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MetaCritic co-founder says game ratings are unbalanced

Tuesday, 12th July 2011 12:41 GMT By Johnny Cullen

MetaCritic co-founder Marc Doyle has admitted that ratings for games on the website are unbalanced.

In an interview with ABJumpShoots, Doyle – who is also the games editor for the site – says that in order to get the balance right on review scores, reviewers need to “review all the shit.”

He mentions that review writers need to look at everything so it could “get that precision on the low end to reflect the precision on the high end.”

You can listen to the full interview at the link. Thanks, D’Toid.

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62 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    No shit sherlock. I said this like when this generation started.

    “reviewers need to “review all the shit.””

    or just fire them all and start hiring professionals, not some Mr blogger with the nickname “Dickenson”.

    When i see scores like 10/10 for Mass effect 2, Halo or some other mediocre that shows that reviewer can go and suck his own dick and get out of the industry.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Moxifool

    “When i see scores like 10/10 for Mass effect 2, Halo or some other mediocre that shows that reviewer can go and suck his own dick and get out of the industry.”

    So he should ‘get out of the industry’ for having an opinion and tying a number to it?

    Grow the fuck up.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DaMan

    Yes we should all listen to some random raging latvian instead, lmao. Learn to spell “Dickinson’ for starters.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    If you’re only looking for reviews that completely agree with your own opinion don’t look at an aggregator site for your final decision, that, you know, gathers all of them up. Use it to find the reviews you find useful and interesting.

    However, I do think there is some unbalance to it. Scores generally seem to be pretty low all the time, for movies and games.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    It’s pretty obvious that a metacritic score is just a vacuuming of the internet, without applying any sort of criticism.

    Way too many writers are too affected by publicity campaigns to really look at the games criticially, but you can pretty much form your own opinion based on reading both negative and positive reviews and comparing how those writers handle the same problems about the game.

    Usually I just wait for the Tom Chick review.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    Review scores are irrelevant, they’re just numbers representing individuals’ opinions.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. klewd

    What?! I thought games just had a higher standard than movies and tv. That’s what I figured when piece of shit games get 5/10 as if they’re “average”. Game reviewers have never, and never will, take their job seriously. Reading a game review is similar to reading a review for electronics, a dishwasher or some other non-artistic thing. That’s what happens when you hire “journalists” who are actually bloggers. no offense to anyone here.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Fin

    REVIEWER’S OPINION SOMETIMES NOT THE SAME AS READERS OPINION SHOCK

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Zurtech

    @6

    Think ye’re spot on, too many reviewers just talk about their own opinions, and with some publications those opinions are mostly over biased for or against a product. Wish reviewers would actually learn to, you know review and say what works and what does and why.

    @Erth

    I totally agree, scores are wrong a lot of the time take Witcher games for example, metascores of 86 and 87, no way did they deserve that. Personally I’d give em 70 and 80, decent but lots wrong with them. But that’s my opinon and I doubt everyone would agree with me.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Erthazus

    @2,
    “So he should ‘get out of the industry’ for having an opinion and tying a number to it?”

    I can make my own opinion on any game. Should I be on the games industry?

    It’s not about someone’s opinion.

    @Daman, Fat Halo fratboys should learn Teh English abbreviation. http://www.dickenson.k12.va.us/

    thats the school where you are from and thats where these reviewers came from.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Moxifool

    @10

    So it’s not about somebody’s opinion? Honestly, what the fuck are you on.

    I can’t believe you just said that.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @11
    Actually – and quite scarily – I agree with some of Erthazus points. A professional review for me should be a critical assessment – not *just* an opinion. Too many are pure opinion pieces which devolve into the reviewer trying too hard to be clever or funny and without actually properly reviewing the game.

    Yes opinion is part of it, it has to be. The review needs to be clear on how and why that opinion was formed though, and importantly where personal preferences of the reviewer have played a part.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DaMan

    Me no speaky latvian. Medvedev kicks ass, you have no facts. You go vkontakte and suck dicks vpodvorotne. Halo sucks, John Carmack, balalaika and medved forever. I will never surrender, and will never buy Xbox. Anime forever too.

    Usually, sane people play the games and base their opinions on what they liked, or didn’t. Prejudging a product based on it’s popularity and/or origin is what ‘fratboys’ do. Caring more about some shitty russian tongue whilst having a K/D of 0.9 is what mental patients do.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    @11, there must be an opinion of a professional.
    If the gaming industry will jsut choose a random guy you will get this shit on whatsoever.

