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GDC 2008: EA Unhappy With Metacritic Scores

Don't ever underestimate the power of the critic review, especially in the video game industry. EA CEO John Riccitiello isn't about to make that mistake, and he knows his company now needs to recover after a significant drop in average review scores for EA titles in 2007.

When showing a chart to Wall Street analysts at GDC 2008, the EA CEO clearly wasn't happy about something, and it had nothing to do with falling market share or anything else business-oriented. According to Reuters, Riccitiello was pointing out how Metacritic showed an average review score drop from 77 to 72 last year for EA's games. Unfortunately for the world's largest game publisher, gamers tend to put a lot of emphasis on review scores, and Metacritic is commonly used as a reference. ...and the site says EA's games just weren't as good last year.

"There is nothing acceptable about that," Riccitiello said. "Our core game titles are accurately measured and summarized by these assessments, and that is a very big deal. So this is perhaps, to me, the most important chart in this presentation, we need to recover here."

Metacritic was launched back in 2001 by Marc Doyle, his sister Julie Doyle Roberts and Jason Dietz, a former classmate at the University of Southern California's law school. Initially, they only intended to collect movie review scores, but it branched out quickly, and now, those seeking game reviews constitute the majority of the site's traffic. The site is currently part of the CNET Networks, an online technology media company that also owns other major gaming sites like GameSpot.

Anyway, there's no doubt that EA's titles have fallen a bit in overall quality, and Riccitiello clearly doesn't like that trend. Well, neither do we. Now that he has the stats right in front of him, perhaps this means EA will step up once again...? Let's hope.

2/21/2008 Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (5 posts)

Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 1:53:26 PM

LOLOL - what were they expecting?

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SHADOW [Moderator]
Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 3:44:37 PM

Does anybody actually think EA cares about getting bad reviews as long as ignorant people still shell out their cash?

If he's serious, if he actually wants the games to get better than good for EA. I don't believe it for a second though.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008 @ 8:30:51 PM

I hate EA because they only care about making money!

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Friday, February 22, 2008 @ 2:07:32 AM

EA need to stop throwing out all the cut and paste sport games and work on quality more than quantity. My favourite EA racer is still Hot Pursuit 2 and I haven't played any EA driving game since which has been good enough to replace it.

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Friday, February 22, 2008 @ 12:48:31 PM

EA relies on licences to sell their sport product. Are EA willing to ditch these franchises and start making new IP's that are innovative? probably not. For a publisher that has more funding and more teams than any other. you'd think they'd put it to good use, but what left from the budget when they give it to the likes of Madden and Tiger woods? Instead of copying and pasting like Gabriel says, why don't they start from scratch, put time into the project and release it a few years later when they have a new excellent sport title thats fresh and appealing. Good sequals to other big games don't take 9 months to make.

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