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Rapture639
07-19-2012, 09:16 AM
A recent article by IGN talks about the potential problems of the games industry (particularly the developers) in its reliance on aggregate scores and how it affects development for future titles. Here are some excerpts from the article:

"There’s nothing inherently wrong with an aggregate review site for a quick summary of critical opinion, and it’s a useful service for film and game fans despite its limitations. What is wrong is the way that Metacritic averages are used by the games industry to determine how games are made and sold, and the negative effect that they are having on criticism."

"You don’t need to cast around for long to find evidence of the publishing world’s obsession with the Metascore. In 2011, Take-Two’s CEO Strauss Zelnick said that, “unlike many other entertainment business[es], ratings by Metacritic and others' reviews really can influence the success of a newly-released title… if your ratings go below a certain level, it can really hurt your ability to sell the title, and above a certain level can make a real difference in your success.” Both Telltale and Bioware have been caught messing with the user scores. EA’s Peter Moore, head of EA Sports at the time, set the FIFA 10 team a Metascore target of 90 – and then went on to say that basing success on Metacritic scores is a “slippery slope”."

"Limbo’s creator Arnt Jensen once said to me that “you’re never going to create anything interesting by listening to what people think”. If you’ve ever wondered why certain publishers are so conservative when it comes to their big franchises, this is why. When any change that you make to something successful might make that Metacritic average drop a few points and make everybody look to their bosses like they’re not doing their job properly, it becomes very hard to justify the experimentation."


I think this article does a good job of explaining why alot of games these days seem to copy each other in terms of design, and why it feels like there are fewer and fewer unique AAA titles. However, I disagree with some of the issues brought up.

While I agree that having a companies bottom line being affected by its assigned metacritic score is a bad thing, I don't think its the fault of Metacritic or even aggregate review scores as a whole. The whole notion of "Good Games = Lots of Sales" doesn't hold up for every single game (as great games can sell poorly and mediocre games can still have great sales), and it certainly should not affect how a game should be made. There are lots of different factors why a game like Call of Duty sells millions of copies every year and a game like Bulletstorm has less than expected sales despite having similar metacritic scores.

Many people would argue that reviews are subjective in nature as well, so why should a developer be punished if some of the reviewers have a negative opinion of a game?

I also find it ironic that this article is written by IGN, a site that has been accused several times of having biased reviews and being paid off by publishers like Activision and Take Two. It's especially hard to think their reviews are objective when they get timed exclusives on reviews (i.e.: They are allowed to post their review's a couple days ahead before everyone else), which makes it even more alarming that their opinions can have a huge impact on how a sequel is changed or whether or not a publisher decides to pick up a new IP.

I do feel that game designers are taking the cautious route when it comes designing their games (just look at any modern First person shooter and MMO for example), but I find it laughable that all the power/responsibility goes to the major gaming websites. Ultimately its us as the gamers who decide what game sells millions of copies and what ends up in the bargain bin a couple months later. Most people decide to buy a game for several reasons, and while some may look towards the reviews to make that decision to drop $60 into something, it isn't just because one game got an 87 on metacritic and another similar title only got an 84 on the same site.

What do you guys think?

Here's a link for the full article (http://ca.ign.com/articles/2012/07/16/is-metacritic-ruining-the-games-industry)

CHIRUNO99
07-19-2012, 09:52 AM
Of course it is, especially when some publishers take to heart reviews easily. There are too many critics which are easy corrupted to give good reviews, OXM being one of them that seem to vote any Xbox 360 exclusive game as good as they can.

The second point being that every critic which uses a rating system, uses a different rating system. A 5 doesn't mean the same thing form one to another. Some critics use "out of 5" or "out of 10" or something completely different and Metacritic try their hardest to put a number to that.

The only good I can see from that site is it gives a broad average, but when the numbers don't really match the rating it's kind of dishonest and flawed.

I mean seriously: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings/user-reviews?dist=negative
This is just bashing for the sake of it as far as I've read. There's a few valid points in there, but it's just a case of Dragon Age 2 fans getting butthurt.

Also:
http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j144/jason2444/biodronesgondrone.png

Along with the fact that we not live in a generation where 7 tends to mean a bad review now all of a sudden, and of course anyone who gives out 11s needs to be shot.

Fair enough everyone has an opinion, but I just think some people tend to throw theirs out as bluntly as possible with little or no thought behind it.

Akuza
07-19-2012, 10:35 AM
Those scores posted above are confusing me...

I just click on the game I wanna check usually and It shows a score Like this

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b373/bhk1/86de4b16.jpg

But either way...

Yes it's ruining people's views on it.