    If you look at the Movies Metacritic and compare them to the games you will understand that there is something wrong in the Games section.

    Todays gaming reviews are “blah blah blah” without any sort of criticism and with corruption in most cases.
    Whenever you go there is 10/10 and review reflect : OH M GEE, SO AWSUM! Cool! they nailed the mechanic.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits/3587-Game-Reviews

    .

    @FatHaloFratboy, you already failed with the “Dickenson” section. You can move on with your herpes from here and no one is judging a product that is based by it’s popularity. If you don’t know i like Mario, Zelda and i like Gears Of war, World Of warcraft which are very popular and very good games (in most part). So you failed again and russian tongue has nothing to do here, because you don’t know more languages than one english, your brain is incapable of learning something more (typical Halo fratboys).

    #14 3 years ago
  15. GamezIdiot

    @6 & @9 Scores do matter, ask any publisher.

    You know, all they need to do improve metacritic is to stop the likes off attention grabbers like detructoid being included in their publications list. Outlets that just want the advertising hits through shockjock reviews are a sure fire way to demean the value of an otherwise hard working and honest group of people.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Fin

    @14

    “corruption in most cases.”

    Example (w/evidence) pls.

    On point, games journalism generally isn’t of the same quality as movie journalism.
    Respectable games publications are Edge and Games TM (in print), Eurogamer, 1UP and maybe Escapist online. And that’s about it (I think?).

    Oh, and VG247, that goes without saying ;)

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Moxifool

    @12 I utterly agree that reviews should be critical pieces first but it is important, nay, fucking crucial, that they are tempered with an objective opinion to remain not only relevant but also a good sodding read too.

    And also @Erthazus; Corruption? Really? Is it really so widespread as you think?

    Tin-foil headgear ahoy!

    Good god, with such insightful and obviously knowing statements as these, one would think that you actually ARE in the games industry.

    Heaven’s above!

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    @16, http://kotaku.com/328244/gamespot-editor-fired-over-kane–lynch-review

    for example. Everything else you can search on TEH internetZ.

    @Moxifool, “And also @Erthazus; Corruption? Really? Is it really so widespread as you think?”

    http://kotaku.com/328244/gamespot-editor-fired-over-kane–lynch-review

    this for example and there are a lot of these stuff happening, just not every month.
    Games industry is a business material and scores matter if your audience is 1 million or more.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Fin

    @18

    Right, let me explain the semantics of language to you.

    “Todays gaming reviews are “blah blah blah” without any sort of criticism and with corruption in most cases.”

    Right, let’s break this shit down.
    “Today” means “now”.
    “Most” generally means 60-70%.

    What you’ve done is brought up a one fucking four year old alleged piece of corruption.
    Fuck me, that wasn’t even corruption – corruption would be when they took the money and gave it a higher score. In K&L, Gerstmann (I think?) allegedly got fired because he gave a lower score.

    When you say “most”, that means, say, three of every four games reviewed.
    Either provide evidence for showing that there’s that amount of corruption in games journalism, or SHUT THE FUCK UP.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. DaMan

    The problem with you, Erthazus is how today you say mario sucks and tomorrow you state the opposite. You also lie way too much. Oh, and I do know quite a bit of ‘other’ tongues, buddy.

    The fact that you care about russian voiceovers more than your BFBC2 stats is depressing really. The fact that you tried the same shit on AGFC and got the same kind of replies is telling. And the fact that you embarked on your pathetic crusade on Kotaku before knowing how to spell ‘Bungie’ properly is amusing. Do try harder.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Erthazus

    @19, “Right, let me explain the semantics of language to you.”

    no need captain obvious. As i said before, everything else you can search in the internet.

    “Fuck me, that wasn’t even corruption – corruption would be when they took the money and gave it a higher case”

    Absolutely NO. Read what is corruption http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption

    there are a lot of different corruption methods, not just this popular one that you mentioned.

    @DaMan, “The problem with you, Erthazus is how today you say mario sucks and tomorrow you state the opposite.”

    OK. When i said that Mario sucked? Come on! Start searching now.

    “Oh, and i do know quite a bit”

    You know only how to waste your time searching my identity, retard. But you are failing to do so

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Fin

    @21

    Oh shit, can you search for me and find me, say, three cases from this year? That shouldn’t be hard, considering you said “most” reviews involve corruption.
    I’ve already looked and can’t find any, isn’t that strange?

    Oh noes, our opinions on what corruption is differ!

