The idea that review scores don't matter is nothing new around Joystiq. We've seen the argument made by EEDAR's Jesse Divnich
, specifically in reference to DS games. Michael Pachter
and Peter Moore
have leveled the same claim at Wii games as well. Now, Cowen Group's Doug Creutz tells Gamasutra
that the score generated by aggregators like Metacritic is the least
important factor in how well a game performs.
Creutz notes that scores can be "somewhat predictive" of a game's success, but are "unlikely in and of themselves to drive or undermine the success of a game." He then mentions the industry scuttlebutt that many publishers work very hard to jockey scores
, saying that publishers' time would be better spent on development instead of "grade-grubbing."
The major factors in purchasing decisions, according to Creutz, are genre, whether a player liked the previous game in a series and, unsurprisingly, price. So there you have it publishers, to be successful, all you have to do is make a sequel to a popular game in a genre that a lot of people like. And make it cheap. If that's not possible, two out of three ain't bad