Phil Spencer Says Some Bad Reviews Are Written For Clicks

Phil Spencer has suggested that some bad reviews have been written purely just to get people clicking. “I mean somebody gave Forza Horizon 3 a four,” he told Gamespot. “I think there’s certain reviews that are written more to get clicked on than they are to actually accurately reflect the quality of the game, and that kind of bums me out.”

Please be assured that our reviews are actually reviews rather than click bait, and we spend ages deciding on the final score. Well, that’s normally the case, when Sony deposit a couple of grand in our personal bank accounts then it’s always at least a 9 out of 10.

Source: Gamespot

Written by
News Editor, very inappropriate, probs fancies your dad.


  1. Well, I read some of that FH3 review that was 40 on metacritic. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), it was one of the first reviews of the game.

    Most of the review is dedicated to arguing why the developer hates its own game and series. And talks of the game offering too many free cars, xp, credits etc…

    Phil is brave to say this even if he is 100% correct.

  2. “A couple of grand” You guys are so cheap!!!

  3. Please note I am aware of the irony of posting this news, just because I know it will generate some clicks. “MS Exec says something a bit inflammatory” = Easy clicks.

    • It’s alright, your headline was sincere and without innuendo, as things go quite professional. I’d say you could only be accused of click baiting when mucky double entendres are involved. On a serious note, isn’t everything on the internet fundamentally either click bait or reference, and since TSA is an entertainment site shouldn’t we accept that you guys want us to click on as many articles as possible? Phil Spencer is basically dodging libel by talking about clicks rather than accusing some sites of having low integrity. Grow some balls Phil and say what you really think, I’m pretty sure that’s gonna be more interesting than your present flavour of attention seeking!

  4. I cant believe how biased this site has become, surely bribes should taken from other parties too. What a bunch of Sony fanboi’s :)

    • Hey! TSA has always been bribed by Sony and MS! They are an equal ops site and the bribes are always in tea, biscuit, coffee, biscuit form!


      i mean, TSA has never accepted bribes.

      *flees and burns all not bribes*

  5. Kinda feels like this is a newsnatch thing but Tuffcub is paid by click in biscuits so I can understand why he would do a clicky news thing. :P

    I kinda agree with him that some reviews are written just for clicks. I used to trust IGN’s reviews but they are very questionable nowadays and either they truly think if it’s not COD but has a flaw that they can use to bump the score down, they will or they write some click baity reviews.

    Sites that use reviews as click baits usually rely on lists and misleading stuff to generate hits. It’s pretty much why I unfollowed the Fallout Memes page on facebok because they kept advertising articles for a click baiting website.

    Also, i thought it was at least £10k per review? Or is Sony Europe being cheap bastards again and MS paid them to be cheap bastards to undermine their games whilst Sony does the same and Nintendo is just over in the corner trying to be heard but no-one listens.

  6. Actually, he’s lying. Nobody gave Forza Horizon 3 a score of 4. Assuming he’s just looking at the scores on Metacritic.

    Somebody gave it a 2 though. But that’s 2 out of 5 stars they gave it. Which Metacritic turns into a 40, because it uses percentages and not scores out of 10.

    And it’s from the International Business Times, which is obviously a reputable source of gaming reviews, in much the same way I come here for all my business news.

    Does appear to be one of the first reviews for the game though, which quite possibly supports the click-bait argument. (Same thing as happened with that first No Man’s Sky review too)

    • Him saying a “four” is hardly a problem. Most people know what he means. Can’t say I’d class that as lying.

      • I like how you pick up on that and not my claim that I come here for all my business news ;)

  7. Maybe not monetary bribes exactly but I do think big gaming news sites give more positive/favourable reviews in the hope that they will continue to receive exclusive interviews, freebies or special treatment at gaming events. Can you imagine IGN giving GTA, COD or FIFA anything less than 8/10? Do you think they would allow someone who hates FPS games to review the latest COD and score it 4/10. Not a chance. But smaller developers who have nothing to offer will have their games ripped to shreds for clicks.

  8. I’ve gotten that impression occasionally too but if i’m relying on reviews for my decision i’ll take the time to read at least a few different ones.

  9. The issue is that people focus too much on the score and will often skip to the bottom of the page just to see it. I’m guilty of it for games that I’m not super interested in, but if it’s a game that I’m potentially going to buy, then I’ll read several reviews to see if it’s exactly what I want.

  10. I normally wait for tsa’s reviews before I make any decisions on game purchases. Except TMNTs that was just a fan purchase.

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