Days Gone Director John Garvin Says Metacritic Score Is Everything to Sony

Days Gone director and writer John Garvin said he took the game's early reviews pretty hard as the Metacritic score is everything to Sony. He left mere days after the game's launch.

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-Foxtrot26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

What about user scores?

That shows a different picture about well received it was to fans.

This is why game journalists have far too much power and I personally it’s a bit like Hollywood with the Oscars, it’s office, behind the scenes politics with studio reputation, friendships and more taken into account

Journalists knew they didn’t really have any big ties to Sony Bend, and Days Gone wasn’t a big franchise so hurting it wasn’t going to come back and hurt them.

26d ago Replies(8)
Jin_Sakai26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

“I took it hard, to be honest, because, again...This is just the reality of Sony, Metacritic score is everything. ​If you're the creative director on a franchise and your game is coming out to a 70, you're not going to be the creative director on that franchise for very long"​

This just adds to the fact Sony want big blockbusters going forward. Not every game has to be a 90+ Metacritic. It’s obvious that Days Gone clicked with fans more than journalist.

DarXyde26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

I think that's inevitably the case because reviewers take an entire game into the equation when giving a score—the average gamer does not. A gamer can give a score based entirely on how fun a game is or how beautiful it is. If an official review outlet ever did that, they would immediately be laughed out of the room. Reviews are always subjective, but user reviews may entirely rate something up for one reason or down entirely for a reason (e.g., "this game sucks! No matchmaking mode, 1/10").

I worry, frankly. The obsession with critical reception means some great games will never get sequels. I would also like to know how Sony weights critical reception as opposed to commercial reception: if a game scores poorly but sells very well, will they kill any hope for a sequel, or take time to refine it for a higher score and try again? If a game scores well, but sells poorly, what's that going to do?

My biggest concern here is that if the score is a very strong indicator of Sony's sequel strategy, hype is going to be a dangerous factor.

AirJohnston25d ago

Yup, this is all on Sony. They're the ones giving the critics power if they care about the score as much as this man is saying they do

Extermin8or3_25d ago

Literally this has nothing todo with if a game is a big blockbuster or not. Plenty of games are 90+ metacritic titles and they are not big blockbusters. All this shows is that Sony wants the games it publishes to be of the highest quality they can be and that in their eyes the best way of measuring that is metacritic. Whilst imperfect I can see why they have chosen that method.

S2Killinit25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Wait so now its bad to demand quality? We are living in upside down right now ladies and gentlemen. It ls CRAZY how this new wave of articles literally turned a focus on quality gaming into a bad thing. Anything can be planted in minds with the right strategy. Amazing. And scary.

Jin_Sakai25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

“Wait so now its bad to demand quality?“

While Metacritic is a starting point I’d also take actual gamers options into account and most liked Days Gone. It’s the journalist that didn’t really like the game and the BS reviews like Kallie Plagge’s didn’t help matters.

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Inverno26d ago

People find it ridiculous when they hear some say that mainstream media has too much influence/power. Yet those who don't want to believe it come in droves every time a major game gets a review and if it's a positive review they say positive things without playing it, and if it's a negative review they say negative things again without playing it. They form opinions based on someone else's opinion just because there's a familiar name behind it.
Idk how many examples one has to give to convince people. Pokemon was bad but the media said it was good, everyone believed it. Drive Club was good but the media said it was a broken unplayable mess and they all believed it. Pokemon went on to sell millions and Evolution Studios went on to be closed down over a game that shouldn't have flopped if the media didnt outright lie about it.

-Foxtrot26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

Pokemon Sword and Shield was hilarious

When someone asked about the flaws and issues with the game, Casey DeFreitas of IGN, huge Pokemon fan girl, reviewing it said “a review is not the time or place for criticism”

Now did they apply that “logic” to Days Gone? No. Course not, everything should be talked about.

They pick and choose, moving goal posts when needed.

Extermin8or3_25d ago

Erm driveclub sent on to be an excellent game eventually. But at release it was lacking features and was a mess.

