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I find this debate really interesting, as I'm sort of on both sides of the issue. I work in PR with some gaming clients, and I've also run my own gaming site for the past 10 years ( ). I think if I was actively involved in any of the craziness surrounding review scores, I'd be horrified. I can't believe some publishers base their embargo on the current Metacritic score. It's really disgusting how that site has slowely poisoned the industry. Years ago, when there weren't hundreds of gaming blogs all over the web, some publishers only sent me review copies if my site was above a certain Alexa ranking score. Today, that might be a certain # of UVMs on Compete or Quantcast. That makes sense to me, because the limited number of review copies should be reserved for larger sites. But restricting review copies based on score is totally twisted. I reviewed a game last year (Disciples 3), and I thought it was atrocious. I rated it a 3/10. When I delicately sent the link along to the PR rep for the publisher, he was totally understanding. He said, "you win some, you lose some," or something along those lines. That was awesome, and I wish that kind of thing happened more often in this industry.
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Apr 20, 2011