This article contains too many or overly lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (September 2019)
Type of site
Metacritic is a website that aggregates reviews of films, TV shows, music albums, video games, and formerly, books. For each product, the scores from each review are averaged (a weighted average). Metacritic was created by Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, and Julie Doyle Roberts in 1999. The site provides an excerpt from each review and hyperlinks to its source. A color of green, yellow or red summarizes the critics' recommendations. It is regarded as the foremost online review aggregation site for the video game industry.
Metacritic's scoring converts each review into a percentage, either mathematically from the mark given, or which the site decides subjectively from a qualitative review. Before being averaged, the scores are weighted according to the critic's fame, stature, and volume of reviews. The website won two Webby Awards for excellence as an aggregation website. Criticism tends to focus on the assessment system, alleged third-party attempts to influence the scores, and the lack of staff oversight of user reviews.
A Webby Award is an award for excellence on the Internet presented annually by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a judging body composed of over two thousand industry experts and technology innovators. Categories include websites, advertising and media, online film and video, mobile sites and apps, and social.
Metacritic was launched in January 2001by Marc Doyle, his sister Julie Doyle Roberts, and a classmate from the University of Southern California law school, Jason Dietz, after two years of developing the site. Rotten Tomatoes was already compiling movie reviews, but Doyle, Roberts and Dietz saw an opportunity to cover a broader range of media. They sold Metacritic to CNET in 2005. CNET and Metacritic were later acquired by the CBS Corporation.
The University of Southern California is a private research university in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1880, it is the oldest private research university in California. For the 2018–19 academic year, there were 20,000 students enrolled in four-year undergraduate programs. USC also has 27,500 graduate and professional students in a number of different programs, including business, law, engineering, social work, occupational therapy, pharmacy, and medicine. It is the largest private employer in the city of Los Angeles and generates $8 billion in economic impact on Los Angeles and California.
Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.
CNET, formerly Computer Network, is an American media website that publishes reviews, news, articles, blogs, podcasts and videos on technology and consumer electronics globally. Founded in 1994 by Halsey Minor and Shelby Bonnie, it was the flagship brand of CNET Networks and became a brand of CBS Interactive through CNET Networks' acquisition in 2008. CNET originally produced content for radio and television in addition to its website and now uses new media distribution methods through its Internet television network, CNET Video, and its podcast and blog networks.
Metacritic has been used by businesses to predict future sales. Nick Wingfield of The Wall Street Journal wrote that Metacritic "influence[s] the sales of games and the stocks of video game publishers". He explains its influence as coming from the higher cost of buying video games than music or movie tickets.Many executives say that low scores "can hurt the long-term sales potential". Wingfield wrote that Wall Street pays attention to Metacritic and GameRankings because the sites typically post scores before sales data are publicly available, citing the respective rapid rise and fall in company values after BioShock and Spider-Man 3 were released. In an interview with The Guardian , Marc Doyle cited two major publishers that "conducted comprehensive statistical surveys through which they've been able to draw a correlation between high metascores and stronger sales" in certain genres. He claimed that an increasing number of businesses and financial analysts use Metacritic as "an early indicator of a game's potential sales and, by extension, the publisher's stock price". However, a 2015 study analyzing over 88 Xbox 360 and 80 PS3 games from 2012 found that Metacritic scores did not impact actual sales.
The Wall Street Journal is a U.S. business-focused, English-language international daily newspaper based in New York City. The Journal, along with its Asian and European editions, is published six days a week by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp. The newspaper is published in the broadsheet format and online. The Journal has been printed continuously since its inception on July 8, 1889, by Charles Dow, Edward Jones, and Charles Bergstresser.
Wall Street is an eight-block-long street running roughly northwest to southeast from Broadway to South Street, at the East River, in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. Over time, the term has become a metonym for the financial markets of the United States as a whole, the American financial services industry, or New York–based financial interests.
GameRankings is a website that collects review scores from both offline and online sources to give an average rating. It indexes over 315,000 articles relating to more than 14,500 video games.
Controversially, the website has been used by game publishers as a means of determining whether a game's developer receives additional royalties. One notable example is the 2010 game Fallout: New Vegas , which received an average Metascore of 84—one point too short of Bethesda's, the game's publisher, 85-point requirement. As a result, its developer, Obsidian Entertainment, received no additional bonus. Columnists took issue with the company's use of Metacritic, with one suggesting that that makes game critics ultimately accountable for deciding the developer's profits and another pointing out that a Metascore of 84 is not significantly lower than 85. The latter also pointed out the impressive sales of five million sold units and US$300 million in revenue, and also noted a series of Obsidian's layoffs in 2011 and 2012.
