DeMartini: EA wants to “be 90 plus Metacritic at everything”

Monday, 25th June 2012 00:13 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Mega-publisher EA doesn’t set its sights low, according to Origin senior vice president David DeMartini.

Speaking to MCV, DeMartini said the publisher maintains high internal targets.

“EA is in a really interesting place. We have this bar that is set so high, so that whether it is any of our games or services, we want to be 90 plus Metacritic at everything,” he said.

“Origin is moving in that direction. We are not there yet. We understand that. But we are going to get there soon.”

DeMartini and colleague Peter Moore have both hinted in the past that they don’t feel Origin is up to scratch yet, asking gamers to afford them the same growth time as rival service Steam, but the Origin executive is happy with progress so far.

“If 12 months ago you would tell me we’d be in the conversation, I would have been pretty happy,” he admitted.

“And when you look at the fact that over 12m people have downloaded Origin, we have over 50 partners that have flocked to the service in less than 12 months, and we did over $150m in revenue, which represented 400 per cent growth over the previous year – those numbers show we are making huge progress.”




  1. GrimRita

    Of course all their games will score over 90% no matter how shit(SWTOR) they are. If any kind of media considers scoring their games any lower, advertising will probably get pulled (like gamespot/Eidos/kane and lynch).

    Rather than forcing media to yield high review scores, why not actually make games that warrant it?

    Regarding Origin, they make it sound like it was a choice. gamers who wanted to play EA games had ZERO choice up until recently as they had to install Origin to play.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Giskard

    @1 For the most part, the games that have over 90 Metascore DO deserve it. Mass Effect 1 + 2 were extremely stellar games, and ME3 did not deserve the shit storm it got.

    And the fact you think all reviewers are “bought” is just not true. There is an inflation in game review scores, that’s for sure, but I have a hard time believing ANYONE has the amount of money necessary to buy every single positive review their games get.

    EA may not always be right, but I do enjoy many of their games, and if I disagree with a DLC or game pricing, I just don’t buy it. Simples.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. mad1723

    Isn’t he the same guy who said 3 weeks ago that 75% sale devaluate IPs, only to see such sales pop-up on Origin 3 weeks later?…

    And metacritic 90 is really hard to achieve and should not be a goal in itself, as it is easy to kill a studio based on a single metacritic point down as per the contract (see the fallout new vegas metacritic fiasco).

    #3 3 years ago
  4. TMRNetShark

    Funny… cause Steam has almost 5 million at peak hours each day… makes you think that 12 million who have DOWNLOADED Origins is almost nothing compared to the potentially 50 million people who have steam.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    Metacritic is just a shitty site using a shitty methodology to produce shitty results.

    Granted, the games press is culpable as well, but if Metacritic used the same methodology as Rotten Tomatoes, then it would be a lot more obvious just how shit most games reviewers are at what they do.

    Games would be getting something like 95% positive ratings across the board, since the Rotten Tomatoes model merely tallies positive and negative reviews, and applies a “fresh” rating to the movies that get more than 60% positive reviews.

    It’s a much more sensible way to represent criticism. It also completely removes the need for a 1-10 scale, which is pretty retarded to begin with. Let alone a 1-100, which Metacritic then warps it into, so it makes even less sense.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    Only true masterpieces should score that much, people are far too liberal when it comes to properly rating a game. MW3 has 6 perfect 10s, I’m not saying it’s a bad game, but you can’t tell me it deserves that.

    @5, Nothing is fundamentally wrong with Metacritic itself, it too lists the positive, mediocre & negative reviews underneath the mean score- the most accurate way of measuring this kind of statistic. 10s & %s are easily convertible into 100s, it’s when the reviewers use letters they start to muddy things up.

    My problem is how easily 10s are rewarded by reviewers, they’ve essentially knocked everything up 2 notches & 7 is now considered the mediocre measuring stick rather than 5.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. KodyxDestroyer

    @2 When he says that all reviews are bought, he means it indirectly. If these gaming websites get their money from ad revenue which they do, 90% of all ads on the gaming website are for games. So, indirectly, the game companies are paying the gaming websites salaries.

    Oh, and Mass Effect 3 deserved every bit of shit it got, Casey Hudson lied through his teeth for almost a year about the game, and Mac Walters single-handedly destroyed an epic story. Should have kept Drew Karpyshyn on throughout the entire series, instead of moving him to TOR which sucks ass and then he later quit.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Edo

    You are 90+ at destroying promising franchises,that’s for sure.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. NeoSquall

    Why is this man still allowed to speak?

    He should be kept in a padded room with a straightjacket by now.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Pytox

    This man is outrageous …

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Maximum Payne

    Crytek also wanted 90+ , for Crysis 2….

    #11 3 years ago
  12. freedoms_stain

    It’s not a bad bar to set for yourself, it’s just a massive shame that EA seem to think shooting at the absolute lowest common denominator middle of the road is the way to do it.