Inverno26d ago

They were too busy trying to paint fan criticism as just the fan base being toxic rather than pointing out the flaws the game had. That's the other problem with journalism these days. They attack their own readers, then resort to name calling when they get criticized over their heavily biased reviews.

gamer780425d ago

Games journalists are what’s wrong with the gaming industry my favorite movies are rarely Oscar winners and my favorite games are rarely lauded by game big outlet game journalists. Days gone was a game that told its own story and didn’t try to make a political or social statement which is a better start than a lot of games have.

neutralgamer199225d ago

This isn't the right mindset and this new sony sucks man if this is their mindset moving forward. What made sony special was they took chances others won't but it seems now they want to focus on AAA blockbusters

FlavorLav0125d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Within a year of each other we got Ghost of Tsushima and we will get Returnal very shortly. Seems like the risk taking on new IP is still in full effect. They’re just picky about quality assurance. That’s not a bad thing in my book. I’ll take quality over quantity any day.

neutralgamer199225d ago


That's true. Maybe it's not so much about commercial success they just want their own games to be masterpieces

AirJohnston25d ago

Or maybe Sony shouldn't put so much stock into what the critic review score is. No one is forcing them to, Sony is giving them power

Petebloodyonion25d ago

the only score I do qualify as real is the Steam review because you have to actually make the purchase before reviewing the game. Some games are indeed trashed when not playing properly (see lots of COD games)
and other games were praised despite the meh of the media Quantum Break, Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2, Alien Isolation, etc.

I don't trust the Metacritic user scores because of the ppl giving 0 and 10 just to change the value (see TLOU2).

northpaws25d ago


When users can just hate bomb whatever that doesn't fit their agenda, I don't see how that is anymore legit than metacritic.

Extermin8or3_25d ago

It's far less legitm generally I think critics are critics for a reason and their reviews hold weight for good reason. The examples like the ign pokemon review are simply examples of individuals who should not be employed as critics. It's also worth remembering that metacritic is an average and I don't recall any extra weighting being given to the big media outlets and it includes many a smaller independent reviewers aswell as the likes of IGN, gamespot etc. Overall usually hundreds of scores go into a final metacritic score for a game so I do think therefore it does have some validity in terms of a means of judging a games quality. The same way rotten tomato scores for films whilst also an imperfect method of judging films it generally is along the right lines. Whilst you get the outliers like star wars rhe last jedi and rise of skywalker where many of the critics views run totally contrary to the vast majority of the general public you also have many many films where they call it completely correctly: batman vs superman, justice league, suicide squad, fantastic 4, daredevil (movie) etc

25d ago
steven_seagull25d ago

TLOU2 is a perfect example of why you shouldnt let user-score determine the official score

RauLeCreuset25d ago

TLOU2 is a perfect example of why Foxtrot wants user scores given more consideration, and the laughably ridiculous comment above from Foxtrot's fellow traveler, Sonic-and-Crash, is why not user scores.

25d ago
outsider162425d ago

"Tlou2, even with all those "awards" is basically a forgotten joke compared to the 1st one. Its basically definitve proof of how big the divorce between gamers and novices that pretend to be journalists( aka gaming media and reviewers) are."

What a load of crock!!

It didn't just win awards from critics but it was also the most awarded game from players too. You're going to disregard that. The fact you still bring it up shows its not forgotten.

"Frankly ill take gravity rush over the boring 1000th open world knockoff like spiderman and horizon. Let alone a joke like tlou2."

How about getting everyone buy and support a game like gravity rush then.

-Foxtrot25d ago

Oh but when it's something like Battlefront 2 for example when users complained on Metacritic it wasn't "review bombing" then was it?

Face it, user reviews on metacritic are more honest, it's just when it doesn't go a "certain way" with a game someone likes then people have an issue. When it comes to a game that you don't like you'll be praising the system.

Can't move the goal posts when it suits you


Oh please, you guys are bringing TLOU2 into this, not me. Just shows are insecure you all are if you have to continue to defend the game on another article off topic.

25d ago
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RauLeCreuset25d ago

Complains about a lack of ethics and corruption among media reviewers. Proposes a solution that is more prone to corruption, bias, and a lack of accountability.

Say what you want about games journalists. At least they're not some bot, sock account, or anonymous troll with no oversight, reputation, or subject to any other form of accountability that would discourage bad faith reviews from people who may not have played a single second of the game.

