PlayStation LifeStyle

Best Publisher of 2017 – Winner

The end of the year has rolled around, which means it’s time to sum up 2017 with the Game of the Year Awards. PlayStation LifeStyle is doing our year-end awards slightly different from previous years. We wanted to put more importance on the nomination for each award, so we limited each category to five games. That’s not many, especially in a year stacked with great titles. It took a lot of careful deliberation to come up with each list.

For Publisher of the Year, we wanted to look at the quality and reception of their releases for the year, as well as the kinds of things they have done. This was a tough one, because every publisher has delivered something a little bit different throughout the year. Bethesda had an incredible year on all fronts, delivering VR titles, single-player games, and supporting their MMO. Ninja Theory proved the improbable by self publishing Hellblade.

Last week, we announced PlayStation LifeStyle’s nominees for the Best Publisher of 2017. Here’s a reminder of what got nominated:

Even if you don't include Blizzard, Activision still did some impressive things this year. Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 were the top selling games of the year. Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy did some amazingly impressive numbers. And then if you do decide to include Blizzard? They've got a slate of titles and support that fans clearly love.

Bethesda went all in on VR this year, to impressive results. They also had strong support for huge single-player releases, and continued to support their MMO, Elder Scrolls Online. That's a little something for everyone right there.

Devolver's "devil may care" attitude is one that shines like a beacon in a time when many publishers are under scrutiny from gamers. Their games may not all be your cup of tea, but Devolver is like the fun drunk uncle at uptight family Christmas party. Shit will probably get broken, and he'll be throwing passive aggressive remarks about your dad charging money for randomized loot boxes.

Ninja Theory proved something powerful this year about self publishing a risky project. Hellblade was very well received, both commercially and critically, and Ninja Theory should be lauded for stepping away from publishers to make something they truly wanted to make. 

You really think we'd leave these guys out? SIE has their hands on many of our favorite properties, and helps make PlayStation what it is. They've done an excellent job of elevating the PS4 to great heights, and have announced some great stuff coming next year too. 

Best Publisher of 2017

Bethesda

Bethesda had an incredible year that covered so many areas of gaming. They dove headfirst into virtual reality, and launched two of the best PlayStation VR games this year with Skyrim VR (our PSVR GOTY) and Doom VFR. They continued the massive success of their MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online. And finally they doubled down on making great single-player experiences. Wolfenstein II won our shooter of the year award, and The Evil Within 2 received a nomination for horror game of the year. Prey was also a title that flew under the radar more than it should. That’s all just with PlayStation considered. They did even more outside of the console space.

Publisher of the year is all about the quality of the games released, but Bethesda managed both quality and quantity this year as they made a little something for everyone, and avoided getting into the mud of anti-consumer controversies the way other developers have. The biggest “controversy” they landed this year was their anti-Nazi rhetoric surrounding Wolfenstein II, but let’s be honest, that’s less of a controversy and more of a platform to support.

The rest of our Game of the Year 2017 award winners will be announced during this week, leading up to the reveal of PlayStation LifeStyle’s Game of the Year 2017 on December 29. This year will go down as one of the greatest in gaming, so we’re very excited to unveil all of our picks!

Of course, we’d also love to hear what you think. Did your Publisher of 2017 match our pick, or would you have liked to see one of the other nominees take the award? Stay tuned to find out the rest of the winners this week!

Don’t miss the rest of the announced year-end award nominees and winners.