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Meta-Hypocrites

Posted on Thursday, November 16 @ 19:29:40 PST by Joe_Dodson
"If you criticize our site, we'll de-list you." At least, that's the message we got from Metacritic.com.

In late July, we ran a piece lampooning three meta review sites, Gamerankings, RottenTomatoes, and Metacritic. We mainly did this because they were turning our review grades into random numbers and assorted fruits, but also because we thought one or all of them might read our report and fix some of the problems we noticed. People pay good money for that kind of abuse, and ours was free!

Anyway, a couple weeks after we ran our piece, I went to Metacritic to see if they were still inflicting their underpants gnome math on our grades. Well, they stopped doing that. In fact, they stopped featuring our reviews entirely a couple days after we ran the piece. I emailed founder Marc Doyle, whom I initially interviewed for the article, asking why Metacritic no longer carries our reviews, but he never responded. However, I suspect the missing answer has to do with us calling their grade conversion scheme "Loco," and criticizing this quote of his:

We don’t think that a review from, say, Roger Ebert or Game Informer, for example, should be given the same weight as a review from a small regional newspaper or a brand new game critic.”

That's Marc explaining how Game Informer's and Roger Ebert's opinions are more right than those of lesser known critics, in spite of the fact that Roger Ebert believes games aren't art, and Game Informer is owned by the GameStop chain of stores. Given the value Marc and his site seem to place on smaller publications like ours, it didn't come as a big surprise when they dropped us for criticizing their practices.

That is, until we went to Metacritic's front page and saw their ironic trademarked motto: "We deal with criticism."

UPDATE - 11/20/07 As it turns out, Metacritic deals with criticism better than we thought. Today, Marc Doyle contacted Duke Ferris, and we think we've come to an understanding. Hopefully, you'll once again find Game Revolution lurking near the murky depths of Metacritic's charts, dragging their scores down into oblivion.



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