If you were in a coma for all of 2017 or if you were just born (which, in that case, good on you for being able to read this already), let’s catch you up: Nintendo had a killer year. It launched the Switch and published The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Pokkén Tournament DX. Not a bad year for a major publisher.
But even that wasn’t enough to earn Nintendo the top spot on Metacritic’s list of major publisher rankings. That honor goes to Bethesda Softworks.
The score is based on the publisher’s average Metascore for all its releases in 2017. Bethesda Softworks games had an overall average Metascore of 79.9 while Nintendo came in second with 78. Most interestingly, Bethesda had an overwhelmingly successful year with 91 percent of its games rated as “Good,” meaning 91 percent of its releases had an average Metascore of 75 or higher. Comparatively, Nintendo’s “Good Games” percentage was much lower at 72 percent.
To be fair, Bethesda did have a great year, at least critically. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and The Evil Within 2 were both excellent sequels, and don’t even get me started on Prey. It’s nice to see Bethesda get some recognition for sticking to its guns and putting out some of the best single-player games of the year.
Funny enough, 2016’s Metacritic champ, EA, wasn’t even on the list of major publishers. You see, Metacritic considers a publisher “major” when it releases 12 or more titles “distinct titles,” according to the rankings reveal. EA, therefore, was relegated to its mid-tier list for publishers that released five to 11 titles. Even there, EA didn’t fare well, coming in behind Nicalis, Inc., Paradox Interactive, Devolver Digital, and Warner Bros. Interactive thanks to critical misfires like Star Wars Battlefront II and Need for Speed Payback. Oh, and don’t forget Mass Effect: Andromeda.
It will be interesting to see if EA can claw its way back to the top of the major publisher list in 2018 with an upcoming Battlefield title and its normal slate of sports releases, as well as smaller titles like A Way Out. Unfortunately, Anthem won’t take part in this comeback, as it was recently delayed to 2019.
You can check out the rest of Metacritic’s 2017 publisher rankings to see how your favorite publisher rated in more detail, but here are the top twelve major publishers for 2017:
- Bethesda Softworks
- Activision Blizzard
- Square Enix
- Bandai Namco
- Koei Tecmo Games
- NIS America
- Telltale Games
Source: VG 24/7