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Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games 169

Posted by Soulskill
from the arbitrary-numbers-are-arbitrary dept.
A recent report from a games industry analyst suggests that among a number of factors leading to the purchase of a video game — such as price, graphics and word of mouth — the game's aggregated review score is the least important measure. Analyst Doug Creutz said, "We believe that while Metacritic scores may be correlated to game quality and word of mouth, and thus somewhat predictive of title performance, they are unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game. We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores. We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."
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Review Scores the "Least Important Factor" When Buying Games

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  • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @06:53AM (#30235548) Homepage

    Well, here in Portugal our only magazine dedicated to PC games (there's no market for more than one, really) gives plenty of low scores, and you're right, that's one of the reasons I trust their reviews. Besides the full text, the scores range from 0 to 100, and a few months ago they gave 4 to one game. Most games get between 50 to 60, but there are plenty of 30s and 40s.

    I actually like the magazine very much, and had it subscribed a few years ago, but I end up playing only one or two AAA games each year, so it's not worth it. I hope they don't go under, though. We never had a strong PC games market, but now I fear it's reducing to new lows.

  • by boombaard (1001577) on Thursday November 26, 2009 @07:09AM (#30235642) Journal
    Luckily with games, there are free demos available on every major torrent site.
    Having said that, I do realise that this applies less to console owners, who are in a more difficult position because they generally can't test games before purchasing it, meaning they will have to live with a lower signal-to-noise ratio. (But then, they were the ones who chose to invest in a closed platform.)
    Anyway, I'm fairly happy that most games are available for free testing (I'm usually not really in a rush to get any particular game), because - looking back - I can't really say that I found very many games that would've been worth my money if I had bought them (not even when they were sold at half 'list' price).. For the last couple of years the list would pretty much be limited to Portal, EU3, World in Conflict, Vampire: Bloodlines and Civ4 (and Arkham Asylum was OK too, just not at the current prices). Not a very long list, I might note.
    In all, I would suggest people don't get consoles, as too much bargaining power is taken away from you in getting one, and too many games just aren't worth wasting money on.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 26, 2009 @10:48AM (#30236908)
    You've obviously never played Extreme Paintbrawl before. I remember PC Gamer in 1998 giving it a review score of 6/100, with the only redeeming quality of it being the box it came in was recyclable. And I'm sure that was just them being generous too. The game is really that terrible.

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

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