Riccitiello slams “cult” game reviewing

Wednesday, 18th June 2008 06:36 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Someone had to say it. EA CEO John Riccitiello has claimed some games get 100 percent reviews despite the fact people don’t play them properly, a factor the publisher doesn’t benefit from. It was as if he was saying the majority of games reviewers are untalented, me-too lemmings afraid to have an opinion about anything. But maybe we’re putting words into his mouth.

“All Metacritics were higher once upon a time because it was ten professionals rating them. Now, sort of anybody with a pen can rate them and it ends up with a bit of a wider track some times,” said the exec, talking at the William Blair & Company’s 28th Annual Growth Stock Conference yesterday.

“EA doesn’t usually get the benefit of the cult – ‘everybody has to rate it a hundred’ thing going on – that happens sometimes even when they may not, based on the review, have played more than the first fifteen minutes of the game. But that’s a separate issue.”

Thanks, GI.



  1. Shatner

    I think Spore has the potential to get lots of 10s.

    Not that I ever agree any game has ever been worth a perfect score.

    It’s a shame that most responses I’ve seen to this are focused on WHO is making this statement than WHAT the statement is saying.

    For what it’s worth, I agree with him. I’ve found Riccitiello speaks obscene amounts of sense. His understanding of the industry’s machinations is probably reflected in the performance of his company.

    #1 7 years ago
  2. pjmaybe

    Good games get good reviews, shit games get shit ones.

    Spore – hmm, perhaps it might get high scores but it’ll be nigh on impossible to do a quick and timely review of if it’s supposedly as deep as they’re trying to make it out to be.

    We’ll see though. I reckon it’ll be like Creatures on the PC. Long on depth and AI dickery, short on actual stuff to do.

    #2 7 years ago
  3. Blerk

    I still think Spore’s going to be a surprising 7 or 8.

    #3 7 years ago
  4. patlike

    Edge – 15/10.
    Everyone else – wtf7.
    Sales – gangbusters.

    #4 7 years ago
  5. pjmaybe

    Actually having had a play around with the creature creator this morning, I’ll be grabbing it. That sort of stuff’s just fun to piss around with.

    FWIW if you’re really really bored, go do a youtube search for Spore Penis creature. Someone’s been busy :)

    #5 7 years ago
  6. Blerk

    “Someone”, eh?

    #6 7 years ago
  7. Shatner

    pjmaybe, I really think “good games get good reviews” sort of thinking is a willful oversimplification on the state of the media and industry today. It’s just not as black and white as that. And, in my opinion, the media isn’t as consistent as your phrase suggests.

    Perhaps if the media were ever held accountable for what they produce then there’d be a better base standard. But they’re not, so there isn’t.

    They do a very good job of making themselves out to be the purest of the pure though.

    #7 7 years ago
  8. patlike

    I’m not sure it’s just the media that needs to be more accountable in the games industry, do you?

    #8 7 years ago
  9. Shatner

    I, certainly MORE than the media is accountable. But I’ve read outright lies and misrepresentation running as headline stories.

    For example, yesterday the “news” that Heavenly Sword 2 was cancelled became a headline news article.

    The fact that, back in March, Ninja Theory had stated the project wasn’t in existence kinda of makes something masquerading as “news” of a cancellation look sensationalist and very poorly researched. It took me under a minute to validate that information and I used a website that I tend to find is far better with facts than with being first to report a story.

    The media, in my opinion, is a very strong link between product and consumer. But they’re simply not doing a very good job of what they’re meant to be doing. Little to no research, rumours trumping fact, personal spin leading a story into something it’s not.

    I favour sites that I’ve learned to trust. They may not be exciting sites in the world. They may spend more time writing the article than photoshopping a snazzy image to headline the story – but I’m not interested in sensationalism or misguided ranting.

    Until the media, as a whole, works to a set of clearly defined and regulated standards then it’s not really serving this industry – it’s just feeding off it.

    #9 7 years ago
  10. patlike

    The full story on that Heavenly Sword thing was that Ninja Theory wasn’t working on the game, but Sony evidently was. That wasn’t communicated properly, I think.

    I do think there needs to be a spread of media reporting on any industry, from “red top” to “broadsheet” and gaming has its fair share of both. Some people, like yourself, are happy to wade through larger pieces, some people aren’t and actually want to be involved in the whole IHATEYOULOL thing.

    I dunno. I’m not sure any kind of regulation on internet reporting will ever be possible. You just vote with your feet/fingers.

    #10 7 years ago
  11. Tonka

    What happened to the “news” about the “new” Fable 2 trailer?

    #11 7 years ago
  12. patlike

    You need to check your glasses. You’re clearly seeing things. Inventing stuff. That’s an illness, you know.

    *hides under desk*

    #12 7 years ago
  13. Michael

    The guy’s right, sadly.

    The current reviewing methods in the gaming industry is a shambled, disorganised mess. There’s no scoring consistency, and the actual reviews themselves are glorified check lists with no real critical analysis.

    #13 7 years ago
  14. klanger13

    There are a lot of media outlets scrambling for the same set of fanboys. I particular like the fanboy baiting that goes on so as to draw attention to certain sites, sometimes through controversial news posts, sometimes with controversial messages, and sometimes with controversial reviews. It puts ‘bums on seats’ or ‘eyes on webpages’ as they say and when advertising brings in money…

    I wonder how/when one of these sites is going to break free of the traditional ‘hardcore’ and go straight for the Wii generation of casual gamers? I mean lets face it the people on this site are getting increasingly less representative of cross section of society that play games. You could target the Daily Mail readership? Think of the baiting headlines you’d have then! ‘Cost of Wii Sports doubles in a year!’, ‘Its Offical! World is worse than it was’.

    #14 7 years ago
  15. Tonka

    Now I get it. I though he was against cult games being reviewed. Like Darwinia or Ouendan.

    So he’s just calling bloggers a herd of sheep. The cheek.

    #15 7 years ago

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