    I’ll say again, either provide proper evidence or SHUT THE FUCK UP and GET THE FUCK OUT.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. NeoSquall

    @1 “No shit sherlock.”

    The only agreeable part.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Erthazus

    “Oh shit, can you search for me and find me, say, three cases from this year?”

    no one will ever find you three cases for any industries corruption. Because first of all you need to be CAUGHT in it. You understand it or not?

    I can easily find you corruption in games industry by 10 years and thats says something.

    So, ” SHUT THE FUCK UP and GET THE FUCK OUT.” Seriously.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Moxifool

    @24 So no evidence then?

    Pity.

    I was looking forward to seeing you defend said evidence in hyper-neo-Soviet bullshit mode too.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Fin

    @24

    Right, I understand – you need to be CAUGHT first, before you know someone (or something) is corrupt.

    Wait, so did you just admit that when you said “most” reviews “today” involved corruption, you were lying, as you have no way to back it up? (and indeed, don’t even know if reviews are corrupt?)

    I have to say, you’re a great ambassador for our industry/hobby my man, really top notch.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. DrDamn

    @17
    What do you mean by “objective opinion” – taken as the pure definitions this is an oxymoron. Do you mean subjective opinion? Or educated opinion maybe?

    #27 3 years ago
  28. DaMan

    Blackdreamhunk 2.0. You said how ‘you’re with Blerk’ on that Mario is old and no fun anymore, and you know it. You were so persistent that I remember that clear as day. You make numerous contradictory idiotic statements all the time, Off the top: today 3ds is the shit and you doubt Sony are going to make another portable, tomorrow it’s the opposite. You also never reply when people ask you to provide evidence. You say you ‘re playing Crysis but when someone asks for pics you disappear. it’s not rocket science really.

    All I did was type that username in google. what i described came up. Nobody here cares about you personally, you’re just some persistent nutter posting bollocks 24/7. Just saying, seriously when your shitty native tongue in a videogame is more important than your K/D or W/L. there’s something wrong with you, buddy. perhaps when games like CoD will be made in Leningradskaya Oblast instead of California you’ll see some quality russian in there ;)..

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Moxifool

    @27 In the sense of pure definition, you are right it is an oxymoronic statement, given that all opinions at a basic level are influenced by one factor/aspect which makes them, to a (minor) degree at least, subjective.

    What i’m stabbing at (rather clumsily it seems), is that approaching the matter from a different and perhaps fresher perspective, instead of producing indentikit PR friendly reviews, and yet still being educated in your point of view and articulate and descriptive in your writings is what makes a review appeal to me.

    The score is strictly second fucking fiddle and should never be the tail that wags the dog. It’s all about the body of work for me and therein, the uniqueness of each writer’s perpsective which makes their reviews/articles compelling to read in the first place.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DrDamn

    @29
    Ok that’s fair. I think we are more or less on the same page. Opinion is always going to be there in some form. What needs to be clear is how and why the resulting opinion of the game was formed. It sounds obvious when you write it down but plenty of games reviews don’t do this.

    An educated view is an important aspect of a professional review too. Knowing the context of the game you are reviewing and being able to give opinions from several perspectives. (New comer to a series or seasoned veteran for example).

    Being a good read is a nice to have for me, but it should never get in the way of the facts and putting across the opinion part appropriately.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Erthazus

    @Fin, It’s called assumption, not a lie. I can’t defend anything here and i’m not trying to do so. I’m just saying how it is in MY Opinion and you can think what you want and get the F out of here yourself. I see shit like this: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/mass-effect-2

    and it’s enough for me.

    Even if you read VG247, Brenna or Pat’s (i don’t remember) article about reviews you can clearly say that this is about business.
    Something about business is called corruption.

    @HaloFratboy, “Off the top: today 3ds is the shit ”

    and it’s the shit. I said it before and i’m saying this now and will say this tomorrow. Nothing changes.

    “you doubt Sony are going to make another portable”

    Everyone knew that they will make it. Prove it or GTFO that i said something oppossite.

