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Gaming NewsJan 29, 2019 at 4:08p PSTby Vergil

The best publishers of 2018 according to Metacritic

Capcom dethronizes Bethesa in Metactritic's best publisher ranking of 2018.

Metacritic prepared a ranking of publishers who delivered the best games in 2018. Unlike last year's list, this time we considered not only large companies (which published twelve or more titles), but also medium-sized publishers (whose portfolio ranged from five to eleven items).

Before we discuss both lists, it is worth noting that four factors were taken into account: the average score for games released in 2018, the percentage of good (Metascore at least 75) and bad titles (Metascore below 50), as well as the number of "great" projects (with Metascore above 89). Thanks to this, if there was no flop in a company's catalogue, despite haveing a lower average Metascore, it could still take a better place than the publisher whose games scored higher scores. It should also be noted that the rankings were created solely on the basis of reviewer scores, their content was not influenced by the sales results of particular titles, nor by user scores.

Monster Hunter: World put Capcom on top spot of this year’s rnaking. - 2019-01-30
Monster Hunter: World put Capcom on top spot of this year’s rnaking.

Best „big” companies of 2018 (at least 12 published titles)

Ranking spot

Company

Average Metascore (difference compared with last year)

Last year ranking spot

1.

Capcom

79,3 (+2,8)

5

2.

SEGA

78,5 (+3)

3

3.

Electronic Arts

77,5 (+4,3)

n/a

4.

Nintendo

76,4 (-1,6)

2

5.

Ubisoft

73,7 (-1,8)

6

6.

Sony

71,8 (-3,1)

7

7.

Square Enix

71 (-2,6)

8

8.

Bandai Namco Entertainment

71,8 (-1,2)

9

9.

Digerati Distribution

69,9 (+4,7)

n/a

10.

NIS America

69,5 (+1,3)

11

11.

Plug In Digital

69,4 (-5,9)

n/a

12.

Focus Home Interactive

69,8 (-0,5)

n/a

13.

THQ Nordic

64,4 (-3,8)

n/a

The leader in the ranking is Capcom, whose best production last year, Monster Hunter: World, boasts an average score of 90% (XONE version). Second place is taken by SEGA, whose most highly regarded title was Sonic Mania Plus (with an average score of 91%; Nintendo Switch version); the publisher also delivered the warmly-received Two Point Hospital, drawing on a handful of Theme Hospital's iconic heritage, but representing a new IP. The third place on the podium is taken by Electronic Arts, thanks to the highly rated FIFA 19 (Metascore of 83 points for the PS4 version) and the new IP in the form of A Way Out (average score - 79% for the PS4 version).

It is worth noting that the game with the highest Metascore went on Sony Interactive Entertainment’s account, whose God of War scored 94% (Red Dead Redemption II is not taken into account, as Take-Two Interactive released too few games in 2018 to be included in this ranking). Bandai Namco Entertainment, whose Tennis (on Nintendo Switch) scored 28%, has the lowest rating among the included thirteen companies; which is one point worse than The Quiet Man from Square Enix (29% for the PS4 version).

Althogh the changes impremented in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 weren’t liked by everyone, eventually the game ended up with good scores. - 2019-01-30
Althogh the changes impremented in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 weren’t liked by everyone, eventually the game ended up with good scores.

Best „medium” companies (from 5 to 11 titles published)

Ranking spot

Company

Average Metascore (difference compared with last year)

1.

Activision Blizzard

77,4 (+1,7)

2.

Paradox Interactive

75,2 (-5,4)

3.

505 Games

74,1 (+4,8)

4.

Take Two Interactive

77 (+4,2)

5.

Aksys Games

72,7 (+1,8)

6.

Bethesda Softworks

71,4 (-8,6)

7.

Microsoft

76,6 (+4,7)

8.

Devolver Digital

75,2 (-1,3)

9.

Team17

73,8 (-0,5)

10.

Arc System Works

69,2 (+15,9)

11.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

73,3 (-0,4)

12.

Zen Studios

71,4 (-7,6)

13.

Curve Digital

72,4 (+3,8)

14.

Koei Tecmo Games

69,9 (+0,2)

15.

Adult Swim

70,2 (-0,9)

16.

Konami

69,5 (-7,6)

17.

Microids

66,2 (+7)

18.

Milestone

68,3 (n/a)

19.

1C Entertainment

66,2 (n/a)

20.

Headup Games

66,4 (-1,9)

21.

tinyBuild

66 (+3,3)

22.

Good Sheperd Entertainment

65,4 (n/a)

23.

Flyhigh Works

68,6 (-2,6)

24.

Wales Interactive

62,8 (+2,6)

25.

QubicGames

60,5 (n/a)

26.

XSEED/Marvelous

60,1 (-12,9)

27.

Ratalaika Games

56,7 (+1,5)

As you can see, several companies which last year were counted among big publishers have found their place here. These include e.g. Activision Blizzard and Bethesda Softworks. It's impossible not to notice a clear decrease of performance of the latter of the two publishers (the winner of 2018 ranking!), whose games were rated almost 9% worse than last year's titles; the reason for this state of affairs should of course be sought in the post-apocalyptic Appalachians (yes, Fallout 76, we are looking at you). Noteworthy is the significant improvement in the condition of Arc System Works, which recorded an almost sixteen percent increase in ratings of its games and climbed fifteen spots in one go.

  1. Metacritic – game publisher rankings for 2018
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