SEGA and Annapurna, best publishers 2020: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft in Top 10 Metacritic

SEGA and Annapurna, best publishers 2020: Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft in Top 10 Metacritic

SEGA and Annapurna, best publishers 2020

It's time for rankings in Metacritic, with the well-known evaluation aggregator portal ready to judge the work of videogame publishers during 2020.

Taking into consideration the last 12 months, the platform has drawn up a ranking taking into consideration four different parameters:

Metascore for all games released in 2020; Percentage of titles with good reviews (i.e. with Metascore of at least 75/100); Percentage of titles with bad reviews (i.e. with Metascore equal to or less than 49/100); Number of excellent titles (i.e. with Metascore of at least 90/100, with at least 7 reviews); On the basis of these criteria, a long ranking has been drawn up, of which we report the top 15 positions:

SEGA (position 18 in 2019); Annapurna Interactive (position 6 in 2019); Capcom (position 5 in 2019); Sony; Activision Blizzard; Microsoft / Xbox Game Studios; Aksys Games; No More Robots; Nintendo; Devolver Digital; Square Enix; XSEED / Marvelous; 505 Games; Ubisoft; Focus Home Interactive; The gold medal is awarded to SEGA, with a Metascore of 81.6 / 100 for the games published in 2020 and the result driven by the success of Persona 5 Royal. The indie world climbs to the top with Annapurna Interactive's silver, which features a Metascore of 81.9 / 100 and 100% titles with positive reviews. Among the many productions published in the last 12 months by the publisher, we point out the adventure of Morris Lupton, which we talked about in our review of I Am Dead. Third step of the podium finally for Capcom, with a Metascore of 80.3 / 100.

Also present are Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, which are in the Top 10 of the best publishers of the year, with great successes such as The Last of Us Part 2, Demon's Souls, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Also present in the ranking also a bit of tricolor, with the Italian publisher 505 Games (Control; Death Stranding) conquering the thirteenth place.

Metacritic’s highest ranked video game publisher of 2020 is… Sega?!

To be honest, Atlus was the MVP here (pic: Sega)

The 11th annual Metacritic publisher rankings have revealed the most critically successful publishers of 2020 and it’s not who you think.

The combination of a global pandemic and the switchover between one generation and the next meant that 2020 never had a chance to become a classic year for video game releases.

2021 is even worse though because at least last year saw the launch of games that were almost finished before the pandemic started, whereas now more of a game’s development has had to be completed while working from home.

That means 2020 did have some important classics, as celebrated in our top 20 of the year and the reader’s top 20, as well as the new Metacritic rankings for publishers, which given the peculiarities of last year has thrown up some very surprising results.

The rankings are calculated according to critic reviews only (including our own) and use four factors to determine the rankings: the average Metascore for all games released in 2020, the percentage of scored games that get over 75%, the percentage of scored games with a score lower than 49%, and the number of games scoring over 90%.



The average Metascore is weighted to be the most important part of the calculation, with the others used to try and establish publishers that are the most consistent. The full list of 48 separate publishers is here but you can see the top 10 below.

Clearly, indie publishers did very well, with No More Robots owing its position to ports of existing games like Hypnospace Outlaw, while Annapurna has been excellent for a long time and the only publisher in the list where all the games got a green ‘good’ ranking from Metacritic – even if, again, a lot of them were just new ports of earlier titles.

10. Devolver Digital9. Nintendo8. No More Robots7. Aksys Games6. Xbox Game Studios5. Activision Blizzard4. Sony3. Capcom2. Annapurna Interactive1. Sega

The highest ranked console manufacturer was Sony, with Microsoft doing much better than usual primarily thanks to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Nintendo though did unusually poorly, all the way down at number nine. That’s primarily because they hardly released any games at all last year, although they still didn’t publish anything that got a ‘bad’ Metacritic rating.

Other than the number one spot, Capcom and Activision Blizzard were the only traditional AAA multiformat publishers to make the top 10, with Square Enix at number 11, Ubisoft at number 14, and Bethesda – who Microsoft recently bought for $7.5 billion – at number 16.

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The big shock though is Sega at number one, given many might struggle to remember them releasing any games at all. However, Sega also owns Atlus and it’s their games, and the proliferation of Yakuza, Bayonetta, and Two Point Hospital ports that gave the publisher a boost.



Sega earned an average Metascore of 81.6%, with two games rated ‘great’ (Persona 5 Royal and Yakuza 0 on Xbox), and 95% of all titles rated as ‘good’.

The lowest ranked publisher was Polish firm Ultimate Games, whose games include *checks notes* Robot Squad Simulator X and Wanking Simulator.

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