Analyst: Review Scores Least Important Factor For Game Purchases

Many game publishers consider score aggregators like Metacritic and GameRankings to be a major indicator of their games' quality, frequently citing score data in dialog with their investors to demonstrate how the outlook for their portfolio is improving.

But game reviews and scores are far from a major factor in consumer purchases of games, finds a new fall-season survey by Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz. In fact, among eight different factors that influence a consumer's decision whether or not to buy a particular title, aggregator scores were judged the least important out of eight.

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Saaking3280d ago

Reviews are biased and inconsistent. They should only be used to get a general idea of a game, not to determine whether or not it's a purchase.

Anon19743280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

Genre is my first deciding factor for sure. Price doesn't matter as most games are usually priced the same and I almost never see ads for games I want. After that I rely on reviewers. Once I've picked a game I'm interested in I'll check reviews I trust, or just have a look at metacritic scores because quite often a game will blow it completely and you'll see that reflected in the scores. And 9 times out of 10 the internet buzz is completely off.

Take the Orange Box for example. My 360 was in for repairs when the Orange box came out, so I considered the PS3 version. The buzz on the internet was that the PS3 Orange Box was an unplayable mess and could give you testicular cancer. However the metacritic score was 89, a very high score. Turns out the reviewers were absolutely right. The Orange Box was a fantastic title! Played through to the end of everything and only ever had one problem getting stuck in a wall. Same with Ghostbusters. The internet buzz said the PS3 version of Ghostbusters would kick your dog, the reviews said it was a good play, perfect for Ghostbuster fans and guess what? Reviews were right. Ghostbusters was a good game and a must play for Ghostbuster fans.

Reviews shouldn't be your main factor in deciding which game to buy, but they certainly help, in my opinion.

table3280d ago

I disagree with you darkride. I found that the orange box was horrible on ps3, it felt like trying to play an FPS on the ps1. The reviews suggested it was great, an 89 on metacritic. Should have been down in the 50s, I found Haze to be alot better(though obviously the PC orange box is incredible). So in a sense reviews cannot be trusted at all.

I wouldn't say reviews are biased apart from maybe the odd one or two sites that are still desperately holding onto their '360 is the best ps3 has no killer apps' crap, but they are terribly inconsistant a lot of the time. Edge for example gave terrible scores to some great games for being unoriginal and then go off and give Halo3 a 10 and MW2 a 9. Like those games did anything different from their predecessors.

Anon19743280d ago (Edited 3280d ago )

The Orange box was a fantastic game and on many sites top games of the year lists, deservedly so. Saying it looked like a PSone game is ridiculous. Portal was mind blowing and the Half Life Episodes themselves were fantastic and on top of that, the game looked just as good as the 360 version, which, at the time, was considered "outstanding" according to Gamespot. The issue was never with how the game looked. It was about the PS3's frame rate problems on Episode 2 and the load times. The game was game of the year material and if you disagree you must have played a different game, my friend. Even the PS3 version with its faults was an outstanding experience and one of the best shooters I've every had the privilege of playing in the 28 years since I started gaming.

I do agree with your point about inconsistencies, and Edge is a fine example but then it's simply a matter of finding reviewers that you trust. Personally, I've never felt that IGN has led me astray, for example and in general I feel Metacritic scores are very much in line with what I would rank games if given the chance.

Again, they shouldn't be the only metric gamers use for picking a title, but I think it's a bit much to paint all game reviews with the same brush.

table3280d ago

I never said it looked like a ps1 game, sorry if you misunderstood. I just meant it felt awkward to play for example, the horrible load times, poorly implemented controls, bad framerate, and getting stuck on objects you would brush past on the PC version. It just made it unplayable for me. The game itself is sound and indeed one of the best shooters to date, just not on the ps3. Didn't play it on 360 but I suspect that it is midway between ps3 and PC versions.

I agree with most the points you bring up on this site, just not this one :)

Anon19743280d ago

I misunderstood. I do admit I did get stuck in a wall once and the load times were a bit long, but I used to have to sit through 20 minute load times to get simple games off my Commodore 64's tape drive. Waiting 20 seconds for a load when you die was just a minor inconvenience for me. The game certainly wasn't without its flaws it was just for me the rest of the experience more than made up for them. I consider Half life and Half life 2 classics, but not everyone is going to feel that way.

At any rate, for me it was the decent reviews that prompted me to buy the game despite my reservations from the horrible word of mouth it received. I wasn't disappointed, but I have been disappointed in the past with games I purchased based on their reviews. I couldn't stand Perfect Dark or Perfect Dark Zero. Dead Rising was another well received game that should have been right up my alley and yet I hated in every way. There's no accounting for some tastes, I guess.

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