Is Metacritic ruining the gaming industry?
I saw a tweet last night but unfortunately I can’t remember who posted it, but basically it was stating that the image below is the reason why Metacritic is ruining the gaming industry.
And when you look through this image you can quickly see the point and well it’s just not fair really is it?
So as we can see a reader over at Joystiq asked one of the developers of Fallout New Vegas if it was a great financial boost for the company and he responded that unfortunately since it didn’t get over 85 on Metacritic, it was a straight payment and no bonuses or royalties were paid.
A quick look at Metacritic and it’s a horrifying sight; they missed a ton of bonuses and royalties by a single point. Looking at the reviews on Metacritic and one of the lowest ones is from Play.tm which is a site that is notorious for simply stealing content and re-posting it.
Not to mention that their review of Fallout New Vegas is just a god-awful mess thrown onto the screen.
So the developers behind New Vegas lost out a ton of money because Metacritic allowed a shoddy review to stand and that isn’t right. But is Metacritic to blame?
No, not at all. As much as I may disagree with the review on play.tm it’s a personal opinion both from my side and the reviewers – and all that really means is that I won’t put any faith in that reviewer’s opinion.
However the problem here is that the developers agreed to a contract based on an arbitrary score posted on a non-regulated site and that was a big mistake.
I firmly believe all reviews must have a score but at the same time if you take the average score of a game over the entire industry it isn’t an accurate representation of the game. Either you need to average the score over a set of premium websites or more accurately you sign contracts based on financial reward.
So if the game ships 100 00 units you get x amount, over 200 000 units y and so on.
So while this story is sad and it would be easy to blame Metacritic the real blame lies with the guys who signed a contract giving a publisher incentive to push for low reviews and allow trolling websites to affect your bottom line.