    “Just saying, seriously when your shitty native tongue in a videogame is more important than your K/D or W/L. there’s something wrong with you”

    Except that it’s not my native language you fat Kid. I’m Latvian :D. Remember? Or you forgot that Russian is not a native language of Baltic countries?
    Oh, i forgot. You are brain damaged, you don’t know even “THAT” and trying to guess something. :D

    “perhaps when games like CoD will be made in Leningradskaya Oblast instead of California you’ll see some quality russian in there ”

    Aha, i already experienced that quality language in Pripyat level in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 ;) thanks. You failed again as always.

    and whats language have to do with this? I don’t get it. You are trying to prove me what? If you are trying to say that by my recent quotes about COD this made you apeshit, then i’m glad i’s made you apeshit.
    It’s not important what language you use, it’s important how you use it.
    Because in Call Of Duty they are trying to use Russian forces? Ok. Then make it authentic… but they can’t make it right in the visual form and with the voice actors which for AAA title is just retarded. I guess you can make mistake, once in a while, but not in everything there is.

    and to make you even more apeshit.

    Halo games writers are so fucking horrible that even famous english voice actors make characters sound so BLAND that i’d better listen to Peach in Mario Galaxy 2 which says more words that makes sense than in the entire Halo cut scenes EVER. :D

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Christopher Jack

    Many of you take Erthazus far too seriously, you all should know by now that our & others’ opinions are completely irrelevant & that he’s right 100% of the time. Not too long ago he said that nobody prefers a gamepad over a mouse unless they don’t know how to use one, so he must be right, according to him, I either can’t use a mouse or prefer the mouse, there is no third option ;)
    He says Mass Effect 2 doesn’t nearly deserve it’s metacritic rating but nearly 2000 basic users have given it an average of 9. Don’t like the game? Fine, you’re entitled to your own opinion but so everybody else & clearly a lot of them disagree with you, get over it.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Fin

    @31

    You might want to prefix wide statements of fact with “I think” in the future, just so people don’t confuse your moronic opinion with something that might actually be true.

    Yeah, that’s true bro, whenever I see a game score on Metacritic I don’t agree with, I IMMEDIATELY think the journalists were paid off to give the score.
    Of course, I mean, it’s not like my opinion could diverge from popular opinion, right?

    I mean look at Black Ops! High review scores, massive sales – all the reviewers were obviously “persuaded” (bribed) to give the scores, and then all the people that went out an bought it, why, they were tricked into it!
    Man, it’s so annoying when the entire game journalism establishment differs from my opinion is wrong.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. Zurtech

    @15

    Absolutely agree. I really wish games journalism would go back to be about facts and features and stop with all this Tabloid crap.
    Everyone has their own opinions and views and are entitled to them, it’s just a shame there are too many people who think their opinion is fact and right.

    It’s not just the reviewers and journalists that are to blame for the industry turning into Tabloid pap to be fair. A lot of the blame can be put onto the people who just complain and moan at about everything. No one seems to actually like many games, and I think these people are the targets audience of the “shockjock” reviews and articles, which is a shame. It’s probably all swings and roundabouts tho, as the pessimists will start to make articles into more than they are as you get people taking sides, which in turn generates more and more hist for the publication, so they then write more and more with the viewpoint to invoke these “debates”.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. DaMan

    Observe:

    http://www.vg247.com/2010/06/17/sony-are-pleased-that-nintendo-is-releasing-3ds/

    Err, language barrier.. I’m saying how it’s ridiculous that russian voiceovers are more important than stuff like spawn points, balance and the such… It’s pretty much nuts. Stalker is an ukrainian game, and one that took ages to develop. Really, the depth of your criticism is amazing.. why is there bad russian in an american game? because they don’t give a crap, that’s why.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. DSB

    @15 So to you a better press is one where everybody feels and writes the same way?

    Gosh, that sounds lovely!

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Amaterasu

    Look guys, it’s not exactly breaking news that Erthazus is a 15-year-old kiddie with a tin foil hat on. He’s an interesting example of inverse-objectivity though. While most clearly thinking people start out with facts and analyse from there, Erthazus starts out with an imaginary fantasy world pieced together from an array of films and conspiracy theory websites. He makes shit up and asks other people to disprove his wild inventions, which makes him THE most annoying and unnecessary thing about this whole website.

    A new user might think he’s trolling, but after a couple of days of looking at his diarrhea you can’t help but come to the conclusion that he’s simply not the sharpest knife in the drawer (which is quite different from being a mere troll). Never mind though, because there’s still a remote chance that Erthazus will come back to read one of his comments in a couple of years and then vigorously slap himself in the face. Until that point in time when he’s grown up though, why don’t we just ignore the guy? There’s obviously enough intelligent people in here to keep a reasonable discussion going as long as we don’t let it be derailed by guys like him.

