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505 Games, Activision, Nintendo 2019’s Best Publishers Says Metacritic, Sony Not in Top 20


Metacritic has gone over their 2019 data and published their list of best-reviewed publishers of 2019. This isn’t a simple case of just looking at each publisher’s average Metacritic score – there’s a whole new methodology this year, with Metacritic assigning each publisher a score based on the following criteria.

  • Average Metascore for all games released in 2019 for 150 possible points (awarded at 1.5 x the average Metascore)
  • Percentage of scored products with good reviews (Metascore of at least 75) for 100 possible points (ex: 80 percent good = 80 points)
  • Percentage of scored products with bad reviews (49 or lower; in this case, a lower % is better) for 100 possible points (ex: 20 percent bad = 80 points)
  • Number of "great" titles (Metascore of 90 or higher, min. 7 reviews) awarded as 5 bonus points for each distinct title with a 90+ score

So, by that criteria the top publisher of 2019 was…drumroll…505 Games! After trundling along as a run-of-the-mill mid-size publisher for years, 505 had a banner 2019, putting out games such as Control, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, and Indivisible. Meanwhile, the top 5 were rounded out by Activision Blizzard, Nintendo, Paradox Interactive, and 2018’s chart-topper, Capcom. As for publishers that underperformed, Take-Two was #12, EA #13, Ubisoft #14, Sony #22, and Bethesda is all the way down at #30.

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You can check out the full top 40 publishers of 2019 below (the numbers are each publisher’s Metacritic average and overall point score):

  1. 505 Games - 80 (306.7)
  2. Activision Blizzard - 79.9 (301.4)
  3. Nintendo - 80 (299.2)
  4. Paradox Interactive - 77.8 (296.8)
  5. Capcom - 79.1 (291.1)
  6. Annapurna Interactive - 80.5 (290.7)
  7. Xbox Game Studios - 76.4 (289.6)
  8. Humble Bundle - 76.2 (289.2)
  9. Square Enix - 76.1 (285)
  10. Devolver Digital - 76 (283)
  11. Focus Home Interactive - 74.7 (273.6)
  12. Take-Two Interactive - 74.9 (273.4)
  13. Electronic Arts - 75.2 (270.9)
  14. Ubisoft - 73.3 (265.9)
  15. Team17 - 74.7 (265.1)
  16. Spike Chunsoft - 75.3 (262.9)
  17. Koei Tecmo Games - 74.7 (262.1)
  18. Sega - 73.4 (253)
  19. Bandai Namco Games - 71.4 (246.5)
  20. Konami - 69.9 (244.8)
  21. Idea Factory - 68.7 (240.6)
  22. Sony - 71.5 (240.5)
  23. PQube - 68.2 (237.6)
  24. XSeed/Marvelous - 69.4 (234.9)
  25. TinyBuild - 67.8 (230.3)
  26. Iceberg Interactive - 70 (229.9)
  27. Koch Media - 69.9 (229.9)
  28. Digerati Distribution - 69.3 (229)
  29. THQ Nordic - 66.3 (225.4)
  30. Bethesda Softworks - 69.1 (225.1)
  31. NIS America - 69 (222.2)
  32. Daedalic Entertainment - 66.7 (222)
  33. QubicGames - 65.5 (218.2)
  34. Curve Digital - 66.2 (215.1)
  35. Plug In Digital - 66.1 (209.1)
  36. Ratalaika Games - 62.9 (203.5)
  37. Bigben Interactive - 64.7 (201.5)
  38. 1C Company - 62.1 (193.2)
  39. Headup Games - 61.3 (192)
  40. Merge Games - 61.8 (188)

What do you think? Any surprises on that list? I’ll admit, I didn’t expect to see Sony so far down the list, but they released a lot of low-profile PSVR stuff that dragged them down, and Days Gone didn’t help either. On the other hand, I’m glad to see 505 Games topping the list, as they really seem to be building themselves into a serious competitor.

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