The Creeping Corruption of Metacritic and the Games Industry

Posted by | July 18, 2012

Metacritic is a rating aggregator site, to gaming what Rotten Tomatoes is to movies. It collects and condenses game reviews from around the web into one neat and tidy score. That’s fine. What isn’t fine is that the games industry has become obsessed with their Metacritic scores, to the point of yanking paychecks and royalties if the scores don’t meet some golden target sang into existence by a chorus of angels. Also, the angels pick who gets to make a sequel. This obsession is crushing the gaming industry under the weight of conservative design decisions, while sending companies scrambling to game the system. The end result is a downward death spiral of burst guts and desperation. IGN has the story.

1 Comment so far
  1. Nelson Williams
    July 18, 2012 10:51 am

    It’s a good thing that publishers are holding studios to a certain standard of quality in their games. It’s bad that this standard comes from a single data point. Not all opinions are equal, and not all reviews deserve to be considered. Yet, Metacritic blends in the fair with the foul, leaving only a thin gruel of opinion that is poured into a single score.

    A reasonably fair approach to the issue would be to consider only fair reviews, taken from random sources, and track those for enthusiasm rather than score. Of course, this would take more work than throwing a single number up on a PowerPoint slide.

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