    That said, it’s pretty clear that video game review scores and perhaps the whole concept of adding an absolute number value to fully formulated opinions is flawed. Rather than point fingers and scream “corruption” though, let’s try to look at the issue from a somewhat more differentiated point of view though. After all, the people writing the actual reviews are not the people running an outlet are not necesarrily the people financing said outlet are not exclusively the publishers of games. And usually a lot of effort is made to keep the flow of advertising money strictly separate from the actual editorial process. Which is not to say that there can be no contamination (e.g. Gerstmann case), but calling a whole part of the industry corrupt based on such instances is ridiculous.

    One of the reasons gaming scores are based principally in the 8-10 region is that “everyone does it”, which in turn has long started an internal dynamic leading to more magazines adopting this scale. They want their scores to be comparable, which is why they keep them that way. That’s not a good thing but it’s how it works. But perhaps the more important reason here can be found in the generally low quality of gaming journalism. With a couple of exceptions that have already been mentioned and some great outlets that no one reads, video game “journalism” has little to do with the in-depth actual criticism found in other domains of culture. Well, or maybe it does, in that great film and music journalists are a rare breed as well.

    Bottom line: Maybe there’s a general need for video game “journalists” to become more critical and demanding towards a medium that still has some people praise the abominable plots of series like Metal Gear Solid.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. DSB

    @37 Writing something like “… usually a lot of effort is made to keep the flow of advertising money strictly seperate from the actual editorial process” would have any self-respecting journalist up in arms. The fact that most of the press is paid for by the industry itself is per definition a huge credibility problem, no matter which way you swing it.

    The fact is that currently, a lot of sites are likely to cover games, that they are themselves providing advertising space for. Whether they do throw the industry a bone or not is irrelevant, because it destroys any principal notion of non-bias towards the product itself. Gamesmedium X has zero credibility in scoring a game well if they have it plastered all over their frontpage, paying their bills, and the relevance of the number of stories they post about it can easily be drawn into question, whether it’s honest or not.

    And then making your own subjectivity out to be something that should override any writers opinion in the case of Metal Gear Solid, is exactly counter to the idea of a competent and independent press. The idea is that writers shouldn’t be ruled by anything, but competence, experience and ability. Not whiny readers, not fanboys, not sycophantic editors, not the games industry.

    You can’t measure the quality of the press on whether you agree with them or not. To me it’s a question of having options, as many opinions as possible, which is very rarely the case today. The writers who actually dare to say what they think are few and far between.

    Personally I don’t think it matters whether the general standard is low because the writers are fully dependant on the industry, or whether it’s because it’s largely made up of hobbyists rather than actual writers. What we’re left with is essentially the same.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Erthazus

    “Err, language barrier.. I’m saying how it’s ridiculous that russian voiceovers are more important than stuff like spawn points, balance and the such… It’s pretty much nuts. Stalker is an ukrainian game, and one that took ages to develop. Really, the depth of your criticism is amazing.. why is there bad russian in an american game? because they don’t give a crap, that’s why.”

    It’s not more important and it has nothing to do with the gameplay or visuals.

    “Really, the depth of your criticism is amazing.. why is there bad russian in an american game? because they don’t give a crap, that’s why.”

    They should like everyone else because their antagonist is a Russian terrorist with fake Russian language in the Modern military game? How is this authentic? Not to mention about other stuff. russians envade US? Ok. It’s a fiction and it’s a great material to epxlore, but why you need to do it so freakin fake?

    It’s the same thing like if some douche will make a game about Iraq which uses not it’s native language, but some gibberish. Of course US consumers give an F about it. OK, then sell it’s game only THERE.
    and how a game with a lot of fake stuff can be praised as game of the year?

    Same goes if some Ukrainian or Russian devs will make a game about modern US military and will have US military that speaks in gibberish and use fake guns and etc. It’s just stupid in every way out there. Other people will just laugh at this and they have the right thing to laugh at.

    Gameplay and everything else has nothing to do with it at all.

    “PSP2 that they are going to be ready to reveal in the next TGS or Gamescom.”

    i said on that topic. Key word here is “IF”.

    @Amaterasu, wall of text about me. Thank you very much for the recognition. I love you too, also i’m not 15 year old… Just make it +10 or +13 alright? It’s at least at “There”.

    “One of the reasons gaming scores are based principally in the 8-10 region is that “everyone does it”, which in turn has long started an internal dynamic leading to more magazines adopting this scale.”

    Wel du~u~h. Captain Obvious. but it’s not only that, because it’s not happening in the movie or music industry.

