The company released ten games last year, and all of them were winners.
Microsoft aims to become the world’s leading video game company, and so far its efforts are paying off. So much so that Metacritic, in its annual publisher rankings, awarded the Redmond giant a gold medal for its track record as a publisher.
Microsoft’s first place as a video game publisher
Metacritic acts as an aggregate of critics’ ratings to give an overall average, called its “Metascore”. This score gives gamers an at-a-glance insight into how well a game performed in the eyes of critics and gamers. As such, the fact that it crowned Microsoft as the King of Publishers in the 2022 Game Publisher Rankings is nothing to scoff at.
Metacritic calculated this by taking the Metascore of all games released by Microsoft over the past year and averaging them for a final score. Usually a publisher doesn’t get an average above 85 out of 100, but Microsoft crushed it with an impressive average score of 87.4.
Microsoft achieved this by setting another standard with its track record. While publishers may have one or two poorly received games, all ten games Microsoft released in the last year were good. And three of them went on to score over 90:
…the latest racing game Forza Horizon, a sequel to Psychonauts, and the Xbox Series X version of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Microsoft’s success puts it far ahead of its old rival, Sony, which ranked number two with an average Metascore of 81.3.
Microsoft seduces gamers
Microsoft has made a huge effort to earn the respect of gamers. Its Xbox Game Pass plan is advertised as the “Netflix of video games,” to the point where it’s a minor miracle to find a PC gamer who isn’t a subscriber.
Of course, a subscription service is only as good as the content it packs, and Microsoft can’t afford to shovel out hundreds of substandard games to fill its library. As such, it looks like they’re making strategic choices about what game they release so they can then add high-ranking gems into their Xbox Game Pass plan.
A big win for Microsoft
The Redmond giant had a good year for games, to the point of winning Metacritic’s Best Publisher trophy. But will he be able to continue his momentum? We will have to wait until next year to find out.
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