Metacritic Aggregate’s Top Major Publisher Of 2014 Is…


Right off the bat, I would like to get across the notion that Metacritic’s rankings of game publishers takes into account the quality of a company’s entire output for a year based off of critical review aggregates, not what Metacritic editors and writers think. Major publishers require 14 or more unique titles to qualify, while mid-sized publishers require 6-13 releases in a year. In that way specifically, Nintendo has come out on top as the top major video games publisher 0f 2014, according to the Metacritic aggregate.

Each company listed in Metacritic’s assessment is assigned points on a number of factors. First, the average of all their 2014 releases is given a 1.5x multiplier (Nintendo’s 76.5 average comes out to 114.8 points). Then, 1 point is added for each percentage of their total 2014 output is considered a “good game” (75 Metacritic or higher). Afterwards, 1x the percentage of bad games (49 Metacritic or lower) a company had in 2014 is subtracted from 100 and added to the total points count. Finally, a company is awarded 5 bonus points for each “great game” that ranked at 90 Metacritic or above.

Below is the results, from Metacritic’s website.

That doesn’t mean that Nintendo was the overall highest-rated game publisher of 2014, however. Telltale Games takes that honor this year, with both the highest average Metacritic score (79.7) and the highest point total (307.5). However, with a much smaller output as major publishers, and with all of their content being independently developed and with the backing of fans from iconic comic series (The Walking Dead, Fables), video games (Borderlands) and TV shows (HBO’s Game of Thrones), it’s a lot easier for Telltale to apply their gameplay style over several titles and maintain a high level of critical quality.

More from Microsoft

No, what’s more shocking is the classification of certain publishers as “mid-sized” on Metacritic. Again, it’s entirely on the total number of games released, but Capcom, Take-Two Interactive, Konami and Warner Bros. being on the same page as Aksys Games, Atlus, NIS America and Focus Home Interactive is quite startling. It just goes to show that the games industry might be growing in a way that comes at the expense of a larger games output from AAA publishers.

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