    @32, “He says Mass Effect 2 doesn’t nearly deserve it’s metacritic rating but nearly 2000 basic users have given it an average of 9.”

    and nearly 225 positive for the Dragon Age 2. It has nothing to do with the personal score.
    To be honest, i don’t think so that someone need to look at it at all.
    There are a lot of trolls or some publishers accounts that score games 10/10. Remember a Portal 2 situation when a lot of guys scored it for 1/10?

    I’m not saying that Mass effect 2 is something like that. I’m just saying that a lot of people who never experienced decent Sci-fi Game just scored it 10\10. It’s jsut a hyped game and for the reason. It’s just overrated.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Christopher Jack

    @39, But if I were to say that The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was over hyped, it’d be a different story, right?

    #40 3 years ago
  41. DaMan

    You ‘ve asserted numerous times the importance of ‘authentic’ russian whilst almost never or at least uncomparably rare mentioning any of the gameplay things. That leads to a conclusion that you either don’t care nearly as much, or don’t know about it.

    Really?

    Erthazus
    17/06/10, 3:17 pm
    Yeah Sony, you are very pleased to know that your PSP 2 suck?

    g00nerz
    17/06/10, 3:22 pm
    Your PSP 2 suck?

    Que

    Erthazus
    17/06/10, 3:24 pm
    PSP2 that they are going to be ready to reveal in the next TGS or Gamescom. I think they just don’t have that 3D tech thing for a new PSP, but all other products are in 3D.

    You speak with quite a certainty in there.

    #41 3 years ago
  42. IL DUCE

    @15 Totally agree dude you’re spot on, Destructoid is all shock value and even Joystiq at times as well…also the translation of letter grades is skewed…such as 1UP giving an F translating to a 0 on Metacritic as a review score…only reason a game should get a zero is if it crashes every time you try to launch it and literally cannot play it

    Also totally agree with 29 and 30

    @38 Usually the advertising and editorial sections of a site are completely separate and therefore there would be no credibility issues…extensive coverage may be another story but if its a game that a lot of people are looking forward to what site turns down the ability to preview it in order to get more readers on their site? And if it doesn’t live up to expectations, it usually says that in a review and some daring sites even point out flaws in previews instead of waiting for the review to bash a game…

    #42 3 years ago
  43. Christopher Jack

    At least his English has improved since then, I don’t know what his first language is or where he’s even from but I have noticed many grammar mistakes in his writing, thankfully he’s improved over time.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. DSB

    @42 That’s about as naive as saying your wife can’t sleep with the neighbour because she’d have to walk all the way over to his house.

    No one cares how you run your magazine, if you’re advertising for the stuff that you’re covering on the same page, then you have zero credibility. A magazine isn’t an ad section and a print section, there’s no distinction between the two. They’re one and the same entity.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. naffgeek

    What was this story about again?

    #45 3 years ago
  46. IL DUCE

    @39 the accents aren’t that great in CoD but neither were the ones in the American version of 4A Games’ Metro 2033 who are based out of the Ukraine so its not just American companies. And the reason its always this crazy unrealistic Russian invasion plot in CoD is because you saw the backlash Medal of Honor got when it based its game in present day Afghanistan and had the enemies actually called Taliban before the media outrage forced them to change it (at least in multiplayer since you were going to be able to play as them). It was being banned in GameStops on military bases so I would say that’s a bit of a sensitive issue over here…

    Not to mention Six Days in Fallujah which had a huge backlash which led to Konami pulling out as the publisher putting the game in permanent limbo due to being based on present day events – the Battle of Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom

    #46 3 years ago
  47. IL DUCE

    @DSB no need to be a dick and your analogy is weak…its not naiive, I work for a major financial institution in America and I’m in Finance…does that mean I automatically agree and make decisions based on what the Marketing department is doing or promoting? Certainly doesn’t…

    If we promote Verizon, does that mean I automatically support Verizon or promote it?…if we sponsor the Yankees does that make me a Yankee fan?…

    Since as we’ve said reviews are opinions, every one on the site doesn’t agree so depending on who reviews it dictates the score it gets…IGN advertised Brink, and they had no problem giving it a 6…pretty sure they had Duke up there, for previews and advertising, and he got a 5.5…so how does that correlate?…same thing with Homefront….

