Ranking of Game Publishers for 2017 Released By Metacritic

Metacritic, the rating aggregator for movies, tv, music and video games have released their annual ranking of game publishers for 2017. The release of these rankings marks the 8th time the Metacritic has released such a list. Before we dive in to look at the ranking of game publishers for 2017, let’s take a look at the sites ranking criteria.

As stated by Metacritic, the ranking was divided into two distinct categories: “biggest companies” – those that published 12 or more distinct titles (with Metascores) during 2017; “mid-size” – those that published 6-11 distinct titles (with Metascores) during 2017. Further ranking criteria includes

Average Metascore for all games released in 2017

% of scored products with good reviews (Metascore of at least 75)

% of scored products with bad reviews (49 or lower; in this case, a lower % is better)

Number of “great” titles (Metascore of 90 or higher, min. 7 reviews)

With this criteria in mind, let’s take a look at Metacritic’s ranking of game publishers for 2017.

Biggest Companies

  1. Bethesda Softworks – Previously Ranked N/A
  2. Nintendo – Previously Ranked 3rd
  3. Sega – Previously Ranked N/A
  4. Activision Blizzard – Previously Ranked 7th
  5. Capcom – Previously Ranked 6th
  6. Ubisoft – Previously Ranked 10th
  7. Sony – Previously Ranked 4th
  8. Square Enix – Previously Ranked 2nd
  9. Bandai Namco Entertainment – Previously Ranked 8th
  10. Koei Tecmo Games – Previously Ranked N/A
  11. NIS America – Previously Ranked N/A
  12. Telltale Games – Previously Ranked 9th

Mid-Size Companies

  1. Nicalis. Inc
  2. Paradox Interactive
  3. Devolver Digital
  4. Warner Bros. Interactive
  5. Electronic Arts
  6. Daedalic Entertainment
  7. Plug In Digital
  8. Hamster
  9. Take-Two Interactive
  10. Adult Swim

To read the full ranking of mid-size companies go here.


As you can see from both lists, there are plenty of surprises to be found in among the biggest and mid-size rankings. First and foremost you have to acknowledge the paradigm shift from creating games to providing games as a service (ie microtransactions). Both EA and Take-Two Interactive (two of the largest game publishers in the world.) are considered mid-size as they shipped only a few distinct titles in 2017. However, the titles they do publish generate tons of revenue for their respective companies due to microtransactions.

The second aspect that jumped out to me was Bethesda’s ranking. While I will admit that Bethesda had a good 2017, it never felt groundbreaking. Seeing it sit atop the list for releasing mainly sequels is a bit unsettling.  Given the year Nintendo had, it is pretty surprising to see Bethesda edge them out. With that being said, Prey was a really nice reboot that the studio published in 2017, so I’ll let it slide.

Besides these two points, I found the rest of the rankings to be pretty much in line with what you would expect from 2017. 2017 saw a number of good games from publishers not on most people’s radar. With 2018 shaping up to be a stacked year for most of the major publishers, I expect 2018s ranking to have a major shakeup.

Thoughts on Metacritic’s ranking of game publishers for 2017? Let me hear them in The Pit below.


Enricofairme is the pioneering founder and chief author of holdtoreset.com, a premier platform for discussing and analyzing video games. His illustrious career spans six years, during which he has consistently produced high-quality content in the video gaming niche.

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