Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch spoke about Metacritic, saying that the site’s impact on game sales is on the wane.
During Embracer Group’s Q4 Report presentation (via VG 24/7), Karch spoke about the launch of Evil Dead: The Game. The game has, apparently, sold 500,000 units in less then a week. Karch spoke about the game’s review scores, which aren’t terrific.
“The other thing we’ve learned is that the days of a Metacritic score determining how well a game sells are long gone.
“Games are sold by the quality of the product itself, irrespective of how well the game performs. I can name games that scored 8s and 9s that, I can tell you, publishers wished they never released. It’s nice to put a plaque on your wall, but if you can’t afford the nail to hang the plaque, what’s the point, right?”
This is a nice way of looking at things, in a way. That people place such bizarre importance on a number, rather than on critique—which traditionally utilises things like words and thoughts—is sad. It’s also not pleasant when one hears about studios rewarding their employees monetarily if a game achieves certain scores.
Not that Metacritic doesn’t provide a useful service. Just that it maybe shouldn’t determine the success of entire games and genres.