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Amazon adds Metacritic to video game purchase pages
Amazon adds Metacritic to video game purchase pages
April 1, 2014 | By Christian Nutt

Newsbrief: The popular review-of-reviews site Metacritic has becomes an even more ubiquitous yardstick for the industry as online retailer Amazon incorporates its scoring into the purchase pages for video games.

In the game's summary, next to its customer review score, its aggregate critical Metacritic score is also now listed. If you click on the icon to the right of the listing, a popup shows the critical and user review scores from Metacritic, with links to the appropriate pages on that site -- as shown above.

It's one more feather in Metacritic's cap, on its journey to becoming the yardstick the industry measures by; however, developers aren't always happy with the site.

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Christopher Furniss
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It's only on some pages. It's probably just a weblab, which means they'll test it for engagement and drop it if it doesn't test well.

Christopher Furniss
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Only on some pages, and only for certain people. Yep, definitely a weblab.

Felipe Budinich
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This is awful, metacritic is too easily gamed.

Eric Geer
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As much as Metacritic is looked down upon in the game developer community, as a gamer it is nice to have everything in one spot. It gives me a general idea from the number stand point, but if I want to know more I an easily access the good and bad reviews(critic and user) to make a purchasing decision. I'd welcome this in addition to Amazon's user reviews. Can it hurt to have too many opinions? probably, but I'll take more over less.

Jesse Tucker
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I really like the idea of a single, aggregate game review score. The issue is when you start digging into how the sausage is made. There are so many things that affect the review process, which then reflect the Metacritic score. Here are just a few questions that could be asked about any game that was reviewed and put on Metacritic.

*Did a publisher entice reviewers to bump up the score of a game?
*Was a reviewer having a good/bad day?
*Does the reviewer simply not appreciate the genre of the game despite it being good?
*Does the game play poorly for a reviewer who has a limited amount of time to push through the content, even though it's an excellent game played at leisure?
*What conditions have given some review sites more weight than others, and are those sites being accurately weighted?
*Is a game that was released and then significantly patched accurately represented in Metacritic?
*In the case of an online game that matures with its audience (such as EVE) how would a reviewer accurately measure the merits of a game?
*With the inconsistency in the granularity and severity of rating between different review sites, how are those numbers reconciled into any aggregate that makes sense?

While these certainly aren't all of the issues with the system, you can see where it can break down in many ways. Metacritic claims a granularity of 1-100, where in reality the current system it uses to generate a score is maybe accurate enough to support a granularity of 1-4. If Metacritic boiled every game's reviews down to Bad, Good, Great, and Excellent, I think a lot of developers would have less issue with it.

Eric Geer
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I agree with you on many of your points---particularly the publisher paid reviews--that should not be happening. But there are always going to be variables in the review process because every reviewer reviews on a different scale, and are coming from a different perspective. 1-5 stars, 1-100, verygood/good/bad/ugly, etc. That's why an average score for a game is good.

Also I believe the developer/hardcore gaming community is looking too far into the variables. Most gamers just want to know if the game is good and playable. Knowing if a reviewer was having a bad day, or if it is a maturing online game doesn't matter. Its scores from different types of people from various walks of life and interests, playing the same game. It is an average of many good and bad variables in one point in time. I'm not saying its a great system, but it's better than anything else out there.

Mark Dygert
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Metacritic doesn't need to be changed, it's already been "fixed".

David Marcum
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steam gets a pass, because...?