Metacriticism

18 01 2008

Metacritic

At the Guardian, Keith Stuart has an interesting interview up with Marc Doyle, games editor of Metacritic:

I was watching the new Fox Business Network shortly after Super Mario Galaxy was released. The anchor was interviewing Reggie F-A of Nintendo, and across the bottom of the screen was a banner stating that the game has received a Metascore of 96. That floored me. More and more businesses and financial analysts are referring to Metacritic numbers as an early indicator of a game’s potential sales and, by extension, the publisher’s stock price. Apparently, they’re able to use quantifiable review data as a predictor of a games success before the NPD sales data is officially released.

The interview is overspill from a gamesblog column, which also has points out a flaw in aggregating review scores:

Others are worried about the homogenisation of score data. “Now, one rogue bad score can really drag down your average,” says PR veteran Cathy Campos, who handles the press for developers such as Lionhead and Bungie. “I worked on a game which quite unusually had scores which ranged from 100 to 33 – the Metacritic average (75) did not reflect the fact it was evidently a love-it-or-hate-it title.” In this way, quirky titles like Space Giraffe and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games are lost in a grey goo of apparent mediocrity.


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