Metacritic have announced the top 10 list of publishers in 2020; with Sega coming out on top as the best publisher.
The Metacritic 2021 Game Publisher Rankings [1, 2] are judged for publishers who released at least five distinct titles (barring iOS titles, and those not released in the US), with points calculated on four criteria.
- The average Metascore (that is, strictly critic reviews out of 100) for that company’s games released in 2020 is multiplied by 1.5,
- The percentage of games released with a Metascore of at least 75 of higher- “Good Games,”
- The percentage of games released with a Metascore of 49 or less- “Bad Games” (however, the inverse is taken, so 20% would equal 80 added),
- The number of titles with a Metascore of 90 or higher – “Great Games” (adding 5 points per distinct title).
The top 10 breaks down like this:
- Sega (Average Metascore 81.6, 95% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 2 Great Games) – 327.2
- Annapurna Interactive (Average Metascore 81.9, 100% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) – 322.9
- Capcom (Average Metascore 80.3, 93% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) -313.8
- Sony (Average Metascore 79.8, 79% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 2 Great Games) – 308.6
- Activision Blizzard (Average Metascore 79.9, 87% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) -306.6
- Microsoft (Average Metascore 78.6, 65% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 2 Great Games) – 293.3
- Aksys Games (Average Metascore 76.7, 75% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) – 290.0
- No More Robots (Average Metascore 77.2, 71% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) – 287.2
- Nintendo (Average Metascore 75.4, 67% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 1 Great Games) – 284.7
- Devolver Digital (Average Metascore 74.6, 59% Good Games, 0% Bad Games, 0 Great Games) – 271.0
Among the interesting information, Devolver Digital have dipped into the yellow range for the first time in four years. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons was also the first tile to hit a 90 Metascore for them since 2019 when none did (though the company average score fell five points).
The others in the Big Three also released titles with a Metascore of 90; Microsoft released two with Microsoft Flight Simulator and Ori and the Blind Forest. Sony had Demon’ Souls and the critic-praised The Last of Us Part II. Microsoft were addled by the releases of Battletoads and Bleeding Edge, while Sony increased its percentage of games with positive reviews from 33% to 79%.
Capcom (Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, Monster Hunter: Iceborne) is one of the illustrious top three with over an 80 average Metascore; something no publisher achieved in 2019. Annapurna Interactive (Florence, Kentucky Route Zero) had all 15 of their releases having overall positive reviews; and the only publisher to have their year’s catalog Metascored 75 or higher.
Sega took the top spot; with a meteoric rise of 17 places. The two “great” titles for them and subsidiary Atlus were Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza 0. In fact, ports and improved versions of older titles helped bolster their score; including Two Point Hospital and Bayonetta. Their best new title was 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.
As aforementioned, the above is all based on critic review scores. What was your best publisher of 2020? Sound off in the comments below!