    Good games get good scores, bad games get bad scores and mediocre games get mixed reviews…end of story

    #47 3 years ago
  48. IL DUCE

    And to add to that how about this example: Darksiders

    I personally didn’t like that game, couldn’t get into it and sent it back to GameFly…doesn’t mean it was a bad game…I saw plenty of reviews and many different on the same opinion: it reminds me of God of War/Zelda type hybrid…which was followed by its great or its bad, just a clone, unoriginal or whatever…so the same factor can result in different opinions from different people and that’s why scores are totally opposite on the same game sometimes for the same reasons

    #48 3 years ago
  49. gribb85

    Metacritic do the games industry a favour and die.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. DSB

    @47 You’re talking apples and pears, and actually the analogy didn’t go far enough.

    You’d never have to go outside a magazine to coordinate with your ad people, in the case that the ad person and the editor isn’t one and the same. So in fact it would be as naive as saying your wife can’t sleep with the lodger because it means going up the stairs.

    You’re comparing business with journalism. The two have absolutely nothing to do with eachother. I wasn’t proposing that it was the rule, or even commenting on how widespread actual corruption may be in my post. I was simply pointing out that it ran directly counter to any notion of journalistic integrity.

    If someone is paying your bills, then your credibility is zero in rating what they sell, whether you’re honest or not. And, for the record, that also goes for business. If a pharmaceutical company sponsors a review of their own merchandise, it’s not exactly percieved as credible.

    #50 3 years ago
  51. IL DUCE

    Also ironic that the source of this article/blog is Destructoid…

    #51 3 years ago
  52. IL DUCE

    @DSB I’m not going to deny it and say you don’t have a point…credibility can definitely be questionable, but where does it apply? Only when a site covers a game extensively and advertises it and then gives it a good score? What about the site that advertises it and previews it then gives it a bad score (deservedly so)?

    #52 3 years ago
  53. IL DUCE

    Also the problem with reviews are they are all relative…someone, maybe even the same person, on the same site can give one game an 8 while the other person gave a much higher quality game an 8…for instance, once again the example of Eurogamer (who’s EG TV advertisement is currently plastered all over the site) giving RDR an 8 and then giving Brink an 8 a year later…I was really looking forward to Brink and played it a bunch but by no means is it an 8 imo…probably a 6 or 7 at most, especially since the lag at launch basically made it impossible to find a match to play competitively on, not to mention co-op (which that game was based around online play) hell GameSpot delayed their review for that exact reason until a patch was released to assist in fixing the lag (which it did not, may have helped slightly though), and I play RDR all the way through and did most of what the game offered and while personally I would give it a 9+ I respect that someone can say its an 8, but comparing the two…they are both not 8s…its either one or the other…Brink was a great idea but not executed well enough to deservedly get the same score as a AAA extremely high quality game such as Red Dead

    #53 3 years ago
  54. DSB

    It applies universally, just like any other principle.

    As soon as you’re paid by someone, you’re completely disqualified in covering them from a standpoint of basic credibility.

    It doesn’t matter whether the ball goes in the gutter or into the pins when you step over the line. Over the line, is over the line.

    *EDIT*

    Actually that’s not entirely true. There’s a big difference between a paper with several different advertisers, and a games mag that’s fully supported by the industry. There’s no harm involved in bringing an ad that’s related to what you write in your medium, but if there’s any reason to think that you’re somehow dependant on that advertiser, then you have a serious problem.

    #54 3 years ago
  55. IL DUCE

    @DSB the problem is once you stop advertising…that’s the minute your site ceases to exist…because now who is going to pay you? Unless you have a sub fee, an online publication cannot exist…the only one I see occassionally not advertise games is IGN since they cover movies as well and will advertise those…for instance this site constantly has advertisements, now they do not review games which makes it ok, but if you couldn’t review something once you advertised it, there would be no more game reviews…

    And still my point is even if “credibility” is lost in your eyes, how is it still the same in both situations? They are getting paid to do their job and that’s what they do whether its giving a game a good review or a bad review…and especially is the case with bad reviews, they can’t be a reliable source because they were paid to give the game a bad review?

    #55 3 years ago
  56. DSB

    I don’t care what their problems are, Duce. That’s none of my concern. Once you start taking money from the people you cover, you have a credibility problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re forced into it or not, and if your very survival depended on it, that would still only serve to diminish that credibility.

    And with that said, who’s to say that you can’t get other advertisers? Do gamers do nothing but game? Don’t some drink Red Bull or other energy drinks? Aren’t they liable to buy some custom mice and keyboards, or gamepads? Don’t they buy from independent retailers every now and then?

    I don’t buy it at all, and I don’t care why a magazine is compromising its credibility.

