Releasing and publishing video games has been a very lucrative and successful business model used by many companies for years now. But with the competition getting stiffer all the time, delivering quality games that are loved by most players and critics has become rather challenging. That's where some publishers simply struggle. And in this sense, in this article, we've rounded up the game publishers with the worst rankings on Metacritic!
We based our list on each game publisher's respective Metascore. This data comes from Metacritic who takes the views of respected gaming critics (both online and in print) and combines them to a single 'Metascore' number.
Note that the list below includes only publishers who released at least 4 distinctive titles for the observed period (2019), as per Metacritic's criteria. Also, iOS titles haven't been taken into account when calculating the respective Metascores.
1. Headup Games
Average Metascore - 61.3
Points - 192.0
Distinct titles - 8
Headup Games take the not-so-prestigious first spot here as the publisher with the absolute worst Metacritic ranking for 2020.
But this privately-held company hailing from Germany actually has a history dating back to 2009 with Bridge Constructor perhaps being their most recognizable and successful titles to date.
And while the vast majority of their games that their score is based on received far from great ratings, they still managed to land one game within the green zone with 9 positive critic reviews.
2. Merge Games
Average Metascore - 61.8
Points - 188.0
Distinct titles - 12
At a close second in these negative rankings, we find Merge Games with only 0.5 better Metascore than Headup games!
The company owned by an Australian couple produces titles for consoles such as Nintendo and Sony.
However, 3 of their 12 distinct titles have red scores with Crimson Keep leading the negative trend with 4/4 negative critic reviews.
3. 1C Company
Average Metascore - 62.1
Points - 193.2
Distinct titles - 7
1C Company is one of the oldest entries on this list with a founding date of 1991.
The company is based in Moscow (Russia) and apart from developing and publishing video games, they also sell software and other related services.
Although not all of their 7 distinct titles received negative reviews, it was games like Eternity: The Last Unicorn that really brought their score down with 6 negative reviews.
4. Ratalaika Games
Average Metascore - 62.9
Points - 203.5
Distinct titles - 9
Ratalaika Games focuses heavily on console titles for a variety of consoles such as Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.
Their specialty seems to be 2D games and even their official website comes with a pixelated layout that gives it a neat old-school feel.
And while the company does have one of the worst Metascores, it still managed to deliver games that enjoy positive reviews, such as Sagebrush.
Average Metascore - 64.7
Points - 201.5
Distinct titles - 10
Nacon (or formerly Bigben Interactive) is the oldest company among all 5 listed here since the French video game publisher and distributor was born in 1981.
The brand typically releases sports games based on various sports such as rugby and even fishing.
And while most of their distinct games received so-so scores, their PS4 WRC simulator WRC 8 FIA World Rally Championship enjoyed quite a bit of positive reviews.
There's no doubt that all of the game publishers mentioned above will do their best to receive a better Metascore when the next yearly report comes out.
Even if they have below-average scores, some of their titles still carry decent amounts of positive reviews, meaning that it's not all doom and gloom for these companies.
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