People can be extremely critical of a game, so much so that other people won't want to touch it...

Heck I tend to avoid games my friends say are bad.

Recently ive been going back through and trying them though and found them not that bad.

It's down to a personal preference state than anything else.

No one can pick a better game for yourself, other than yourself.

Ham Woopan
07-19-2012, 11:28 AM
That fuck really rated Witcher 2 a 1 because he sucks at the combat?

Reviews are pointless in general don't pay any attention to them at all. /thread

EliteShadowMan
07-19-2012, 11:34 AM
That was a lot of negative reviews for the witcher 2 damn.

Kunduz
07-19-2012, 12:21 PM
Is IGN helping Metacritic Ruining The Games Industry? I would say yes, since they contributing to the overall metascore and when a game gets a little too low score on IGN, things tend to get messy over there. I hardly classify them as unbiased reporters anymore...

Odd article coming from IGN, at least someone over there seems to still be competent...

DJConnelly
07-19-2012, 01:12 PM
For the general public though... it's a bad thing. I've seen people freak out when a game gets a 8/10. Eight is not a bad score!

An eight? EIGHT?! That game must be terrible. Steer clear If I were you. Who thinks eight isn't a good score? Not that it really matters.

EliteShadowMan
07-19-2012, 01:23 PM
An eight? EIGHT?! That game must be terrible. Steer clear If I were you. Who thinks eight isn't a good score? Not that it really matters.

Back when IGN gave L.A. Noire a 8.75 or something, people were flipping out saying it's not even a good score.

Iceskater101
07-19-2012, 01:30 PM
I think it does ruin the sales of games at some point because if I read a review saying a game is pretty bad, I won't want to go out and pick up a game for 60 dollars. To me my money is very important, so when I read a bad review I will avoid a game because I don't want to waste my money.
Though, there have been times I have read reviews and I played the game and I loved it.

hydrosugar
07-19-2012, 01:35 PM
Why don't you go find out?

Ehh that would involve some form of effort on my part. :(

Back when IGN gave L.A. Noire a 8.75 or something, people were flipping out saying it's not even a good score.

8.75 is a fantastic score in general, though L.A Noire does deserve higher.

Rapture639
07-19-2012, 10:00 PM
I think it does ruin the sales of games at some point because if I read a review saying a game is pretty bad, I won't want to go out and pick up a game for 60 dollars. To me my money is very important, so when I read a bad review I will avoid a game because I don't want to waste my money.
Though, there have been times I have read reviews and I played the game and I loved it.

That's exactly my point. Reviews only reflect the personal opinion of one person and while Metacritic takes the average score of several gaming sites, it still doesn't reflect the opinion of the majority of gamers. Reading someone's review only tells you that you MIGHT like a game, not that you will or even if you should buy it.

Someone might say you should buy Skyrim or Mass Effect because those games can take hundreds of hours to play through (thus giving you the most bang for your buck) but if you don't like RPGS, whose to say that it would actually be worth your money?

Wildmn34
07-19-2012, 10:40 PM
I don't remember the game, but I "think" it may have been Fallout New Vegas, but there was a game within the last two years that the developer lost out on a bonus because of 1 point on Metacritic. The bonus was set to kick in at 85, but the game only achieved an 84.

Stuff like that is asinine. I don't put much thought into reviews anymore. I like to make my mind up about a game either by playing it, or talking to enough people whom I trust about it. Not some random desk jockey who could very well be paid off to say it's amazing or some jaded group who didn't get a review copy so they trash the game.

DEG23
07-19-2012, 11:38 PM
Firstly i don't read any 'editorial' piece off IGN, they are far from objective. Also it's shame that developers have to cater to the unappreciative little fucktards who use metacritic as a bitching outlet because an achievements was too hard or because a game didn't have good enough graphics.

I understand developers have to cater to fans to a certain extent, you can't alienate people then expect to make a profit. For this reason i understand why they would view user feedback but in my opinion it's disappointing to see developers bend to the cries of an immature fanbase. If the gaming industry is brought down because of this, it will be a very dark day for humanity.

CyberPunch83
07-19-2012, 11:47 PM
I've never let a review of a game, regardless of its source, determine if I buy it or not. The fact that these days game developers use Metacritic scores determine if the game was a success or not is a sad state of the games industry. The quality of a game should be based on figures like sales and online popularity. Perhaps we need less sites like IGN and GamesRadar; they seem to be doing more harm then good, and their time has come and gone.

shangri la27
07-20-2012, 01:03 AM
Not sure why people are so concerned about user scores on metacritic, i dont think that was the point of the article at all. the internet if stuffed full of c*nts and thats all there is to it.