    I’ve never used a movie medium beyond Rotten Tomatoes personally, and I certainly wouldn’t use IGN, so I have no idea how they run their business or how they rate their movies. But if they’re fully dependent on advertising from the production companies they cover, then they obviously have exactly the same problem.

    #56 3 years ago
  57. IL DUCE

    @DSB…in regards to your edit, so then why is it a problem if a site advertises a different game every week?

    Because plenty of electronics mags/sites or car mags/sites advertise a product and preview it and then review once it is released…so is there a problem with that? How are games any different?

    Now I do not dispute publishers may be selective with what publications get review copies due to past experiences with the company…but when you are that high up its all about the numbers and I guess if you want to keep reviewing a companies games you can’t give it an unfairly bad review…but that has nothing to do with advertising, unless the site has a bad rep for something there is no reason why any other publisher is more or less likely to advertise on any site besides demographic preferences and the money it costs to advertise on that site…

    #57 3 years ago
  58. DSB

    @57 Because of relevance, obviously. A company isn’t going to advertise a game that isn’t relevant. There’s a limited window there. It’s not as if EA are going “Buy EA games” – They’re going “Buy this specific game” while that very game is featured in news, or reviews right next to it. That’s a glaring conflict of interest.

    But again, I’m not saying that everybody is being paid to write certain things, and I have no idea how great that problem really is, the only thing I can establish is that the standard generally isn’t very high.

    Either they’re either too close to those companies, or too incompetent in terms of journalism, to regard things like credibility as an issue in their reporting.

    #58 3 years ago
  59. IL DUCE

    Ok that may be so that credibility is lost once you take money from a company/product you cover…but that’s the way of the world and there is examples of it everywhere and its not going anywhere

    Pretty much, according to journalistic ethics, no gaming site that does reviews has any credibility since they all advertise games…you’re right, maybe they could advertise something else, but I assume they are not getting offered the right money to do so otherwise you would see it more often…most are just spreading the word about good games and getting paid for that, may be frowned upon ethically, but most people don’t think twice and say ‘yeah…oh I remember that game, oh there’s the release date right there on the advertisement, I need to go pre-order that and get that bonus’ or ‘I should go pick that up when it comes out’…nothing wrong with the industry supporting other members of the industry

    #59 3 years ago
  60. IL DUCE

    And now yes maybe they won’t advertise a shitty or obscure game right next to a shitty review for that game…but if Battlefield 3 comes out and their review is up at the same time that’s just because you advertise a game before, during and after its release…and game’s are reviewed only during or immediately after release (or when the embargo is lifted on reviews)…so its more just a situation of timing when good games are being advertised at the same time they are being reviewed…

    #60 3 years ago
  61. DSB

    Well, principle and reality are two different things, but those principles exist to preserve the sanctity of the press, which traditionally is a pretty holy thing.

    It’s likely that a lot of editors simply feel it suits their sites more to have games being advertised than other things – Again, because they don’t consider the conflict of interest.

    I don’t know why it is the way it is, but I think it comes to down to most of the games press being a case of gamers becoming writers, rather than actual journalists covering these things.

    #61 3 years ago
  62. Amaterasu

    DSB: You’re being unrealistic or at least you’re oversimplifying matters. Cars are provided to car reviewers by the car manufacturers. The magazines containing said reviews can, logically, contain advertisments about the same or similar products. It’s a simple matter of pragmatics and economy. As you said yourself, it’s in the interest of the magazine to display thetmatically appropriate advertisements. And it’s in the interest of manufacturers to get their products out there and written about (and sometimes to censor what’s written about). It’s the same (including advertisments and reviews of the same products) in almost any industry that has specialised publications.

    And in most cases that obviously does not hinder what you call “Objective journalism”. Because objective journalism entails just that strict separation of reviews and marketing, which does usually not constitute a problem at all. You talk about “magazines” as if their were uniform blocks of faceless matter while there’s really groups of individuals working there. And these individuals usually have a very lively interest in preserving objectivity while reviewing products. And they have a lively interest in not being pressured into writing positive reviews. In fact, as the Gerstmann case showed, it can and will cause scandals if reviewers are put under pressure by superiors or publishers.

    So no, advertisments which are tailored to a specific target audience do not automatically speak against integrity. Manifest corruption does. Take Penny-Arcade: These guys are among the most critical and reliable voices in gaming “journalism” and yet they advertise games. At times even the ones they criticise.

    #62 3 years ago

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