Game Review Scores ‘Not Important’

My new favourite crystal ball gazer, Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz, has been doing some, er, analysis. He has discovered that out of the seven identified factors used when considering a game purchase, the review score is the least important. According to Doug, word-of-mouth recomendations are valued more than decent score on Metacritic.

“We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores,” said Cowen. “We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by ‘grade-grubbing’ after the fact.”


The eight seven factors are, in order of importance:

  1. Genre – If we like First Person Shooters, chances are we will buy more of them.
  2. Franchise – Good news for Activision, if we liked the first game the chances are we will pick up the sequel.
  3. Price – Everyone loves a bargin.
  4. Word Of Mouth Recommendation – We are more likely to trust friends who recomend a game.
  5. Advertising – Dynamic and exciting adverts help sell the game.
  6. Publisher Reputation – ‘Brand loyalty’ is low within gaming.
  7. Metacritic Scores – Least important due to alleged ‘fixing’ of scores for exclusives.

Source: Gamasutra