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Metacritic to learn ABCs?
Posted on Monday, February 25 2008 @ 16:33:35 PST

For all the power that Metacritic has taken away from the individual reviewer, the substantial trade-off is that every reviewing site has been condensed into one powerful number. Even EA has been against the wall trying to defend its drop in Metacritic score from 77 to 72 over the past year. In fact, it's gotten so important that PR will send snarky emails and phone calls to sites that give low scores: "You're obviously wrong! You're at the bottom of Metacritic! You're gonna be off our list!" All of a sudden, the scores of a smaller website have more of an effect, especially on GameRankings which doesn't have a weighted average.

But what will Metacritic and GameRankings do once Ziff Davis outlets convert its numerical grades into letters? The reason Metacritic has refused to change their broken system (of turning such things like B+'s into 83's) is for the sake of consistency. As long as the system remains the same, the context of the scores remains on the same scale. GameRankings also isn't free of guilt, either; they convert F's into 5's and D-'s (which is just one step higher than an F) into 45's.

I am anxious to see how Metacritic will react if and when publishers attack the merits of their letter grade-faulty system. Will Metacritic change or will they learn their ABCs?

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