As far as using the CRITIC scores to influence games, I wholly agree with the limbo creator; its bottlenecking creativity and keeping these companies from taking some risks. Not to jump on a COD bash wagon, but facts are facts and the games barely changed in 5 years, despite 4 different games. But hopefully Black erps 2 is a light at the end of the tunnel, and even mega companies like activision are realizing the error of their [creative] ways.

crazy W01f 816
07-20-2012, 02:23 AM
Lets get something straight, game developers don't give a rats ass about review scores. Game publishers put those stupid conditions in game contracts as a way of encouraging employees to work their hardest. Really, all they do is put unnecessary pressure and expectations on developers.

As for getting rid of review sites, I'd prefer just getting rid of just numeric scoring. All numeric and review summaries do is encourage people to not read. This way of reviewing games or any media is outdated and needs to be phased out completely.

Rapture639
07-24-2012, 03:44 AM
Lets get something straight, game developers don't give a rats ass about review scores. Game publishers put those stupid conditions in game contracts as a way of encouraging employees to work their hardest. Really, all they do is put unnecessary pressure and expectations on developers.

As for getting rid of review sites, I'd prefer just getting rid of just numeric scoring. All numeric and review summaries do is encourage people to not read. This way of reviewing games or any media is outdated and needs to be phased out completely.

While I agree completely with your first paragraph, I disagree with your second paragraph. I don't see anything wrong with having a numerical score attached to a review. It gives people a good idea of what that reviewer would rate that game in form of a simplified scale. If movies and TV shows can have them, why not game reviews too?

I understand that alot of people simply just look at the score and use only that to identify the quality of the game, which is problematic but that is a problem with the reader and not of the system itself. However it's funny how alot of times the written review (or at least the tone of the review) doesn't reflect the score (Gamtrailers.com is especially guilty of this in my opinion), so having a score can help people get a overall impression of what they think of it.

crazy W01f 816
07-24-2012, 04:33 AM
While I agree completely with your first paragraph, I disagree with your second paragraph. I don't see anything wrong with having a numerical score attached to a review. It gives people a good idea of what that reviewer would rate that game in form of a simplified scale. If movies and TV shows can have them, why not game reviews too?

I understand that alot of people simply just look at the score and use only that to identify the quality of the game, which is problematic but that is a problem with the reader and not of the system itself. However it's funny how alot of times the written review (or at least the tone of the review) doesn't reflect the score (Gamtrailers.com is especially guilty of this in my opinion), so having a score can help people get a overall impression of what they think of it.
Any sort of media should not a score attached to it, not just video games. I'd get rid of scoring for any sort of media if I could.

And to your point, scores give an idea of what reviewers would rate the game is correct. But only for those exact reviewers. This does not translate to how you will receive the game. You need to read what the reviewers experience was to get an actually idea of what you're getting into. A number will not do that for you and even breaking it down to a short list of positives and negatives or a tl;dr version short-changes the entire review just to satisfy people's shortening attention span.

Furthermore, rant time, numeric scoring is bullshit. These scores mean absolutely nothing. There is no set in stone ranking system and everyone's will be different so attaching a score to a game or any media is fucking pointless. An 8 to me will not be the same to you or anyone else's version of an 8. So, why would you look at a review score of 8 and assume that it's your same expectation of an 8 score game?

Bottom line, reading the review will give any gamer a far better idea of the quality of a game than a number will ever do. Especially if there's no summary or numeric score attach to it.

EmporerDragon
07-24-2012, 07:06 AM
Reviews in general are a problem now. Thankfully, I happen to have a handy graph explaining why:

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7601/19981691315159660139.png

CHIRUNO99
07-24-2012, 07:37 AM
The truth about game reviews
This is so right, but of course back then, especially in the 80s and early 90s internet reviews were a little difficult to come across. We only had magazines back then which tired their hardest to give a decent review without being biased.

That and the amount of critics greatly rose between the years.

Rapture639
07-24-2012, 08:33 AM
Any sort of media should not a score attached to it, not just video games. I'd get rid of scoring for any sort of media if I could.

And to your point, scores give an idea of what reviewers would rate the game is correct. But only for those exact reviewers. This does not translate to how you will receive the game. You need to read what the reviewers experience was to get an actually idea of what you're getting into. A number will not do that for you and even breaking it down to a short list of positives and negatives or a tl;dr version short-changes the entire review just to satisfy people's shortening attention span.



