Metacritic: Games Are Getting Better

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Metacritic: Games Are Getting Better



2010 has been a very good year for gaming so far, says review aggregator Metacritic.

Metacritic isn't that hard to understand: Reviews go in, averaged score comes out. But what's trickier to spot, unless you're very good at mental mathematics, is that the average of the averages is on the rise, at least according to Metacritic's midyear report.

Scores rose by an average of 3.9 for each platform, with the PC seeing the highest increase at 5.1 points, closely followed by PSP and DS, which both saw a 4.0 point increase. The smallest increase was for Xbox 360 games, which only increased by 2.9 points. However, the difference in total scores between platforms is very small, with the highest being the PC at 73.7 points and the lowest being the PSP at 70.3. Oh, and if you were wondering, the average of the averaged averages is 71.8%

The number of "bad" games - games with Metacritic scores of 49 or lower - has gone down against last year, with only 16 versus 2009's 25. On the other end of the spectrum, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, and Super Mario Galaxy 2 all scored highest than Street Fighter IV, which was the highest rated game of the first half of 2009.

So what do these numbers actually mean? Well, that depends on what you think of review scores. It does seem to suggest that the average quality of games has increased over this time last year. The numbers are based on opinion, however, and there are so many factors that shape an opinion, any conclusion you might draw has a lot of ifs and buts and other qualifiers attached to it.

Source: MCV [http://www.mcvuk.com/news/39858/Metacritic-report-suggests-quality-increase]







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Dragon_of_red

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Dec 30, 2008
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Sweeeeet.

Although maybe these games aren't better, mayby last year was just a bad year for gaming?
 

Ponchponcho

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Apr 19, 2010
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Just in light of the recent 1984 article by Peter Parrish, maybe games are staying about the same maybe reviewer standards are just lowering.
 

More Fun To Compute

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Nov 18, 2008
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This is like school leaver exam results in England. Every year they get better and more people just think that standards are getting lower and that education is only about training to pass a test. The only people who seem to think they are good are the students and politicians who can take some of the credit for the good results.
 

Gigano

Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Oct 15, 2009
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Well, there have been a lot of early gems this year, but I suspect it may also have something to do with shovelware (and smaller games released thorough PSN/Xbox Live) being increasingly ignored by critics and not receiving enough reviews to appear on the site scored.
 

Odjin

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Nov 14, 2007
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The only thing that got better is the bribing sums for the reviewers... the games themselves degrade in quality. Not visual wise, that's clear, but content wise they do. But if somebody believes in MC he is to pity.
 

Blue Musician

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Mar 23, 2010
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dragon_of_red said:
Sweeeeet.

Although maybe these games aren't better, mayby last year was just a bad year for gaming?
At least for the PC, 2006, 2008 and 2009 weren't good years for the platform.

2010 is far better than those years, but still not enough in comparison to 1998-2005 and 2007. But I guess it's unfair to compare them to those years.

OT: Yeah, better games appeared this year than 2009 and 2008, but they aren't really original and most of theme feel rehashed for me. So, meh.
 

Cabisco

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May 7, 2009
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When i think of the games that have come, yeah 2010 has been a good year for games so far.
 

Jonluw

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May 23, 2010
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This would be a suitable place to link to the article regarding score inflation. Please wait while I dig it up.

Edit: Here you go: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_260/7750-1984-Out-of-10
 

VulakAerr

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Mar 31, 2010
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I could've told you that without looking at MC. This year feels full of good games, to the extent where I am having difficulty finding time to play all the ones in which I'm interested. Last year had some crackers, but they were the exception rather than the rule. Choosing a GOTY this year is going to be tough, but so far, for me, it's ME2 still even if RDR came very close.
 

Fire Daemon

Quoth the Daemon
Dec 18, 2007
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Keep in mind that we are only half way through the year. The bad games are more often than not released in December to tide in with the Christmas sale and make afew extra bucks. Mass Effect 2 and Mario Galaxy 2 can be rleased after the Holidays because they are good and people who know about games and hence game quality will get them. The producers of shitty games will hope that some grandmothers will buy their games as gifts so they aren't releasing them.

It seems strange that they would compare the average for a year half gone, are they comparing games released in 2010 to 2009 or are they comparing games released in the past year to games released in the year before that. If the former than the point above still stands, if the latter than it would seem that games may be getting better, or maybe the past year has just been much more lucky.
 

Ironic Pirate

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May 21, 2009
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Well, many reviewers just through good scores at popular games, without actually reviewing them. MW2 has good animations? Yeah, sure.

2010 did have a lot of games that were susceptible to that, so...

EDIT: If a game works, many reviewers will give it high score because so many other things are subjective. IGN can't have controversy when it gives MW2 a low score because their reviewer doesn't like war games. Because of that, they'll give it a score no one can get mad at, and judge solely on graphics. This leads too many people overstating the importance of graphics.

Now that games cost millions too make, people are making sure that they work right, which could lead to all the increased sales.
 

Anachronism

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Apr 9, 2009
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In light of the recent article 1984 out of 10, I'm more inclined to see this as a symptom of continued score inflation rather than a genuine increase in the overall quality of games. I could well be wrong, but regardless, taking these figures at face value would be a very bad idea.
 

Woodsey

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Aug 9, 2009
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Probably something to do with the ridiculous amount of (impossible) perfect 10's given out.

This has been a superb year so far though; more than making up for the God-awful 2009.
 

Talvrae

The Purple Fairy
Dec 8, 2009
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It might simply mean that the standard for the reviwers are lowring...