new IP, or Team Cherry with Hollow Knight Y silksong. Before them, there was Mojang Studios, which for many marked the boom of the indies.

This company was born in 2009 thanks to the Swedish Markus Persson, or Notch pa los cuates, who wasted no time and immediately began the development of his masterpiece: Minecraft. After a long time and several betas, the game finally came out in 2011 and, unexpectedly, it became the best-selling title in history. Something that started as a simple idea ended up in one of the most well-known franchises in pop culture.

In 2015, Microsoft acquired Mojang, which greatly helped Minecraft continue to grow and develop. This made us think that, with the support of the company that owns Xbox, the studio would be in charge of making many more titles that could live up to Minecraft, or at least close. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Other titles that Mojang has developed are the tactical RPG Caller’s Bane, cobalt Y Crown and Council. You have probably never heard these names, and if you have, you must be one of the only ones, because they did not have a great reception. We do not even say that one comparable with Minecraftbut generally went unnoticed. They have made even more installments, but they are related to the cube sandbox universe.

Mojang is a relatively young studio, so we don’t rule out that they surprise us with the next big hit of the moment, but at least for now, we consider them a One Hit Wonder. Expect the studio to develop something that will have the same impact as Minecraft maybe it’s a bit of a dreamer, but they have the potential to do another franchise that will help them expand their resume.

Will we ever see a game this successful from Mojang?
Will we ever see a game this successful from Mojang?

So far the TOP! What other studio do you think was lucky with a game and never did anything from there? Leave us your answer in the comments.



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Companies that only live a single game | LevelUp


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