25d ago
RauLeCreuset25d ago


WTF are you even talking about? Stop rambling on the internet, and learn how to use the spacebar.

I'm not talking about made up numbers you pulled out of your butt, like "1% of ppl that troll userscores." I'm talking about complaining that one system is untrustworthy while pushing to replace it with something more untrustworthy with less accountability. That's not me singing the praises of Metacritic reviewers. That's me saying at least they have a reputation I can take into account when reading their reviews, which is not the case when Metacritic user biggusdickus573 creates an account with only one review to give TLOU2 a 0. (Yes, I really got that example from Metacritic.)

"Youtube journos are actually far better and big corporations like ign would sacrafice an infant to get those types of click traffic than angry joe and dunkey get."

Who was talking about little media versus big media? Stay on subject, and stop rambling.

"N4gtards exaggerate how much Mcritic actually matters. Mostly cuz sonys dull games get highscores though. Frankly ill take gravity rush over the boring 1000th open world knockoff like spiderman and horizon. Let alone a joke like tlou2."

Apparently not enough people agreed with you, so maybe those scores mattered more than you thought.

RauLeCreuset25d ago

And another sock created 2 hrs ago to crap on TLOU2 bites the dust. Ask me again about user scores.

-Foxtrot25d ago

Based on your comment to me above, where you actually mention the game, you seem to be hinting at the Last of Us Part II with this comment aswell

Are you really going to shit all over user reviews and praise mostly corrupt journalists because of ONE game getting bad user reviews on Metacritic? Jeez.

RauLeCreuset25d ago (Edited 25d ago )


Funny how responsive you are now that the sock is gone. Anyway...

"Based on your comment to me above, where you actually mention the game, you seem to be hinting at the Last of Us Part II with this comment aswell"

The comment wasn't to you. It was about you. Nevertheless, TLOU2 is a great example of the flaws with user reviews. Since you're bringing above comments into this, this is a good time for me to address one of yours.

"Face it, user reviews on metacritic are more honest, it's just when it doesn't go a "certain way" with a game someone likes then people have an issue. "

So honest that Metacritic instituted a 36 hour waiting period on user reviews after TLOU2 got bombed.

"Are you really going to shit all over user reviews and praise mostly corrupt journalists because of ONE game getting bad user reviews on Metacritic? Jeez."

Where did I do that? That's your problem. That ax you're obsessed with grinding distracts you from thinking things through and seeing nuance.

Let me bottom line it for you without getting into the validity of all your gripes and hang-ups:

Giving more credence to reviews that have less quality control and coming from dubious sources with no accountability is not a solution to the complaints you have about media reviews.

25d ago
RauLeCreuset25d ago

"This sock got put in ur so hard it got banned."

Like everything else you've said, I don't think that even makes sense to you. But you're desperate enough that you can almost fool yourself into believing it does make sense to you if you just wish it did hard enough. Whatever argument you're trying to make is undermined by the fact that you're so biased against and triggered by TLOU2 you keep creating these socks. You aren't convincing anyone. Not even yourself.

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25d ago
Zeref25d ago

Fanboys gave them that power. If your game is not above an 8 then apparently it's trash and nobody should play it.

Vengeance113825d ago

Users have absolutely no idea how to make a proper userscore, if you look at all the so called "bad games" the user score is either 1/10 or 10/10 there simply is no middle. Also it's just too easy to review bomb those scores. If there's anything that should be ignored it's userscore.

Batnut0025d ago

What a load of nonsense. User Scores are absolutely unreliable since they tend to be more abused, which is why we have meta-bombing, not to mention, they're not a perfect reflection of how general audiences actually feel about a particular property since the base actually putting out user scores isn't as big as you think it is.

And Game Journalists have too much power? On what grounds? If Game Journalists actually had as much power as you said than Day's Gone wouldn't have been as much of a sales success that it was. Game Journalists aren't power-brokers, they're just people giving their thoughts and opinions about video games. Do some have bigger audiences? Absolutely, would it be enough to turn the tide of a video game's sales? Not at all. If that were the case, we wouldn't see flops of generally critically acclaimed games like Titanfall 2 or Control.