Well by that token reading a review would be pointless because you're just reading about HIS/HER experience with the game, which could be totally different than your experience with it. Someone who scores Duke Nukem or Lollipop Chainsaw poorly because they can't stand the crude humor or misogyny will obviously not affect anyone who doesn't mind that type of humor. Similarly someone who rates Dark Souls poorly because they think its too hard would not affect the opinion of someone whose looking for a game that is challenging and rewards good planning and patience.

Reading a review or seeing a score at that point doesn't matter since your experience will differ than that person because you aren't affected by those issues the same way the reviewer is. I do think that playing demo of the game or renting it will be the best way for anyone to realize if they'll like a game or not (or even talking to a friend about it since they'd probably know your taste in games better than anyone) but that might not always be an option so looking at a games Metacritic score would at least give you an idea if the majority of the gaming media side enjoys it or not.

Vigor
07-24-2012, 08:43 AM
Given the fact that every publisher and developer has everyone in the office create an account on MC and rate their games a 10+, I'd say take it with a grain of salt.

The Rabbit Suit
07-24-2012, 09:44 AM
Reviews in general are a problem now. Thankfully, I happen to have a handy graph explaining why:

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7601/19981691315159660139.png


It's upsetting that I can't disagree with your graph...

DecadentBeaver
07-24-2012, 10:15 AM
So TellTalle and Bioware were fixing scores for their own games? That's like sending yourself a Xmas card. How sad is that really? Answer, very.

Skilled
07-24-2012, 10:52 AM
So TellTalle and Bioware were fixing scores for their own games? That's like sending yourself a Xmas card. How sad is that really? Answer, very.

Its terrible, and no point. That would be like if I rated all my own stuff max, it wont change how good/bad it is. It just misleads people and then they stop buying games from them.

crazy W01f 816
07-24-2012, 02:27 PM
Reviews in general are a problem now. Thankfully, I happen to have a handy graph explaining why:

http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/7601/19981691315159660139.png
This is also another reason to do away with numeric scoring. Kudos to whoever made it.

Well by that token reading a review would be pointless because you're just reading about HIS/HER experience with the game, which could be totally different than your experience with it. Someone who scores Duke Nukem or Lollipop Chainsaw poorly because they can't stand the crude humor or misogyny will obviously not affect anyone who doesn't mind that type of humor. Similarly someone who rates Dark Souls poorly because they think its too hard would not affect the opinion of someone whose looking for a game that is challenging and rewards good planning and patience.

Reading a review or seeing a score at that point doesn't matter since your experience will differ than that person because you aren't affected by those issues the same way the reviewer is. I do think that playing demo of the game or renting it will be the best way for anyone to realize if they'll like a game or not (or even talking to a friend about it since they'd probably know your taste in games better than anyone) but that might not always be an option so looking at a games Metacritic score would at least give you an idea if the majority of the gaming media side enjoys it or not.
You have the right idea about playing a demo and seeing for yourself. Ultimately, that is the best way to decide if the game is right for you. I, however, concede that the written review will be of the reviewers perspective, but it's far better than just looking at some meaningless number on metacritic. Reading about another reviewers experience allows you to compare and contrast with that of your own. If, per your example, someone read a review of Dark Souls which mentions that the game is, almost, impossibly difficult, but extremely rewarding they might choose to pick it up based on those statements alone. However, the same person might not pick up the game because it got an aggregate score of 70 on metacritic, cause you know, a game rated anything below 8 isn't worth the time of day.

So TellTalle and Bioware were fixing scores for their own games? That's like sending yourself a Xmas card. How sad is that really? Answer, very.
There is zero proof of this. Just rampant speculation by people who disagree with a review score. Which is pathetic in more ways than one.

guillermo316
07-24-2012, 03:16 PM
I don't think it's ruining the business. For anyone who likes games as a hobby, is interested in games, follows the news, I believe has enough sense and logic to realize how untrue and ridiculous those meta critic scores are. While there is something to be extracted from a game getting a 0, the smart consumer will do some research and figure out why the score is a 0.

That's why IGN gets paid the big bucks. To deliver unbiased reviews so the consumers know whether he should spend his money.

Recently Game Informer poached The News Hound Jim reilly right under IGN cooperate noses. This was a huge move. I think it's hard to believe, because its video games, but just like any other business there is competition. The article probably was meant to tarnish meta critic(lol) and rise IGN stock up.

IGN is powerful, they have headquarters all around the glove: Australia, Germany, united kingdom and of course California. They have purchased game spy and 1up. They are the rockafellers of the Video game industry. lol

Rapture639
07-26-2012, 11:28 PM
I don't think it's ruining the business. For anyone who likes games as a hobby, is interested in games, follows the news, I believe has enough sense and logic to realize how untrue and ridiculous those meta critic scores are. While there is something to be extracted from a game getting a 0, the smart consumer will do some research and figure out why the score is a 0.

