Metacritic has published its 2021 Publisher Rankings, featuring a surprise on top of the chart, SEGA, which was propelled by Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza 0. Indie publisher Annapurna Interactive actually had a higher average Metascore, but it lacked SEGA's two great games mentioned above.
On the other hand, big companies like Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive didn't even make it into the Top 20; Bethesda Softworks ranked 16th, Ubisoft 14th, Square Enix 11th, while Nintendo narrowly made the Top 10 at the 9th place. Microsoft arrived 6th thanks to Flight Simulator and Ori and the Will of the Wisps, while Activision Blizzard secured 5th place through the releases of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 and Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.
Sony had a great year with The Last of Us Part II, Ghost of Tsushima, Demon's Souls and Dreams, though it also published the disappointing Predator: The Hunting Grounds, ending up in the fourth spot. Lastly, the podium is completed by CAPCOM which had another great year (Resident Evil 3 Remake, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition, Monster Hunter World: Iceborne).
In order to be listed in these Publisher Rankings, a company had to release a minimum of five distinct titles throughout 2020. The following four factors have contributed to the chart, with the first one counting slightly more than the others.
(1) Average Metascore for all games released in 2020
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
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SEGA has managed to top Metacritic's 2021 Publisher Rankings, thanks to the performances of Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza 0.
We reveal the past year's best and worst videogame publishers (based on their 2020 releases) in our 11th Annual Game Publisher Rankings.
#1 - SEGA
Previous year's rank: 18
Average Metascore for 2020 releases: 81.6
38 scored products (28 distinct titles): 95% good, 0% bad
"Great" games: Persona 5 Royal (PS4), Yakuza 0 (XB1)
Total points: 327.2
Now in its seventh decade, the Japanese gaming company had quite a good 2020, shooting up 17 places in our annual rankings to take the crown as our #1 publisher of the year. Sega's average Metascore (including games published under the label of its Atlus subsidiary) was actually a fraction of a point below that of our #2 publisher, Annapurna, but Sega was boosted into the top slot by virtue of having two stellar 2020 games—though both (including Metacritic's 2020 Game of the Year, Persona 5 Royal) were ports of previously existing titles to new platforms.
In fact, Persona and Yakuza ports accounted for Sega's five highest-scoring products in 2020—while numerous console ports of Two Point Hospital and Bayonetta also helped bolster Sega's average score. The publisher's best completely new game last year was the strategy-adventure mashup 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. (Some of these games were released prior to 2020 in Japan, but we use North American release dates for our calculations.)
Original thread idea by K Kenshin775