Metacritic Refuses To Change False Review Score
After Gamespot published a review filled with factual errors and misinformation, the review was pulled and a new reviewer took over the task, Metacritic still won’t change the score.
The game in question is Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Natural Selection 2, a game combining RTS and FPS combat which it originally refined in its life as a Half Life mod. Released on October 30th, Natural Selection 2 came out to very good review scores and praise from the games media, that is with the exception of one review. Gamespot’s Freelance Reviewer, Eric Neigher, originally scored the game a 6/10 and while that would have been all well and good the community began reading the review and didn’t like what they found. In a very short span of time, visitors to Gamespot began blasting apart the review, for its many factual errors ranging from the game’s price, to loading issues, to strategies that contradicted the gameplay. The cries even went so far as to call into question Eric’s integrity as a reviewer, and wondering if he had even played the game he had reviewed, eventually culminating in Gamespot UK Senior Editor, Kevin VanOrd taking down the review and issuing an apology.
“I apologize for the inaccuracies in the review. We look forward to publishing a replacement review once we have had a chance to fully explore Natural Selection 2.” The apology reads, while the secondary review was handed over to UK Reviewer Ashton Raze to put up one that is factually correct, eventually giving it an 8/10. This is not the first time Eric’s integrity has been called into question, with Uber Entertainment, wondering if Eric had even played Monday Night Combat when he reviewed it as well.
The story however doesn’t end there, as while the score was changed and acknowledged as being wrong before, Metacritic refuses to change the score. Metacritic states that it has been a long standing policy to only accept the first score given from each reviewer. The major issue is that Metacritic also tends to weight scores for certain reviewers as more important then others, Gamespot being one of those which has seriously harmed the Natural Selection 2 score. While its easy to write off Metacritic and its scores, the sad truth is that Metacritic has been given a lot of power to shape sales and even salaries within the game’s industry.
“I’m explicit about this policy with every new publication we agree to track. It’s a critic-protection measure, instituted in 2003 after I found that many publications had been pressured to raise review scores (or de-publish reviews) to satisfy outside influences. Our policy acted as a disincentive for these outside forces to apply that type of inappropriate pressure.” Metacritic Head, Marc Doyle stated on the matter.