Home Gaming Could OpenCritic replace Metacritic?

Could OpenCritic replace Metacritic?

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There has been a lot of debate about the value of a score attached to reviews. Yes, reviews are subjective. Yes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. However, despite writing lengthly reviews to explain why a game is good or bad or (more often) somewhere in between, most people rely on a score to determine if they should spend their hard earned money on a specific title. Metacritic is particularly powerful because of how it aggregates those scores together, but it might not be the top dog for long.

OpenCritic is new, gaming-focused platform that seeks to redefine the aggregating world. The main difference is that, unlike Metacritic, there isn’t a top-secret algorithm that determines the weighting of the review scores from different outlets.

Here’s what OpenCritic says makes them different:

  • Transparency. No hidden weightings. No black-box processes. All standards and calculations are publicly verifiable.

  • Customization. Gamers can create their own personal score by customizing which publications they trust. And critics can submit edits to both their score and quote at any time.

  • More than a number. We aggregate all reviews, not just numerical ones. We also want to show the human side behind the review and score, with our first step being to display the author.

  • Gamers first. We are committed to continuing development in the review aggregation space and want to engage the gaming community to decide which features to build next

I really like that users can whitelist certain publications, helping to customise their scores. If, for example, you know that certain outlets consistently rate games higher or lower than you would, you can choose to remove them from the weighting when you view the site. This is a cool feature and I think will help people get a better sense of games that they might enjoy.

We should be listed on there soon, just as we are on Metacritic. I don’t think that these aggregators are going anywhere, but I would like to see their importance shift a bit. At the moment, a game that receives a low ranking on Metacritic can lead to payment bonus issues for developers. Hopefully, something like OpenCritic will help to broaden the landscape, even if it’s yet another marker for publishers to use when evaluating a game’s performance.

I still believe that most reviews simply serve as confirmation bias. If you already thought a game was going to be great, a good review will prove your point and you’ll probably ignore the bad reviews. The opposite obviously goes for a game you though was going to be awful. Reviews might still be useful for those who are on the fence, but I’m curious how many different reviews people actually check, and if Metacritic is as important for purchasing decisions as publishers like to believe. Research suggests that that there is indeed a correlation, if not outright causation.

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • RinceThat

    My brain replaced Metacritic. Learning how to appreciate ones OWN taste is all I need to know. 😛

    • VampyreSquirrel

      Rincethis disappears to Joburg and RinceThat makes up for the missing comments 😛

      • oVg

        fixed

        • VampyreSquirrel

          Knew you were RinceThat… just found it funny that you’re commenting so much today while Nick’s up here dying of the heat.

          • oVg

            Tell the ginger to wear factor 40 for his soulless skin 😛

          • VampyreSquirrel

            HAHAHA! Will do.

          • oVg

            😉

          • VampyreSquirrel

            He informs me that he sold your copy of The Witcher 3 to get above mentioned factor 40.

          • oVg

            The whoreson

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            xD

          • Hammersteyn

            Gonna need a butter knife to apply that much cream

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Good.

    • 40 Insane Frogs

      Listen to this man! He speaks the truth! I haven’t visited Metacritic in ages. Much like Sir Rincey, I rely on my own tastes. I’ve discovered some of the most enjoyable titles by going off the beaten track.

      • oVg

        Ya, it goes for everything. We appreciate things more than others at different times in our lives.

        • 40 Insane Frogs

          Like Thundercats or Power Rangers… I recently re-watched the original Thundercats and I had to take a gulp from a whiskey bottle.

          • oVg

            LOL I was thinking more in the lines of LSD and every other drug known to man 😛

            I remember Telly Tubies was watched mostly by the English University students lol

  • Wait … metacritic still exists?

    • oVg

      Its replacing Religion according to some people on N4G.

      • Pariah

        What was that about R.E.M.?

        • oVg

          Its the end of the world and we know it, and I feeeeel fine. 😛

        • VampyreSquirrel

          it’s in the corner.

          • Hammersteyn

            not in the spotlight?

          • VampyreSquirrel

            Nah, that’s just an imitation of life.

      • Isn’t N4G the acronym for no 4g signal here? 😛

  • JP

    What is this Metacritic? And why should I believe them?

    • oVg

      Like the Oscars and Scientology Its a guild for the rich and famous.

      LG wink wink.

    • Hammersteyn

      for the lulz, especially the user reviews

  • Grand Admiral Chief

    I hope not, since my Lagz/Metacritic shirt will then become obsolete!
    (refresh for pic)

    • Pariah

      Can’t be a Lagz T-shirt. It’s not tent-sized. I call fake.

      • Grand Admiral Chief

        The tent sized ones are for the common folk

        • Pariah

          Then I reiterate – fake.

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            Hahaha super jelly.

            That is a limited edtion piece of Lagz memorabilia

          • Pariah

            Limited Edition because it’s the rare form of not-tent-sized t-shirt? 😛

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            I’m going to let you in on a secret….only the residents of the republic of Cape Town were trolled with those…

          • Pariah

            At the time I was a resident of JHB. 😛

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            They knew you were immigrating 😛

          • Pariah

            XD

            I’m almost surprised they didn’t employ scorched earth policy. XD

          • Grand Admiral Chief

            BURN IT ALL
            xD

        • Hammersteyn

          Fake!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Multi-platform titles getting glowing reviews, while said reviews were only made on one platform, and previews/reviews that stem from highly-curated experiences have soured me on professional reviews somewhat; so I don’t rely on them solely anymore.

    I tend to balance them with user reviews & comments now for the game’s version released on my platform, particularly the negative ones to see what people are complaining about. Sometimes users give a game a zero rating for silly reasons.

    • oVg

      10/10 for that comment.

      Ill send the Mountain Dew and Dorritos via SA post 😛

    • Pariah

      Ditto here. I’ve not been on Metacritic in a few years.

  • Darren Peach

    Hit and miss. 80 percent of the time, Reviewers are on the money.

    • Pariah

      7 out of 10 stats are made up and 45.36% of all reviews are paid for.

      • Darren Peach

        I suppose if you use certain websites that may be true, But here in humble SA, I find reviews to be honest. Nag being my main source, Although I generally know what I like and if I’m on the fence, I wait for the reviews. Strangely enough, Now that Nag is a thing of the past, It occurred to me that gaming news will be harder to come by and I have to rely one mainstream websites for tidbits.

  • Hammersteyn

    Why not both?

  • JerryCurlanIsNice

    Black Box Processes!! No!!! Is this the tin-foil-hate, black helicopter crowd?

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