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Full Sail study attempts to shed light on Metacritic's weighting system
Full Sail study attempts to shed light on Metacritic's weighting system Exclusive
March 27, 2013 | By Simon Parkin




[Update: Metacritic has responded to the study, claiming that the information is "wildly, wholly inaccurate." The full statement can be found on Facebook.]

The website Metacritic weights the scores of different video game critics and publications when calculating its aggregate 'metascore' for any particular title.

Each critic/ publication is assigned one of six different weightings of 'importance', with some publications exerting considerably more influence over a game's final 'metascore' than others.

This was revealed by Adams Greenwood-Ericksen of Full Sail University at a talk titled 'A Scientific Assessment of the Validity and Value of Metacritic' delivered at the Game Developer's Conference in San Fransisco this afternoon.

Metacritic confirmed to Greenwood-Ericksen during the course of his research that the site applies different weightings to incoming critics and publications' reviews in order to calculate its 'averaged' numerical score for any particular title.

However, it would not reveal how the weightings were assigned to different publications or on what criteria one critic was given a greater weighing than another.

The course director and his students then set about modelling the weightings based on data pulled from the site. Finally, after six months of work, the researchers compared their modeled scores to the actual scores and discovered that across the 188 publications that feed into Metacritic's video game score work, their findings were almost entirely accurate.

Greenwood-Ericksen stated they wanted to carry out the research as Metacritic scores are "very important to a lot of people" and pointed out that, when publishers withhold financial bonuses when a game doesn't reach its Metacritic target, livelihoods are tied up in the site's work.

He also reminded attendees that often a publisher's Wall Street stock can change on the basis of a Metacritic score., and as such the site's workings are of practical interest.

The findings will also be of interest to consumers as, if accurate, they reveal that some official magazines and sites (which are sponsored by platform holders in some cases) are assigned a greater weighting than independent sites and critics.

Here is the full listing of score weightings used by Metacritic according to Greenwood-Ericksen's research:

Weighting -- Critic/ Publication

Highest (1.5) -- Dark Zero
Highest (1.5) -- Digital Chumps
Highest (1.5) -- Digital Entertainment News
Highest (1.5) -- Extreme Gamer
Highest (1.5) -- Firing Squad
Highest (1.5) -- Game Almighty
Highest (1.5) -- Game Informer
Highest (1.5) -- GamePro
Highest (1.5) -- Gamers Europe
Highest (1.5) -- GameTrailers
Highest (1.5) -- GotNext
Highest (1.5) -- IGN
Highest (1.5) -- IGN AU
Highest (1.5) -- IGN UK
Highest (1.5) -- Just Adventure
Highest (1.5) -- Machinima
Highest (1.5) -- Planet Xbox 360
Highest (1.5) -- PlayStation Official Magazine UK
Highest (1.5) -- PlayStation Official Magazine US
Highest (1.5) -- Telegraph
Highest (1.5) -- The New York Times
Highest (1.5) -- TheSixthAxis
Highest (1.5) -- TotalPlayStation
Highest (1.5) -- VGPub
Highest (1.5) -- Videogameszone.de
Highest (1.5) -- Wired
Highest (1.5) -- Xboxic
Highest (1.5) -- Yahoo Games
Highest (1.5) -- ZTGames Domain

High (1.25) -- Absolute Games
High (1.25) -- ActionTrip
High (1.25) -- Adventure Gamers
High (1.25) -- Computer & Video Games
High (1.25) -- Console Gameworld
High (1.25) -- Da GameBoyz
High (1.25) -- Darkstation
High (1.25) -- Edge Magazine
High (1.25) -- EGM
High (1.25) -- EuroGamer Italy
High (1.25) -- EuroGamer Spain
High (1.25) -- G4 TV
High (1.25) -- Game Chronicles
High (1.25) -- GameDaily
High (1.25) -- Gameplayer
High (1.25) -- Gamer 2.0
High (1.25) -- Gamervision
High (1.25) -- Games Master UK
High (1.25) -- Gamespot
High (1.25) -- GameSpy
High (1.25) -- Gaming Age
High (1.25) -- Gaming Nexus
High (1.25) -- Maxi Consoles (Portugal)
High (1.25) -- Pelit
High (1.25) -- Play.tm
High (1.25) -- PlayStation Universe
High (1.25) -- PlayStation Official AU
High (1.25) -- PSM3 Magazine UK
High (1.25) -- PS Extreme
High (1.25) -- RPG Fan
High (1.25) -- Strategy Informer
High (1.25) -- Team Xbox
High (1.25) -- The Onion (AV Club)
High (1.25) -- Totally 360
High (1.25) -- WonderwallWeb
High (1.25) -- XGN