    Here’s an idea EA, let your creators create something worthwhile instead of telling them to build you a competitor for X or Y existing successful game, because that’s what your business model looks like right now (outside of yearly sports franchises) and it stinks like the motherload of shitty ass.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    @6 Which would make sense if opinions were somehow based on a mathematical formula. They’re not.

    In terms of opinion, there’s no difference between a 40% and a 20%. If a game is 60% crap, then it’s bad. Thumbs down. If a game is 60% good, then it’s worth playing, thumbs up. Which makes these scores completely irrelevant.

    What’s the difference between a 63% game and a 60% game? Is the 63% actually 3% better in actual fact, or is the methodology just crap? I’m strongly for the latter.

    I can somewhat see the justification for a 5-scale, because it removes the comfortable middleground, and thus at least forces a reviewer to own his opinion, but ultimately the only point of a review is to tell you whether something is good or not.

    That’s what Rotten Tomatoes base their methodology on, and it gives you a far better impression, not just of the movies, but of the reviews themselves, since you actually have to read them to find out why they’re recommended or not.

    Most sites choose to hide behind 10 different shades of grey, and obviously the reviewers aren’t good enough to work with that kind of complexity, and I don’t see how it possibly makes a review any better.

    You don’t want to play a 4/10, and if a reviewer gives something a 5/10, it just goes to show that he doesn’t give a damn about it.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Christopher Jack

    63% is actually 5% more than 60%.
    Overall, it seems that you’re only asking reviewers to say whether a game sucks or not & that’s simply too black & white.
    10%= Fucking pathetic.
    20%= Shit.
    30%= Awful.
    40%= Bad.
    50%= Mediocre.
    60%= OK.
    70%= Good.
    80%= Great.
    90%= Excellent.
    100% Fucking Masterpiece.
    It’s not a hard system to understand, it’s just how the reviewers seem to believe that everything should be measured in between 7 & 10 to keep their ad revenue flowing.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. DSB

    @14 I think that’s nonsense.

    What’s the difference between fucking pathetic, shit and bad? And why would you ever want to play either of the three? There’s absolutely no reason why they should be on the scale. They mean the exact same thing.

    And if it’s good, then you’ll want to play it. Whether it’s great or excellent is totally superfluous, the recommendation still stands.

    What boxes are you checking there to make the distinctive difference? It’s just nonsense.

    An entertainment review isn’t about scoring. It’s not a test.

    It’s a subjective work, given a subjective rundown, with a subjective conclusion.

    You can choose to put a number on it, sure, but 1-10 just gets in the way of the actual opinion, because the vast majority of those tiers mean the exact same thing to the reviewer.

    I can understand a 1-5. 1 to 2 are games you don’t want to play, and 3 to 5 are games you do. A 4 is a definite, a 3 is a possibility, a 5 is a masterpiece. A 1 is irredeemable, and a 2 is a warning.

    But even then, you still have people looking at numbers instead of the actual opinion, which is what contains the entire rationale and logic of the review. People thinking that the number matters are missing the point.

    A 5 to you may be a 2 to me, and vice versa. The numbers mean nothing. They can’t stand alone. The opinion however, can.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael


    It’s a fucking joke.

    @15 How is this for a valid 10 point table?

    (Which reminds me I seriously need to update that page)

    Obviously, at the end of the day, a review should speak for itself without the number at the end to dictate, but I wouldn’t consider scores completely invalid.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 I still don’t think it’s good. There’s no real consequence between the bottom three and the top three.

    I’ll always want to play a game that’s representative of either of the top three, but I wouldn’t want to play one that’s representative of any of the bottom three.

    It’s really pretty much the same with the middle three. If you’re generally patient and tolerant, consider anything between 4-7.

    It reminds me of government ratings more than anything, and I don’t associate that with opinion. I associate that with very specific criteria.

    A review needs air to breathe in my opinion. You don’t have to be that specific with a score. Is it good or not? If you can tell people that through a number, super, but I don’t think you can genuinely fit a great amount of detail into 10 numbers, without stretching logic a good bit, by essentially trying to objectify something as subjective as a review.

    Sometimes a “flawed” game deserves to be called great, and other times a “perfect” game deserves to be called crap. They’re more than the sum of their parts in my opinion.

    Are there really only 10 types of games? Or 10 different ways to feel about ‘em? I think there’s a million.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. OrbitMonkey

    A simple 4 star system, like you see on Amazon. Bad, ok, good, excellent. That’s all you need fir a quick look.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. OlderGamer

    Another thing to think about is what is the impact of said system on gamers. In terms of buying games. I think it really hampers preorders and launch window purchases. But I doubt it effect the long term sales tail(admitadly lots of second games) of a game. But if a game gets a 84% or a 77% aren’t you at least a slight bit put off by it?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Christopher Jack

    @15, I still fail to see your point, 10 is just double 5, if it’ll make you feel better, just half the score & do the total out of 5, it doesn’t take a genius.

    #20 3 years ago

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