Metacritic has revealed that Sony had the best performance of any video game publisher last year, with a 100% record of ‘good games.’
You’d think being named the best publisher of 2022 would be cause for celebration but it’s probably the last thing Sony wanted at the moment, as it’s only going to strengthen Microsoft’s arguments that the PlayStation’s first party line-up is much better than theirs.
Microsoft argues that they need Activision Blizzard to compete with Sony but the truth is Xbox Game Studios was the top-rated publisher in 2021, although they’re not even in the rankings for 2022 as they didn’t release enough games – which also fits Microsoft’s narrative.
For the second year running Nintendo was not in the top 10, although the way these charts are calculated publishers do better if they release a small number of highly rated games rather than a larger amount with a few duds.
The rankings are calculated according to four criteria: average Metascore for all games, the percentage of good reviews, the percentage of bad reviews, and the number of ‘great’ games scoring over 90.
It’s the number of great games that has won it for Sony, with a 100% good rating and two 90+ titles: God Of War Ragnarök and the PC port of previous God Of War (which is precisely why we don’t count ports in our end of the year list). Sony’s lowest rated game was multiformat baseball title MLB The Show 22, with a Metascore of 77.
2022 Metacritic publisher rankings
- Paradox Interactive
- Activision Blizzard
- Focus Entertainment
- Take-Two Interactive
- Annapurna Interactive
- Humble Games
- Devolver Digital
The console port of Crusader Kings 3 helped primarily PC publisher Paradox Interactive nab the number two spot in the chart, while, interestingly enough, Activision Blizzard was at number three.
They had a 90% good record and 0% bad games, with their worst being the PC version of Diablo Immortal on 59. The publisher was otherwise very consistent though, even if its top-rated game, World Of Warcraft expansion Dragonflight, still only scored 82. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 scored between 76 and 79, depending on the format.
Nintendo was suck in 12th place, behind obscure French publisher Red Art Games, none of who’s games we’ve ever heard of. You can see the whole list here on the Metacritic website – it starts at number 44 and, embarrassingly, Ubisoft is right down at 38.
The problem for Nintendo in 2021 is that their best games – Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Bayonetta 3, and Splatoon 3 – fell just short of a 90 Metascore, while the likes of Pokémon Scarlet/Violet and Nintendo Switch Sports dragged them down to a good rating of just 63%.
It’s debatable how much sense these rankings really make – Sega managed to win in 2020, strangely – but if nothing else they do level the playing field, so that giant-sized publishers can compete with tiny indie companies you’ve never heard of.
Although the big question for next year is whether Activision Blizzard will be listed separately at all…
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