Medium (1.0) -- 1Up
Medium (1.0) -- CPU Gamer
Medium (1.0) -- Cubed3
Medium (1.0) -- Cynamite
Medium (1.0) -- D+Pad Magazine
Medium (1.0) -- DailyGame
Medium (1.0) -- Destructoid
Medium (1.0) -- Eurogamer
Medium (1.0) -- Everyeye.it
Medium (1.0) -- Game Revolution
Medium (1.0) -- Game Shark
Medium (1.0) -- Gameblog.fr
Medium (1.0) -- GameKult
Medium (1.0) -- Gamereactor Denmark
Medium (1.0) -- Gamers' Temple
Medium (1.0) -- GameShark
Medium (1.0) -- Gameblog.fr
Medium (1.0) -- GamesNation
Medium (1.0) -- GameStar
Medium (1.0) -- GameTap
Medium (1.0) -- Gaming Target
Medium (1.0) -- Gamereactor Sweden
Medium (1.0) -- The Guardian
Medium (1.0) -- Hardcore Gamer Magazine
Medium (1.0) -- HellBored
Medium (1.0) -- NiceGamers
Medium (1.0) -- Joystiq
Medium (1.0) -- Just RPG
Medium (1.0) -- Level 7.nu
Medium (1.0) -- Modojo
Medium (1.0) -- MondoXbox
Medium (1.0) -- Multiplayer.it
Medium (1.0) -- N-Europe
Medium (1.0) -- Netjak
Medium (1.0) -- NGamer Magazine
Medium (1.0) -- Nintendo Life
Medium (1.0) -- Nintendo Power
Medium (1.0) -- Nintendojo
Medium (1.0) -- Nintendo World Report
Medium (1.0) -- NZGamer
Medium (1.0) -- Official Nintendo Magazine UK
Medium (1.0) -- Official Xbox 360 Magazine UK
Medium (1.0) -- Official Xbox Magazine
Medium (1.0) -- Official Xbox Magazine UK
Medium (1.0) -- PALGN
Medium (1.0) -- PC Format
Medium (1.0) -- PC Gamer (Germany)
Medium (1.0) -- PC Gamer UK
Medium (1.0) -- PC Gamer
Medium (1.0) -- PC Powerplay
Medium (1.0) -- PGNx Media
Medium (1.0) -- Play Magazine
Medium (1.0) -- PlayStation LifeStyle
Medium (1.0) -- Pocketgamer UK
Medium (1.0) -- PT Games
Medium (1.0) -- Real Gamer
Medium (1.0) -- SpazioGames
Medium (1.0) -- Talk Xbox
Medium (1.0) -- The Escapist
Medium (1.0) -- Thunderbolt
Medium (1.0) -- Total VideoGames
Medium (1.0) -- Worth Playing
Medium (1.0) -- X360 Magazine UK
Medium (1.0) -- Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
Medium (1.0) -- Xbox World Australia
Medium (1.0) -- Xbox360 Achievements
Medium (1.0) -- Xbox Addict

Low (0.75) -- 360 Gamer Magazine UK
Low (0.75) -- 3DJuegos
Low (0.75) -- Ace Gamez
Low (0.75) -- Atomic Gamer
Low (0.75) -- BigPond GameArena
Low (0.75) -- Console Monster
Low (0.75) -- Deeko
Low (0.75) -- Eurogamer Portugal
Low (0.75) -- Game Focus
Low (0.75) -- Gameplanet
Low (0.75) -- Gamer Limit
Low (0.75) -- Gamer.nl
Low (0.75) -- Games Radar (in-house)
Low (0.75) -- Games TM
Low (0.75) -- Gamestyle
Low (0.75) -- GameZone
Low (0.75) -- Gaming Excellence
Low (0.75) -- Gaming Trend
Low (0.75) -- Impulse gamer
Low (0.75) -- Kombo
Low (0.75) -- MEGamers
Low (0.75) -- Metro Game Central
Low (0.75) -- MS Xbox World
Low (0.75) -- NTSC-uk
Low (0.75) -- PS Focus
Low (0.75) -- PSW Magazine UK
Low (0.75) -- Video Game Talk
Low (0.75) -- VideoGamer

Lower (0.5) -- Armchair Empire
Lower (0.5) -- Cheat Code Central
Lower (0.5) -- Game Over Online
Lower (0.5) -- Game Positive
Lower (0.5) -- Gamer's Hell
Lower (0.5) -- Gamereactor Sweden
Lower (0.5) -- Gamers.at
Lower (0.5) -- Giant Bomb
Lower (0.5) -- PS3bloggen.se
Lower (0.5) -- RPGamer
Lower (0.5) -- Vandal Online

Lowest (0.25) -- 9Lives
Lowest (0.25) -- Boomtown
Lowest (0.25) -- Computer Games Online RO
Lowest (0.25) -- GamerNode
Lowest (0.25) -- GamingXP
Lowest (0.25) -- IC-Games
Lowest (0.25) -- Insidegamer.nl
Lowest (0.25) -- Jolt Online Gaming
Lowest (0.25) -- Kikizo
Lowest (0.25) -- LEVEL
Lowest (0.25) -- Meritstation
Lowest (0.25) -- My Gamer
Lowest (0.25) -- Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK
Lowest (0.25) -- Play UK
Lowest (0.25) -- WHAM! Gaming


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