Despite coming out on top in 2021, Microsoft had hardly any games that could be considered for the Metacritic publisher ranking for the year 2022.
Microsoft was nowhere to be found in Metacritic's publisher rankings for the year 2022. It had been ranked #1 only a year ago in the Metacritic publisher rankings for the year 2021.
Microsoft was unable to achieve its goal due to the fact that it had released "an unusually small number of distinct scored titles," thus falling one title short of Metacritic's five-game tie-breaker.
Sony Interactive Entertainment remained the publisher that trailed Microsoft by one spot last year. While the latter took the #2 spot in 2021, it managed to hold the top spot in 2022, with a combined average Metascore of all its published titles in the year being 85.6.
According to Metacritic, Sony's "nothing-but-green-scores" 2022 slate consisted mostly of ports and sequels to pre-existing IP, but its output was consistently good, with the game-of-the-year contender God of War Ragnarok and a PC version of the previous God of War release.
Microsoft is planning to release a few key first-party games in 2023, so it might be a more fruitful year for the publisher. It's a potentially large list of games that could result in Microsoft reclaiming the top spot.