Film industry trade journal Variety's game critic Ben Fritz gives his thoughts and insights on the power and constraints of video game reviews in the industry. Fritz uses "Halo 3" and "Metroid Prime 3" as examples. He writes:
"Videogame critics don't get much respect from the general public because videogames don't get much respect. Politicians use them as punching bags, and even other reviewers like to diss them...
It's ironic, because no critic has more power within the industry he or she writes about than the videogame critic. Publishers scour critics' ratings for their titles on Metacritic and GameRankings.com. Execs use the number to make major decisions, like what developer to work with or what titles to greenlight. In some cases, payments are contractually tied to the average review score.
Publishers take reviews seriously because gamers do. The five bestselling games in 2006 had an average Metacritic score of 89. The top five movies averaged 56.
Videogame reviewers are listened to more closely by the average consumer than other reviewers, but I'm not sure that's such a healthy thing..."