Here’s a fascinating read from Gamesindistry.biz, detailing Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley’s views on the relevance of Metacritic scores in the age of gamers broadcasting their play sessions online and buggy big-name game releases.
In a nutshell: Metacritic scores from professional reviewers don’t mean anything.
Kingsley cites the commercial performance of Rebellion’s games versus their critical reception, and the changing nature of the games industry and the professional review process as reasons behind Metacritic’s irrelevance.
Rebellion’s Sniper Elite series, for instance, has never been a critical hit with reviewers, yet the people who pay for and play the games love the franchise, as reflected in games’ commercial success and higher user scores on Metacritic versus those given by pro reviewers.
All Rebellion cares about is whether gamers who pay for the studio’s games like and enjoy them, he says, and professional reviews aren’t needed for that. Thanks to the rise in popularity of YouTube gamers like PewDiePie and TotalBiscuit who stream games online for anyone to watch, gamers don’t need anyone to tell them if a game is worth their time and money or not – they can simply see for themselves.
But more than that, professional reviewers have different priorities to paying gamers, producing somewhat skewed views of games they haven’t paid for that are influenced far more by personal preference and a need to publish ASAP than actual objectivity.
On the back of that, it’s quite easy to understand how Kingsley could conclude that Metacritic, a site that aggregates review scores is no longer relevant, and that videos from regular gamers are king.
Much of the rest of the gaming industry, on the other hand, still relies on Metacritic scores to determine bonuses and predict sales performance.
If you’re interested in the business side of games and want greater detail on Rebellion’s Metacritic stance, the Gamesindustry.biz article detailing Kingsley’s opinion is a fantastic read.
[Source – Gamesindustry.biz]