The Video Game industry has an interesting relationship between the public, publisher, and the public relation department facilitating the two. Metacritic ranked the top 8 publishers here, and the rundown of top publishers and firms representing them follows.
Recently, Nintendo had shifts in their PR, at least in the U.K. In April, the U.K. branch appointed PrettyGreen to replace 77PR. Their PR company in the United States is AdAge representing Nintendo since 2013.
Ubisoft was one of three publishers managing to avoid releasing a negatively reviewed game and maintains their #2 spot on the list. This year, however, the publisher narrowly missed some negative PR as a result of a rogue PR company making outlandish claims. The PR firm handling Ubisoft is Cohn & Wolfe representing them since 2009.
#3 Electronic Arts
EA had another good year critically but suffers from lack of product. In 2014, they only released 9 games, significantly less than the competition. EA’s PR is handled by WPP and Wieden+Kennedy keeping EA in good standing despite some negative campaigns against the company.
Sony’s average critical score rose in 2014 by .2 percent, but the rollout of their new product Vita shows a low critical rating, with the twenty handheld games averaging only 69.9 on metacritic. Their PR is handled by BBDO New York and 180 who are nicknamed “Team Sony.”
#5 Square Enix
Despite their average critical score declining by 9 points, Square Enix more than doubled their product output in 2014, and for the first time they made it onto the list. Part of the reason for their placement is stellar efforts by their PR media agency of record Bender/Helper representing the company since 2012.
In 2014 though, the company dropped its gaming quality by 3 points averaging 68.9 and didn’t have a game scoring a 90% rating or more. Microsoft’s PR is handled by Interpublic Group (IPG) and Dentsu who are responsible for more than $100 million worth of account revenue.
#7 Bandai Namco Games
2014 was the most successful year for Bandai Namco. The company moved up two places in rank with their games seeing an average increase of 6.3% over 2013, the most by any publisher on the list. Bandai Namco’s PR is handled by Petrol since 2013. Watch for this gaming publisher’s continued rise.
#8 Activision Blizzard
At the bottom of the list, Activision Blizzard, crippled by a dearth of critically panned games, with over one-third of their games scoring below 50%. Most due to Activision, as the games released through Blizzard average 85%. Mediaedge represents the company’s PR efforts since 2009.
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