Metacritic and review scores are “irrelevant” to Sniper Elite dev

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 17 February 2015 23:32 GMT

Review scores roll off Rebellion like water off a duck’s back, because its games sell strongly, turn profits, and make people happy.


Sniper Elite 3 launched in mid 2014 and received a range of review scores – but it also topped the charts and made a tidy profit for Rebellion thanks to its comparatively modest development budget.

In an interview GamesIndustry, CEO Jason Kingsley said the developer doesn’t much care about review scores, preferring to please its players.

“Nobody here ever bothers about Metacritic. We think of it as irrelevant, quite frankly,” he said.

“We only concentrate on what the users think, and every aggregate user score has been significantly higher than the aggregate professional score. We care about the people who are spending their money, and whether we’re happy that we’ve made a good game.

“The acid test isn’t somebody’s abstracted number.”

Kingsley went on to acknowledge the difficulties of professional reviewing, but said critics don’t necessarily feel the same about games as general consumers. It’s more valuable for Rebellion to get its games in front of players than critics.

“The greatest value for us as digital publishers, if you like, is in embracing YouTube and Twitch and the normal people being seen playing our games,” Kingsley said.

“It lets you see what the gameplay is like, and make a decision on whether you like that and want to play it. You might not actually care whether it didn’t seem totally original to one person, or that the story was a bit crap. That new approach has taken over.”

There’s been a lot of discussion about review scores recently; Eurogamer has just dropped them, for example. We’ve never been a fan of them here at VG247, but so many people find them compelling that we round up other people’s scores on the regular.

It’s an interesting debate; clearly there’s an audience for scores, but we could probably replace every review of a non-broken game with “your mileage may vary”.

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