25d ago
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Snookies1226d ago

That's a really crappy mindset by Sony, if true. It's just a bit hard to believe when they've given support to a lot of games that weren't released to glowing reviews or hyped fans. Unless this is a drastic change that took place within the last few years. Which, could very well have been the case. It's just odd when they've had so much support for indies and whatnot that wouldn't have gotten much attention without them.

Christopher26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

What's the crappy mindset? Replacing people as creative directors for not matching metacritic metrics (not dropping the IP, btw) or for not promoting subpar games that we as gamers openly trash talk day in and day out if they're not 8/10 or higher rated?

I can't keep up with the constantly changing mindset of the gaming fanbase.

TheColbertinator25d ago


"I can't keep up with the constantly changing mindset of the gaming fanbase."

It is impossible to grasp insanity.

tombfan26d ago

Sony and other companies wouldn't be so harsh about it if the critics didn't matter that much to gamers and to sell games. This days people don't buy games below 90... And that's stupid, reviews need to change, press has too much power over the industry.

25d ago
Rangerman120825d ago

It still surprises me that a score of 7 is considered a bad score.

BlackOni25d ago

A big reason they have so much power are these "numbers." If reviewers were tasked with not using them anymore, companies like Sony or any other company for that matter, would have to use a different metric (like sales, customer satisfaction, or bottom line statements) rather than arbitrary numbers that don't tell the story of the quality of the game. Many people even here commented that 70 being considered "bad" is weird. But to many, a "C" just means average, and nothing special. Either way, I don't think most agree that "bad" or "average" tells the story of Days Gone.

RevXM25d ago

What scares me with this mindset if true and its like a one track mindset is that they wont really be growing studios and ips.

If sony had such a mindset 15 years ago uncharted wouldnt get a sequel and naughty dog would perhaps get canned alltogether. Little things grow and improve. Rarely does a studio just... Exist out of nowhere and make horizon zero dawns and spidermans.

chronoforce25d ago

Uncharted: Drakes Fortune sits at an 88 on metacritic. The game reviewed well, sold well and probably was in development for less time than Days Gone.

Indigon25d ago

Blockbuster burnout will be a thing.

S2Killinit25d ago

Hehehe too much good games

25d ago
25d ago
Rangerman120825d ago (Edited 25d ago )

What's funny is that Knack, the first game, had a middling metacritic score, and yet it still managed to get a sequel. Meanwhile, Days Gone, whose metacritic score is much higher (it's 70-ish, but I don't consider it a bad score), won't get one because now suddenly metacritic is what matters now? I just can't understand Sony at all lol

tombfan25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Or maybe the pitched sequel was just... Bad! Also, maybe Knack didn't cost that much to make.

yeahokwhatever25d ago

thats literally the mindset of all of the publishers..

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26d ago Replies(4)
Napoca726d ago

Just like Nintendo & Xbox :)

Silly gameAr26d ago (Edited 26d ago )

Nah uuh. It's only Sony. Don't put those two angels in the same sentence as this demon known as Sony.

Anyway, when it rains it pours, huh? They just keep finding reasons for everyone to be angry at/criticize Sony. Days Gone never got this much attention when the game actually released, but now that it can be used as ammo, it's being bought up daily.

Just seems convenient, with all the doom that's been going on with Sony lately.

Gameseeker_Frampt26d ago

"Days Gone never got this much attention when the game actually released"

You really think that nobody should be talking about Days Gone - the game Sony just gave away this month in PS+ and will release next month on PC? It must be hard work dismissing every single criticism of Sony. What I want to know is what you and the others get out of defending every single thing that Sony does or doesn't do? Do you really think that the absence of criticism is what makes you a true fan of something?

25d ago
Robodrake25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Yea. When Days Gone released, including the build up to the game. Media and critics were panning the living daylights out of Days Gone.

Now that the hot new in thing is to crap on Sony, the media are bashing Sony for Sony reacting the Media. Im confused, what does the media want?

