Metacritic refuse to remove factually inaccurate review even after GameSpot admits mistake

Thursday, 15 November 2012 09:41 GMT By Nick Akerman

Metacritic’s policy to accept a publication’s first review is coming back round to haunt Natural Selection 2. GameSpot reviews editor Kevin VanOrd recently banished the site’s original article due to a number of factual errors and silly mistakes. Unfortunately, Metacritic is refusing to replace the old score with GameSpot’s replacement verdict.

VanOrd removed the piece from freelancer Eric Neigher, issued an apology, and asked UK-based writer Ashton Raze to provide a second review.

While GS dealt with the situation accordingly, Metacritic is refusing to acknowledge the new score. The original 6/10 still stands even though Raze justified an 8/10 in the re-review.

Metacritic explained the situation.

“Yes, the critics we track know – and I spoke to the GameSpot team about this this week – that we only accept the first review and first score published for a given game,” MC head Marc Doyle told Kotaku.

“I’m explicit about this policy with every new publication we agree to track. It’s a critic-protection measure, instituted in 2003 after I found that many publications had been pressured to raise review scores (or de-publish reviews) to satisfy outside influences. Our policy acted as a disincentive for these outside forces to apply that type of inappropriate pressure.”

Although it is difficult to criticise Metacritic in this situation, Natural Selection 2 doesn’t appear to be getting a fair crack of the whip. GameSpot indicated the original review had many flaws, surely the second critique needs to be considered? In this day and age, we should never underestimate the power of a Metacritic score.

It appears Eric Neigher’s reviews have caused controversy before. Uber Entertainment questioned whether or not he had actually played Monday Night Combat after his review went live.