Metacritic ditches plans to assign scores to developers

By Stephany Nunneley, Thursday, 31 March 2011 18:37 GMT

Metacritic announced earlier this week it was suspending developer ratings on the site, but it has since decided to forgo individual developer ratings altogether.

According to Metacritic co-founder and games editor Marc Doyle, the firm has decided not to re-implement developer scores on the site because developer resumes are not as detailed as the site would like, and also because it believes the games industry doesn’t credit staff on projects the way it should.

Speaking in an interview with, Doyle said Metacritic still plans to build a developer database, but will forgoe assigning any numbers to those listed in the future.

“We have no plans to bring it back,” he said regarding developer ratings. “Right now we just want to see if we can build the database, take a shot at it, see what we can do.

“If [developers] worked on 30 games and we can only show four and then we take on this score, which is really just an average of those games in our database for them, then that’s not fair. We discussed it as a team and it made sense to just drop that overall number whilst still trying to build this database which will be difficult, but we’re going to give it a shot. It’s needless to put that number on it though.”

Scores for individual developers have been live since last summer, but the addition was only recently noticed by developers. Some complained details regarding their development history was not included, or Metacritic didn’t cite specific releases.

“We’ve found it very tough in some cases to say who has been responsible for a game,” admitted Doyle. “I think that is an issue, of the industry not needing or not wanting to put that information out there. I don’t know exactly what’s behind that, I haven’t discussed that with too many publishers.

“If by this issue coming about in the last week all of a sudden the publishers and developers are like: ‘Yes, let’s standardise this whole system’, and everyone wanted to go out there and in every game attach their credits, then we could hire someone to simply input that into our system. But… I don’t necessarily see that happening and I don’t think you see that happening.”

“That’s ultimately the goal of Metacritic: What should I watch, what should I play? Not necessarily to fuel some larger discussion over what person is more worthy than some other person.”

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