The Guildhall at SMU names its top 10 games for 2012

Cynder the dragon from 'Skylanders Giants'
The dragon Cynder, newly freed from her evil past, plays a key role in the all-ages video game ‘Skylanders: Giants.’ Alumni of The Guildhall at SMU helped create the game, which has made The Guildhall’s Top 10 of 2012 list.
The Master Chief in 'Halo 4'
‘Halo 4’ marks the return of one of video gaming’s most iconic characters: the Master Chief. Alumni of The Guildhall at SMU helped create the new title, which has made The Guildhall Top 10 of 2012 list.

The Guildhall at SMU has named 10 state-of-the-art titles – ranging from the epic adventures of a Disney icon to the American Revolution seen through an assassin’s eyes – to its 2012 Top 10 Video Games list. Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two and Assassin’s Creed 3 are two of the games chosen by Guildhall faculty, students and alumni in 4 different specialties for their outstanding art, level design, software development and production quality.

Guildhall alumni have worked on 6 of this year’s top 10 games: Borderlands 2Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, The Elder Scrolls 5: SkyrimEpic Mickey 2Halo 4 and Skylanders: Giants.

Battlefield 3 and Elder Scrolls 5 are the first games to make the list in two consecutive years. Released in late 2011, both had a critical and commercial impact that carried over well into 2012, says Doug Darby, Guildhall manager of creative and digital strategy.

Borderlands 2 - Axton at the wheel
Graphic novel-style art and a wicked sense of humor are hallmarks of ‘Borderlands 2,’ which features work by alumni of The Guildhall at SMU. The Guildhall named the title to its Top 10 Video Games of 2012 list.

The international accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts that the worldwide video game market will expand to $83 billion by 2016, growing at a 7.2 percent compound annual rate. Increased availability of broadband internet is expected to propel a 36 percent increase in online gaming by that year.

Following is the complete list, in rating order, of 2012’s top games as selected by The Guildhall at SMU. Descriptions include the developer/publisher, genre or genres, ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating and the game platform or platforms on which it runs.

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Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two •
Blitz Games Studios, Junction Point Studios / Disney Interactive
Cooperative gameplay, platform game
Mac OSX, PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

LEGO The Lord of the Rings
Traveller’s Tales / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Action-adventure, open world
Nintendo DS and 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii, Windows, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Skylanders: Giants •
Toys For Bob / Activision
Platform game
Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

Assassin’s Creed 3
Ubisoft Montréal / Ubisoft
Historical, action-adventure, open world, stealth
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Windows
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Battlefield 3
EA Digital Illusions CE / Electronic Arts
First-person shooter
iOS, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Borderlands 2 •
Gearbox Software / 2K Games
First-person shooter, action-adventure, role playing
Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 •
Treyarch / Activision
First-person shooter
PlayStation 3, Wii U, Windows, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim
Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks
Action-adventure, role playing, open world
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Halo 4
343 Industries / Microsoft Studios
First-person shooter
Xbox 360
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Firaxis / 2K Games
Turn-based tactics, strategy
PC, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

• Indicates a game featuring work by alumni of The Guildhall at SMU.