That's why IGN gets paid the big bucks. To deliver unbiased reviews so the consumers know whether he should spend his money.

Recently Game Informer poached The News Hound Jim reilly right under IGN cooperate noses. This was a huge move. I think it's hard to believe, because its video games, but just like any other business there is competition. The article probably was meant to tarnish meta critic(lol) and rise IGN stock up.

IGN is powerful, they have headquarters all around the glove: Australia, Germany, united kingdom and of course California. They have purchased game spy and 1up. They are the rockafellers of the Video game industry. lol

I do agree that the article tries to place most of the blame on Metacritic rather than the publishers themselves, especially since IGN has been doing their own video segment where they look at the reviews of a new game and average out all the scores from these major outlets (the name of the segment escapes me at the moment) similar to Metacritic.

This puts into question the claim that IGN is unbiased because rather than calling out the publishers for doing this, they blame Metacritic instead. That's probably because they're afraid that they'll be blacklisted by these publishers if they called them out. This is also why I don't really go to 1UP anymore. 1UP used to be my favorite outlet for gaming media because the editorial staff were not afraid to call out publishers for making bad games even though it carried some steep penalties for doing so. Now that they're bought out by IGN, they've pretty much any journalistic integrity they once fought so hard to maintain.

Wint3rGr33n
08-09-2012, 01:52 AM
I use reviews on games as a guide line. There are alot of games i love that got bad reviews but I bought them anyway and I play them all the time

wariowarrior
08-11-2012, 06:13 PM
It is helpful as an overview and at a glance but too much emphasis is put on it. As for the user reviews, imo, they are a complete waste a space.

TF Revenge
08-11-2012, 06:32 PM
For the games I know well, MetaCritic seems to be way off - I don't agree with many of the reviews. So I don't trust it for games I don't know. If I want to know whether or not to buy a game, I ask a friend who knows the game and knows the sorts of games I do and don't like.

CHIRUNO99
08-11-2012, 07:56 PM
Just to add, Metacritic only add reviews where the critics give some kind of score. If a critic doesn't use a silly scoring system (because they actually have self respect) they don't get their review submitted to the website.

Congressman Kibbles
08-12-2012, 01:36 AM
There have been times when I disagreed about a game review on metacritic, but for the most part I will use their website to see how a game is scored. I like that they have multiple reviewers but I think that users will score less because they want to see a game score poorly.

Rapture639
08-12-2012, 01:37 AM
Just to add, Metacritic only add reviews where the critics give some kind of score. If a critic doesn't use a silly scoring system (because they actually have self respect) they don't get their review submitted to the website.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves here. Kotaku doesn't have scores to their reviews and that's one site that definitely lacks in the self-respect department.

joeyc138
08-12-2012, 12:01 PM
Fuck Metacritic.

I was the reviews editor for a gaming website for quite some time and have seen how the general population of gamers take review scores. Most pass on games that have a score below 9, and 7's are considered garbage. This is why I chose to write reviews without scoring games. This proves to be an unsuccessful way to write reviews though as most people don't even bother to read the review and only look at the score that's placed at the end of the review. My biggest problem was also the fact that when talking to PR departments for different gaming developers, they'd prefer if you ran a scoring system for your site and would influence you to give their games decent scores or they'd quit sending you review copies of their products in the mail. It's all pretty corrupt.

Rapture639
08-13-2012, 03:32 PM
Fuck Metacritic.

I was the reviews editor for a gaming website for quite some time and have seen how the general population of gamers take review scores. Most pass on games that have a score below 9, and 7's are considered garbage. This is why I chose to write reviews without scoring games. This proves to be an unsuccessful way to write reviews though as most people don't even bother to read the review and only look at the score that's placed at the end of the review. My biggest problem was also the fact that when talking to PR departments for different gaming developers, they'd prefer if you ran a scoring system for your site and would influence you to give their games decent scores or they'd quit sending you review copies of their products in the mail. It's all pretty corrupt.

Yea it definitely is a catch-22 situation. Ideally the review sites should not be getting free review copies of games because getting those free early copies means that they're being influenced by the publishers in their final score (even if they claim that they aren't). However, the major sites want to have early copies so they can rush their reviews out the door as soon as the embargo lets up (otherwise they'll be behind the other sites that do have their reviews on release day).

I wouldn't kind waiting a couple days for a review if I knew that person (or at least their company) actually shelled out $60 for that game. At least I'd trust them more if they said it was a game worth purchasing or not.