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March 4th, 2012, 20:44
I highly recommend a full reading of both the Neoseeker interview and Swen Vincke's follow-up blog post. Looking at game reviews as a consumer, its easy to suspect that something just isn't right with some reviews. These articles give some perspective from the game studio and from the perspective of a publisher.

Shoddy reviews. Although experienced gamers can easily shrug off the obviously bad reviews, for game developers its often a life and death experience — From Swen,
I saw a curve once from a [big publisher] showing the correlation for an RPG between Metacritic score and sales. There's an incredibly strong relationship, which is exponential. An 80 will get you a couple of hundred thousand sales, say, where a 90 will get you a couple million if it's marketed properly.
How about those glowing reviews of games that turn out to be mediocre or just plain crap? A few zingers from Swen:
…it's probably not the norm… [But recently] not sooner than I'd just done an interview with [a large magazien] was the advertising manager talking with us on the phone a couple of hours later about how many pages we'd wanted to buy, etc. So it does happen like that.
…You see situations where the guys going to review a game are invited to go to Venice, and they're going to spend a half hour with the game and a week in Venice in a five-star hotel…
I've seen a PR manager in action for one of my games make a 79 an 81.
Other topics include inexperienced reviewers and/or reviewers with little or no understanding of the game genre.

Swen believes there should be accountability for game reviewers and publishers of reviews. Seems to me that RPGWatch can, or perhaps already does, have some role here.

Swen recommends particular caution with 'day one' game reviews. He also recommends comparing user scores to review scores…

Lots more in the articles…

I'd really like to see reviews based on properly constructed panels of gamers for the particular genre…

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