The Best Brands in Video Games

BrandZ is out with its list of the world's most valuable brands. Most of the big names are tech titans or consumer-products standouts. What of the geekier businesses we love and follow? What are the best brands in, say, video games?

Guest host Alison Southwick puts these questions to analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up pn Wall Street, The Motley Fool's Web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Tim says Valve and Steam top the list for finding ways to bring titles old and new to anyone with a desktop computer. In fact, the company's SteamOS can turn virtually any PC into a console alternative. Even better, a new plan allows for in-home gaming networks whereby a PC can stream Windows-only games to Macs, tablets, or any other number of devices connected locally while logged into the Steam software platform.

If there's a problem with Tim's thesis, it's that Steam remains a private company. Investors looking for a publicly traded brand to invest in might consider NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA  ) for the work the company is doing to bring console-quality games to mobile devices. Specifically, its Tegra K1 chipset includes the same graphics cores used in PCs and supports the same graphics architecture and standards.

Nathan prefers Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI  ) because of the brands it holds. Call of Duty remains one of the top first-person shooter franchises of all time, while the Blizzard team still has World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft. A newer game action-adventure role playing game called Destiny is also on tap for the fall while Skylanders continues to draw in millions of kids and adults. Add it up, and it's hardly surprising that Activision handily beat analyst estimates in reporting first-quarter earnings earlier this month.

Despite gains by Disney Infinity, Activision's toy-based Skylanders franchise remains one of the company's most popular. Credit: Activision Blizzard.

Now it's your turn to weigh in using the comments box below. What are your picks for the best brands in video games? Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then be sure to follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

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