Prey (2017) News – Best Games Publishers of 2017 According to Metacritic Announced

Trying to determining the quality of games through crunching empirical data is a notoriously flawed process, but for sites like Metacritic, it’s there bread and butter. I mean, how else are we to determine that GTA IV is actually a better game than GTA V other than a congealed mass of review scores? Anyway, it’s that time of year where Metacritic churns through the data for the year prior, revealing its list of the best video game publishers for 2017.

Naturally, the entire list is algorithmic. There are four factors taken into account: Average Metascore, % of games scoring higher than 74, % of games scoring lower than 50, and the number of ‘Great’ games scoring higher than 89. Simple.

Major Games Publishers of 2017 Ranked

  1. Bethesda
  2. Nintendo
  3. Sega
  4. Activision Blizzard
  5. Capcom
  6. Ubisoft
  7. Sony
  8. Square Enix
  9. Bandai Namco
  10. Koei Tecmo
  11. NIS America
  12. Telltale Games

I’ll admit to expressing surprise at seeing Bethesda at the top of this list, but on reflection, I can see how Maryland-based publisher has a solid year. Prey, The Evil Within 2, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Skyrim VR, and Fallout 4 VR all reviewed well, and it’s a rare thing these days for Bethesda game to be disappointing. Only DOOM VFR can truly live up to that claim last year.

Less surprising, perhaps, is Nintendo. Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey were the two highest reviewed games of 2017, so it makes sense to see them this high up. There’s still a long way to go until the Switch has a deep catalogue of games, but for console launch years you’d struggle to point at better than a lineup which also included Arms, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fire Emblem Warriors, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

A quick mention too for Sega. Over the last 15 years the failed console manufacturer has risen from the ashes in some style, and now it’s now an absolute cornerstone of PC gaming with Total War: Warhammer 2 and Endless Space 2, among others.

A notable absentee from this list is Microsoft, which had an abysmal year for exclusives on the Xbox One. Their entire output could be whittled down to Halo Wars 2, Forza Motorsport 7 and Super Lucky’s Tale, which is a remarkably poor effort from a huge AAA publisher trying to shift consoles. Microsoft wasn’t in last year’s top 10 either, so it’s becoming a longer-term problem. Their fortunes look to change this year with Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2 and Forza Horizon 4, among others.

The award for biggest fall from grace has to go to Electronic Arts though. The oft-despised publisher has managed to fall from its number one spot in some style. EA now slides into 5th place in the second list, for ‘Mid-Size Publishers’, dictated by publishers releasing less than 12 games throughout the year. EA’s output is anemic these days, particularly when Games as a Service becomes the greater priority.

Here’s the full list of mid-size publisher rankings for point of reference:

  1. Nicalis
  2. Paradox Interactive
  3. Devolver Digital
  4. Warner Bros Interactive
  5. Electronic Arts
  6. Daedalic Entertainment
  7. Plug In Digital
  8. Hamster
  9. Take-Two Interactive
  10. Adult Swim
  11. XSEED Games
  12. Microsoft Game Studios
  13. Headup Games
  14. Aksys Games
  15. THQ Nordic
  16. 10tons
  17. Focus Home Interactive
  18. Digerati
  19. Rising Star Games
  20. Badland Games
  21. Artifex Mundi
  22. Iceberg Interactive
  23. Microids
  24. Ratalaika Games
  25. Arc System Works
  26. Maximum Games

Again, Microsoft not even making it into this list is just obscene. The Seattle giant was the third-best mid-sized game publisher in 2016, and it’s dropped out of the top 20 entirely in 2017. Metacritic’s rules stipulate a publisher needs to have published at least six games in the calendar year, which is probably why Microsoft doesn’t make the cut. It’s really, really not good enough for a platform holder though.

The likes of Paradox and Devolver Digital reliably impress though, and these fairly PC-centric publishers are now pumping out better quality games than multi-billion dollar giants like EA.

What do you think of the lists? Which publishers had the best and worst years in your opinion?

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