DOMination-25d ago

In previews it got criticism across the board for lacking depth and variety. That's on both Sony and Bend for getting it wrong if the final product was not representative of that (I haven't played it so I don't know)

But the reviews were mostly favourable. I just looked and it has a meta of 71. That to me is a good score. Sure, room for improvement, it was (I think) Bends first attempt at a big game and am sure they could have made a better game again with a sequel. It definitely wasn't "panned" though.

I don't know what's worse - people here who have the perception that game was destroyed in reviews (when 7/10 is probably about right and still a good score) or Sony for shutting it down at the first attempt. With the experience now gained and some help from SMS and ND, I'm sure Bend could do a good job in future.

Just another note, I see a lot of people on here and GAF getting personally upset and precious over the Schrier report to the point where he has had to backtrack due to the backlash - but all of these little reports coming out just prove he was right. When it comes to investigative work, both him and Mark Gurman are as trustworthy as it comes and both are at Bloomberg. Just because people don't like what they read, doesn't mean they should receive threats. And most of the time, actual good comes from reporting like this. Just look at previous work on CDPR, EA and UBI.. they acted on it and you can bet behind the scenes Sony will be reviewing their policies too and acting on feedback.

And early next year, you can absolutely expect the cycle to repeat when Jason reports on 343i staff once Halo launches because that studio sounds like its been a mess for five years.

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Razmiran25d ago

Im not so sure about xbox, lots of their games get less than 70 on metacritic and they still get sequels made. Like for example state of decay

TheColbertinator25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

State of Decay was a big seller on Steam without having a AAA budget like Days Gone.

Very little marketing but strong word of mouth allowed Microsoft to invest more in the studio.

Extermin8or3_25d ago

State of decay 2 was such a letdown tbh they'd do well to adopt something of a similar policy. Then again can MS afford to cancel any new it's they may have I'd the quality isn't high enough considering they have like bo exclusives at present.... maybe not.

25d ago
RauLeCreuset25d ago (Edited 25d ago )


SOD2 is better received based on what??? Sales? User voted GOTY awards? Metacritic user score? Let's look at those Metacritic metrics:

TLOU2 has 78,015 more POSITIVE user reviews than the combined total of all user reviews for SOD2 across Xbox and PC.
TLOU2 has 78,785 more positive user reviews than the total for both versions of SOD2.
TLOU2 has 78,905 more positive user reviews than the Xbox version of SOD2.
TLOU2 has 79,194 more positive user reviews than the PC version of SOD2.
TLOU2 has a higher user score, 5.7, despite the review bombing, than SOD2 on Xbox, 5.5, and PC, 4.8.
TLOU2 has a 5.7 user score. The user score when averaging both versions of SOD2 is 5.15.

Want some more stats?

TLOU2 sold over 3.1 million units in its first 3 days.

By contrast, SOD2 had only exceeded 3 million "players" over a month after release.

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25d ago
King_Noctis25d ago (Edited 25d ago )

Yes, but those two still make/publish smaller titles as well such as Ori (for MS) and Cadence of Hyrule (for Nintendo).

MS also continues to bring older titles back (even if some of those didn’t sell well) such as State of Decay, Psychonaunts, and Battletoad while Nintendo still continues to support games such as Kirby even though said game didn’t particularly score well on Metacritic (the last Kirby game scored 73% on Metacritic, around the same score as Days Gone).

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XiNatsuDragnel26d ago

What dumb mindset in my opinion Sony.

tombfan26d ago

Tell that to the people that only buys games if the metascore is above 90... And trust me, it's a majority. I'm sure other companies are also in the same mindset.

assassingamer3625d ago

That's not true. Reports came out today miles Morales sold more than the last of us 2 and it's clearly at 84 and 85 respectively.

Redemption-6425d ago

And what report was that? Can you please provide some evidence?

25d ago
XiNatsuDragnel24d ago

Still I rather fans be the one to dictate the games we want tbh.

yeahokwhatever24d ago

they do by buying the game during the launch window. too many people didnt buy this game after launch because they didnt like the reviews. if you feel wronged by a review, that you tried the game and had a drastically different opinion, dont go to that review site anymore. always vote with your wallet and what sony releases and supports will be right in line with your own opinion. of course, you may just have unique tastes.. in that case, be thankful for whatever you get.