Bethesda Beats Nintendo as Metacritic’s Top Rated Publisher of 2017

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Feb 26, 2018
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Metacritic, the renown aggregate website which also includes our own game reviews, has published today their yearly game publisher rankings report.

It turns out that Bethesda came out on top when it comes to the average score of 2017 releases among major publishers. Its average Metascore was 79.9 across 23 total releases, of which twelve were distinct products. This comes as no surprise given that Bethesda fired on all cylinders last year, publishing titles from all its major internal studios save for Bethesda Game Studios.

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Prey, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus were all critically acclaimed. However, unfortunately for Bethesda, they didn’t fare as well commercially.

Nintendo came in second with an average Metascore of 78 across 32 total products. Elsewhere in the chart, Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft both improved their rankings over last year’s report while Sony and Square Enix did the exact opposite. Telltale Games was ranked last in this particular chart, which again won’t surprise those who have noticed the quality of their output drop recently – they were also the only major publisher without a single game breaking the 80 Metascore threshold. Hopefully, Telltale can make a comeback this year after they’ve restructured the company to focus on fewer, yet better releases.

Metascore Good Games Bad Games Great Games
Publisher Avg. Pts. % Pts. % Pts. # Pts. Total Pts.
1 Bethesda Softworks 79.9 119.9 91% 91.3 0% 100.0 0 0.0 311.2
2 Nintendo 78.0 116.9 72% 71.9 0% 100.0 3 15.0 303.8
3 Sega 75.5 113.3 71% 70.8 0% 100.0 1 5.0 289.1
4 Activision Blizzard 75.7 113.6 70% 70.0 0% 100.0 0 0.0 283.6
5 Capcom 76.6 114.9 61% 61.3 0% 100.0 1 5.0 281.2
6 Ubisoft 75.4 113.1 67% 66.7 0% 100.0 0 0.0 279.8
7 Sony 74.9 112.4 52% 52.0 0% 100.0 0 0.0 264.4
8 Square Enix 73.6 110.4 49% 48.9 0% 100.0 0 0.0 259.3
9 Bandai Namco 73.0 109.5 51% 51.4 6% 94.3 0 0.0 255.2
10 Koei Tecmo Games 69.7 104.6 20% 20.0 0% 100.0 0 0.0 224.6
11 NIS America 68.2 102.2 35% 34.8 13% 87.0 0 0.0 224.0
12 Telltale Games 70.9 106.4 12% 11.8 0% 100.0 0 0.0 218.2

If you’re wondering where EA is, it didn’t qualify as a major publisher this year according to Metacritic’s criteria due to a thinner release slate. More importantly, their average Metascore literally crashed from 2016’s 79 to 2017’s 48 due to disappointments such as Star Wars Battlefront II and Need for Speed Payback. Among mid-sized publishers, Nicalis classified first with Paradox Interactive (the publisher with the highest average Metascore registered last year at 80.6) a close second.

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