Fallout: New Vegas is a post-apocalyptic action role-playing video game. It is a spin-off of the Fallout series and was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was announced in April 2009 and released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 19, 2010. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic open world environment that encompasses a region consisting of parts of Nevada, California, and Arizona. It is set in a world that deviated onto an alternate timeline thanks to atomic age technology, which eventually led to its devastation by a nuclear apocalypse in the year 2077 in an event referred to as "The Great War". This war was caused by a major international conflict between the United States and China over natural resources. The main story of New Vegas takes place in the year 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3. It is not a direct sequel, but it does mark the return of a number of elements found in the Black Isle Studios-developed Fallout 2.
On the other hand, the website has been used by columnists and commentators as a general reference for critical reception,and by publishers as a tool of improving their products. Along with other executives, in 2008, John Riccitiello, then CEO of Electronic Arts, showed Wall Street analysts a chart illustrating a downward trend in the average critical ratings of the company's games. He took the ratings seriously and stressed the need for the company to bounce back. Also in 2008, Microsoft used Metacritic averages to delist underperforming Xbox Live Arcade games.
John Riccitiello is an American executive who serves as chief executive officer (CEO) of Unity Technologies. Previously, he served as CEO, chief operating officer and president of Electronic Arts, and co-founded private equity firm Elevation Partners in 2004. Riccitiello has served on several company boards, including those of the Entertainment Software Association, the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the Haas School of Business and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) is a digital video game download service available through the Xbox Games Store, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360. It focuses on smaller downloadable games from both major publishers and independent game developers. Titles range from classic console and arcade video games, to new games designed from the ground up for the service. Games available through the XBLA service range from $5–20 in price, and as of October 2016, there have been 719 Xbox Live Arcade titles released for the Xbox 360. Prior to the Xbox 360, "Xbox Live Arcade" was the name for an online distribution network on the original Xbox, which was replaced by the Xbox Live Marketplace.
Scores are weighted averages. Certain publications are given more significance "because of their stature".Metacritic has said that it will not reveal the relative weight assigned to each reviewer.
Games Editor Marc Doyle was interviewed by Keith Stuart of The Guardian to "get a look behind the metascoring process". Stuart wrote: "The metascore phenomenon, namely Metacritic and GameRankings, have become an enormously important element of online games journalism over the past few years".Doyle said that because video games lead to a greater investment of time and money, gamers are more informed about reviews than are fans of film or music; they want to know "whether that hotly anticipated title is going to deliver".
|Generally favorable reviews||75–89||61–80|
|Mixed or average reviews||50–74||40–60|
|Generally unfavorable reviews||20–49||20–39|
In June 2018, the website introduced the 'Metacritic: Must-See' label for films that attain scores of 81% or more, with at least 15 professional reviews for the given film.In September 2018, it added the 'Metacritic: Must-Play' certification for video games attaining a score of 90% or more, and a minimum number of 15 reviews from industry professionals.
Metacritic received mixed reviews from website critics, commentators, and columnists alike. Its efficacy has been analyzed, with conclusions finding it to be generally usefulor unreliable and biased. The website won two annual Webby Awards for excellence in the "Guides/Ratings/Reviews" category, in 2010 and 2015.
Metacritic has been criticized for converting all scoring systems into a single quantitative percentage-based scale. For example, an "A" score equates to the value of 100, an "F" the value of zero, and a "B–" the value of 67.Joe Dodson, former editor at Game Revolution, criticized Metacritic and similar sites for turning reviews into scores that he found to be too low. Doyle defended the grading system, believing that every scale should be converted directly to that of the website, with its lowest possible score being 0 and the highest 100. Further criticism was directed to the website's refusal to publicize how it aggregates scores.
According to Doyle, publishers often try to persuade him to exclude reviews they feel are unfair, but he said that once a publication is included, he refuses to omit any of its reviews.A Washington Post review of Uncharted 4 was assigned with a rating of 40/100 by Metacritic; this was the only negative review of the game. Readers who disapproved of the review petitioned Metacritic to remove the Post as a trusted source. As a result of its perceived negative influence on the industry, several reviewing sites, including Kotaku and Eurogamer , have dropped numerical reviews that would appear in Metacritic, instead favoring a qualitative assessment of a game.
Metacritic has also been criticized for how it handles banning users and their reviews, with no notice or formal process for appeal.Critics and developers have pointed out that a product can suffer from rating manipulation by users, as by garnering low ratings that purposely damage its reputation or by receiving high ratings from throwaway accounts to make it appear more popular than it actually is. Signal Studios president and creative director Douglas Albright described the website as having no standards.
A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that have been developed either internally by the publisher or externally by a video game developer. As with book publishers or publishers of DVD movies, video game publishers are responsible for their product's manufacturing and marketing, including market research and all aspects of advertising.
Command & Conquer (C&C) is a real-time strategy (RTS) video game franchise, first developed by Westwood Studios. The first game was one of the earliest of the RTS genre, itself based on Westwood Studios' influential strategy game Dune II and introducing trademarks followed in the rest of the series. This includes full-motion video cutscenes with a notable ensemble cast to progress the story, as opposed to digitally in-game rendered cutscenes. Westwood Studios was taken over by Electronic Arts in 1998 and closed down in 2003. The studio and some of its members were absorbed into EA Los Angeles, which continued development on the series.
