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Sony beats out Nintendo in Metacritic’s latest annual game publisher rankings

Sony takes “Metacritic’s #1 publisher of the year” award

2022 was a really strange year for gaming. We had quite a few big releases, but some of them were only released in 2022 because they were delayed (in several cases, repeatedly). Some projects were even delayed out of 2022. That’s what makes this newest annual ranking list from Metacritic so interesting.

Going solely off of critical rankings (with a formula detailed below), Metacritic managed to muster up a full “top 45” list based on 2022 releases: and Sony took the top spot. They’re followed by Paradox Interactive (who released a string of critically-well-received-and-sometimes-niche-games), and surprisingly, Activision Blizzard: who is currently riding high off of the mostly positive reception for the Diablo IV beta.

Mixed into the top 10 are Focus Entertainment, Take-Two (2K), Capcom, Sega (who also owns Atlus), Annapurna, Humble Games, and Devolver Digital. If you’re wondering where the other “big two publishers” are, Nintendo clocks in at the 12th spot, and Microsoft proper isn’t on the list at all (because they didn’t meet the minimum requirements of releasing five games last year).

If you’re looking for a bit of math-based fun, you can check out more info here. See if you can spot your favorite publisher!

Metacritic’s top 10 2023 game publisher rankings:

  • 1 – Sony
  • 2 – Paradox Interactive
  • 3 – Activision Blizzard
  • 4 – Focus Entertainment [Arcade Crew, Blackmill, Deck13, DotEmu]
  • 5 – Take-Two [2K, Private Division, Rockstar]
  • 6 – Capcom
  • 7 – Sega [Atlus]
  • 8 – Annapurna Interactive
  • 9 – Humble Games
  • 10 – Devolver Digital

You can find the full list of rankings here.

If you’re curious, here is how Metacritic came up with said ranking system:

“Which game publishers released the best games in 2022? For the 13th consecutive year, we sifted through 12 months of data to determine the best and worst game publishers of the year, based solely on the quality of their 2022 releases. Sales and user reviews do not factor into these rankings; only critic reviews (as captured by each game’s Metascore) are used to evaluate performance. Publishers are ranked from worst to best in the gallery above based on a points system, calculated (as in previous years) according to the following four factors:

  • (1) Average Metascore for all games released in 2022 150 possible points (awarded at 1.5 x the average Metascore)
  • (2) % of scored products with good reviews (Metascore of at least 75) 100 possible points (ex: 80% good = 80 points)
  • (3) % of scored products with bad reviews (49 or lower; in this case, a lower % is better) 100 possible points (ex: 20% bad = 80 points)
  • (4) 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

Note that the Metascore average (the first factor) counts slightly more than the other factors. Only publishers with five or more distinct titles released last year are included in our rankings. Rather unusually, a major game publisher (it rhymes with “Microsoft”) that ranked #1 a year ago failed to reach that cutoff this time, leaving them unable to defend their title. Finally, note that iOS games are excluded from all calculations. All scores in this report are from March 9, 2023, and U.S. release dates and publishers are used for all games except those never released in the U.S.”

Full details can be found here.

Chris Carter

EIC, Reviews Director – Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he’s staff!

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