As we have said here before, and said numerous times on the JTS podcast, PR pays attention to Metacritic. For some PR folks, it’s an absolute obsession. Take this announcement from Capcom as reported by CVG. The story itself isn’t about Metacritic, it’s rather about how DMC fans were all up in arms about new developer Ninja Theory apparently re-imaging Dante. That doesn’t interest me in the slightest. However, this quote does:
“Lets be honest they were great games (averaging in the low 80’s on Metacritic) but not perfect. We’re now aiming to make the perfect DMC game that gets 90’s.”
So, according to Capcom, if a website that hands out letter grades (1Up, GameShark, and others) gives the new DMC game a B+ well, that’s an ’83’ according to Metacritic and you can get bet your last nickel that Capcom will not be happy with an 83. If it gets a “B” — that’s a 75. And that simply will not do.
I may be alone in this but I find that to be a hell of a statement — basing your ‘perfection’ on an aggregate website that uses its own rating system which basically alters the scores of the sites it tracks, I find fascinating. Metacritic is a tool, and a very useful one, but I still don’t think a lot of people in PR know how it actually works.