Review scores don't sell games on Steam

Steam's best-selling games of 2017 prove that critical praise has little bearing on commercial success.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
kevnb348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

I’ve been saying this over and over on this forum, critical praise does almost nothing for games. The media tries to convince us otherwise, but nobody really cares what critics think unless the critics don’t agree with them.

FlyingFoxy348d ago

To be honest I got tired of reviewers acting as if only their opinion matters,
even with anime I've enjoyed some that critics hate just because of it being controversial, or too much fan service.

The cool thing seems to be hate or love and rarely inbetween. I've seen some vast differences in review scores when comparing Metacritic vs Steam scores too. I for one at least, am not a sheep and i don't always rely on scores for anything unless something gets rated terribly everywhere. When it comes to 6-7 ratings I've found some stuff feeling underrated to me even then.

thorstein348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

Nicely said, both of you. I am still trying to find an apt analogy for critics. We narrowed it down to mosquitoes, since mosquitoes spread disease and are basically useless and only take away from things that matter. However, if there were no mosquitoes that might impact the ecological system, thus making them needed. Hmmm... will have to think further.

Of course review scores don't matter. Why would some self inflated, non contributing zero's opinion matter... to anyone?

348d ago
Princess_Pilfer347d ago

It's patently obvious that marketing and an established audience are a bigger factor than positive reviews. Negative reviews have been known to tank a games sales though.

However, reviewrs don't act as if only their opinion matters. It's *literally* their job to rate their experience with a game, and to recommend or not recommend it based on their tastes and their experience. It's on you to find a reviewer who's tastes you share (or share on a certain subset of games) or to otherwise actually read the review for the actual information they give so you can decide if you will like the game. When a critic you agree with more often than not hates a game, it's not called being a sheep to avoid that game, it's called being a good consumer and erring on the side of avoiding a waste of your time and money and finding something you're more likely to enjoy.

Critics are not parasites. Critics opinions absolutely matter. What do you think all those people who leave steam reviews or lengthy forum posts about the qualitiy (or lack there of) in a game they've played fairly heavily are? Critics. Not usually professional ones, but critics still. And those are often the people in the best position to tell you exactly what is or isn't wrong with a game and why, having invested so much time into understanding it. Also, see again that if you actually reead the review instead of focusing on a score, critics will tell you exactly why they did or didn't like a game and you can use that information (wether you share their hate of thing X or not) to make an informed purchasing decision.

Not to mention, the fundamental act of examining a work of art or product to determine it's merits is like, the best thing you can do for a medium or product line. Critics, professional and otherwise, are the reason the medium has advanced so far. Player feedback, professional reviews, and internal (as in by the dev team that made it) critisism of the work is how we find problems or superior ways to do things, and how we find ways to implement the improvements in a way that makes sense. It is, in a broad sense, the *single* most important tool/occupation/hobby for the medium to improve.

thorstein347d ago (Edited 347d ago )

@thunder & @princess.

I am sorry you feel that way. I truly do. Critics are non contributing zeroes.

How many statues to those who do, those who create and those who build? thousands. How many to critics? 0

Your arguments are completely without merit. No artist (no matter the medium or genre) cares about critics when they create art. And now you are here trying to defend the indefensible.

Of course they are like parasites because they cannot exist if the art isn't created in the first place. I am still not convinced that they are parasites because parasites may still serve some function in the ecosystem.

Do you know what art would be like without critics? Exactly as it is now. I'm sorry you feel the need to defend their despicable practices. I also find it ironic that critics can't take criticism.

Princess_Pilfer346d ago

If you wanna say my arguments are without merit, you have to actually demonstrate that by refuting my points instead of just being patronizing and making unsupported assertions, especially when it's *already* been illustrated why some of those assertions are patently, blatantly false and nothing you said addresses any of the points raised to illustrate that.

thorstein344d ago


I had an entire rebuttal, mostly from artists like Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and so, so many others. Unfortunately, it was deleted because it is over 4000 characters long.

See, it is simple. You made the claim that critics are needed. Thus, logically the burden of proof is on you, not me. But I provide a list of authors and artists talking about critics:

Ray Bradbury's Coda:

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway."
Eleanor Roosevelt

“As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage

“I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”
― Benjamin Disraeli

And there are so, so many others. All of these people deserve statues. Critics are still nothing. And there is no proof that they have ever improved the world for all their words.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 344d ago
balance2theforce348d ago

Oh, so those guys seem to be able to actually think for themselves a lot more then eh? Cool, and very much as it should be. Maybe they need to get their console brethren the memo.

kevnb348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

Completely different audience, just compare the sales of call of duty. Funny thing part was when people would try to say pc gaming was dead by comparing the sales of call of duty lol.

balance2theforce348d ago

Yeah, I was never one of those people at all. Even on just anecdotal evidence alone I know that PC gaming is doing pretty damn well. And they just seem more free in their choices and acceptance of games. That's why there's always going to be a place for them

kevnb348d ago (Edited 348d ago )

Even back around when the media was really digging into the state of pc gaming world of Warcraft was the biggest game of all time. Even to this day wow never gets the credit it deserves, for a game to have 13 million plus subscribed at once and still have millions paying per month after over a decade is unheard of. sales must be way over 100 million, maybe even close to 200 million. Games like gta v and the call of duty series just don’t have the same world wide appeal, i don’t think people get that.

Razzer348d ago

Steam folks aren’t in lockstep with metacritic reviews like so many in the console realm.

kevnb348d ago

Sales for console games don’t jive with metacritic either.

xPhearR3dx348d ago

PSN, XBL, and E-Shop also don't have written user reviews. Metacritic is the only thing console gamers have to go by. Granted Steam reviews aren't flawless by any means. But it also works in both ways for Steam. If a game is BAD, the Steam community will let it be known. You can't do that on PSN or E-Shop. Not sure about XBL, but I assume it's the same lame 5 star rating system you see on PSN.

Honestly, I think XBL and PSN should allow written reviews for their games. You can troll all day long on the internet, but if you have to purchase the game before writing a review, I'm sure you'll see a lot of positives come out of written reviews for both XBL and PSN.