[We've got the full version of this countdown over on big sister site Gamasutra. Sure, these type of things are subjective to some degree, but we've done some hardcore number-crunching and weighting to see who we think the top folks in the game space are - fun.]

Game Developer magazine’s highly-anticipated annual Top 20 Publishers report has debuted for 2008 and is now available on Gamasutra, revealing that publisher Nintendo, which last year unseated the long-dominant Electronic Arts, has maintained its top position on the chart.

The countdown once again this year included a wide-ranging reputation survey alongside revenue, release count, average review, and anonymous partner feedback.

It saw the Kyoto-headquartered publisher's extremely strong stable of first-party game releases for Wii and DS, alongside chart-topping reputation scores, again leaving it atop the chart.

After Nintendo and EA, completing the top five are: Activision, keeping its #3 spot for the third year running; and Ubisoft, which maintained last year's impressive four-place surge.

Sony Computer Entertainment also jumped into the top five thanks to an increased slate of titles, improving on a review record already higher than most, and maintaining positive relationships with its surveyed partners.

Further down the chart, back on the list at #18 after a two-year absence is Codemasters, whose aggressive expansion and improving review scores helped the company secure its spot in the countdown, in the process displacing last year's newly-ranked import game publisher Atlus.

The 2008 rankings were calculated by considering number of releases by SKU, average review scores, and estimated publisher revenue from August 2007 to July 2008. It also included the results of a survey conducted to gather opinions on the major video game software publishers.

More than 300 industry professionals from all parts of the game production process were asked to give their opinions – including comments – on the reputations of each publisher in the survey.

In addition, scores and commentary were gathered from respondents who had direct experience with the publishers in the recent past, either as workers or partners, including milestone, marketing and pay feedback.

"We’re delighted to present the result of our yearly publisher countdown once again," said Simon Carless, director, Game Developer Research. "Nintendo’s second chart-topping appearance in a row underscores the extraordinary popularity of the firm’s first-party Wii and DS franchises – we congratulate them on their achievement."

The full Top 20 Publishers 2008 countdown is available both to subscribers in the October 2008 edition of Game Developer magazine and, for the first time this year, for free on industry-leading sister site Gamasutra.

In addition, a much larger, canonical Top 20 Publishers 2008 report featuring all statistics, ratings and complete survey feedback – including specific comments for each publisher - is available at the Game Developer Research website.