Troika Games was an American video game developer co-founded by Jason Anderson, Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky. The company was focused on role-playing video games between 1998 and 2005, best known for Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura and Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is a construction and management simulation video game. It is the third installment in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, first released on October 26, 2004, in North America. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 places players in charge of managing amusement parks; rides can be built or demolished, terrain and scenery can be adjusted, and prices can be controlled to keep visitors or "peeps" happy.
Escapist Magazine is an American video game website and online magazine. First published as a weekly online magazine by Themis Media on July 12, 2005, The Escapist eventually pivoted to a traditional web journalism format and became well-known for a roster of popular video series.
Airport Tycoon is a business simulation game released for Windows 95/98 in 2000. It was developed in the United Kingdom by Krisalis Software. In Airport Tycoon, the player must successfully build and manage an airport without going bankrupt. There have been two sequels created for Airport Tycoon: Airport Tycoon 2 and Airport Tycoon 3. There was to be a Nintendo 64 version released as well, but this version was cancelled for unknown reasons.
Tony Hawk's is a skateboarding video game series published by Activision from 1999 to 2015, and endorsed by the eponymous American professional skateboarder. The series was primarily developed for home consoles by Neversoft from launch to 2007, until Activision transferred the franchise to Robomodo in 2008. At the time the licensing deal between Activision and Hawk expired in 2015, the series had spawned a total of 19 games.
The simExchange is a web-based prediction market in which players use virtual money to buy and sell stocks and futures contracts in upcoming video game properties. The main purpose of the web site is to predict trends in the video game industry, particularly how upcoming products will sell and how they will be received by the critics. For those who do not participate in the prediction market, the web site is a database of sales forecasts and game quality forecasts that are updated in real-time. The web site also features a number of "Wisdom of the crowd"-type content collaboration and aggregation tools, including means for sharing information, articles, images, and videos about the games.
A review aggregator is a system that collects reviews of products and services. This system stores the reviews and uses them for purposes such as supporting a website where users can view the reviews, selling information to third parties about consumer tendencies, and creating databases for companies to learn about their actual and potential customers. The system enables users to easily compare many different reviews of the same work. Many of these systems calculate an approximate average assessment, usually based on assigning a numeric value to each review related to its degree of positive rating of the work.
The Maw is an action-adventure video game developed by Twisted Pixel Games. Released for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Microsoft Windows, the game centers on the extraterrestrial Frank and a purple, amorphous creature called The Maw, who have crash-landed their spacecraft on an alien planet. The player assumes the role of Frank and directs The Maw—which can take on the abilities of objects and fauna it consumes—via a leash.
Uncharted is an action-adventure third-person shooter platform video game series developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment for PlayStation consoles.
VG247 is a video game blog published in the United Kingdom, founded in February 2008 by industry veteran Patrick Garratt. In 2009, CNET blog Crave ranked it as the third best gaming blog in the world.
Unepic is a video game which was released on September 30, 2011. The game was developed in Barcelona, Spain by Francisco Téllez de Meneses and various collaborators.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is an action-adventure video game developed by Finnish studio Cornfox & Bros. It focuses on an unnamed boy protagonist's quest to find his lost father and defeat the living fortress, Oceanhorn. It was first released for iOS in November 2013, and later had ports for Android, Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation Vita.
Sudden Strike is a real-time tactics computer game set in World War II and the first game in the Sudden Strike series. The game was developed by Fireglow based in Russia and published by CDV software of Germany. The player selects a faction and gains control of many varied units such as infantry, tanks and artillery. The games focus primarily on tactics, eschewing traditional real-time strategy resource gathering and base development.
Creative Mobile is an independent video game developer and publisher based in Tallinn, Estonia.
OpenCritic is a review aggregation website for video games. OpenCritic lists reviews from critics across multiple video game publications for the games listed on the site. The website then generates a numeric score by averaging all of the numeric reviews. Several other metrics are also available, such as the percentage of critics that recommend the game and its relative ranking across all games on OpenCritic.
Sky Force is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up video game series created by the Polish video game developer Infinite Dreams Inc.. The gameplay is reminiscent of Capcom's 19XX series and Seibu Kaihatsu's Raiden series, featuring a weapon upgrade system and large end of stage bosses.
A review bomb is an Internet phenomenon in which large groups of people leave negative user reviews online in an attempt to harm the sales and/or popularity of a product, particularly to draw attention to an issue with the product or its vendor. It is a similar practice to vote brigading, and review bombing shares characteristics with this practice.
1% is a 2017 Australian biker film directed by Stephen McCallum and starring Ryan Corr, Abbey Lee and Matt Nable, who also wrote the film. It premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017.
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