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Cryptic Studios Calls For a Metacritic Reform

By - Source: [a]listdaily | B 26 comments

Initial reviews for MMOs just don't do them justice due to their evolving nature, claims Cryptic Studios.

In a recent interview with [a]listdaily, Star Trek Online executive producer Dan Stahl and Perfect World Entertainment vice president of business development and corporate communications John Young talked about MMOs in general, ranging from topics like Star Wars: The Old Republic going free-to-play to the progression of PvP in Star Trek Online.

They eventually touch on the subject about the latter game earning lackluster reviews when it launched back in 2010. Stahl said that reviews just don't do MMOs justice.

"MMOs are designed to grow over time and get better with every major release," Stahl said. "It might be better if sites like Metacritic could find a way to rate MMO’s by releases instead of just the initial day one. There are plenty of MMOs that have made huge strides since days one and some that have even gotten worse. Until then, we will continue to offer the game for free and ask for people to try it out and decide for themselves."

As one who formerly wrote reviews for all genres, publishers want these reviews right off the bat. It's a gamble for them really: give journalists the code early so that they can evaluate the game prior to launch. Thus, if it's stellar and mind-blowing, then the publisher will ride on that publicity at launch which in turn convinces you the consumer to buy their product. If it's mediocre, they'll use a sentence or two that actually spins a positive light in adverts. If it's a bad review, publishers naturally won't refer to it at all, and may even refuse to use that reviewer or outlet again (been there done that).

Even for MMOs, there will be reviews at launch, good or bad. But as Stahl states, these are games that evolve over time. Like children, they grow and mature, growing in size. Publishers really don't want a second review for these games even though Stahl is correct. If there are any revisits done, it's by the reviewer or site's own choice, and generally don't get noticed.

The interview also touches base about the Star Trek MMO going into free-to-play mode. Stahl says it's a perfect fit because the franchise itself – even the Star Wars IP for that matter – promotes a "hobby" business, meaning fans will purchase collectables based on their desire and budget.

"When you consider that there are people who may want to buy Spock's eyelashes for $1,000, it is clear that Star Trek is their hobby," he said. "The nice thing about a hobby is that you spend what you want to spend. Some people will watch an Oakland Raiders game from the luxury of their couch while wearing their sweats. Having an Intellectual Property like Star Trek is awesome for a F2P MMO because it brings with it an already established mix of fans that might not exist if you tried to build a space MMO concept from scratch."

To read the entire review, head here.

 

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  • 13 Hide
    therabiddeer , September 25, 2012 6:50 AM
    This just in: Developers angry they cant release a half finished product and claim that it is "evolving"
  • 12 Hide
    joytech22 , September 25, 2012 6:03 AM
    Quote:
    Spock's eyelashes for $1,000

    NO. Just NO.
    I don't care how hard-core a fan you are, if you pay $1000 for something in a GAME your just dead to me.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    pliskin1 , September 25, 2012 5:56 AM
    $1000 for eyelashes? No thanks.
  • 12 Hide
    joytech22 , September 25, 2012 6:03 AM
    Quote:
    Spock's eyelashes for $1,000

    NO. Just NO.
    I don't care how hard-core a fan you are, if you pay $1000 for something in a GAME your just dead to me.
  • 6 Hide
    Pennanen , September 25, 2012 6:48 AM
    clubsaucekillerLuckily no one cares what you think about them.

    Same goes for you. Please go.
  • 13 Hide
    therabiddeer , September 25, 2012 6:50 AM
    This just in: Developers angry they cant release a half finished product and claim that it is "evolving"
  • 7 Hide
    razor512 , September 25, 2012 8:10 AM
    thats why you release a beta copy of the game, then actually listen to the feedback and make a game that the gamers want.

    I have taken part of many game betas in the past and there have been changes that were heavily requested that the companies completely ignored, then when the items were released, those same issues came up in the reviews and made the games do poorly.

    Most of the games that do poorly, do it because they fail to listen to their customers. I have for the most part stopped entering into game betas and stick with more consumer electronic betas instead.

    When I beta consumer electronics, if I report a problem, the people running the beta will reproduce the issue and I will get periodic e-mails from the team working on the item giving status updates on the changes being made and any compromises being made and requesting additional feedback.


    Why is is so different with game companies and their betas? with a game company, it is nearly impossible for them to even listen to you but with pretty much any other beta it is nearly impossible for a legitimate concern to be ignored.

    Reviews should not be redone as it is a waste or time and resources for the reviews.It is up to the game company to push out a finalized product the first time around and if they feel that it is not complete then they need to keep it in beta and take more feedback from the customers.
  • 4 Hide
    thecolorblue , September 25, 2012 8:57 AM
    a) don't release games before they are ready (MMO or otherwise)
    b) if you think it is a great idea to release crap and expect consumers to finance patches until the product becomes decent then...
    c) accept your shitty reviews for you have earned them
  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 10:22 AM
    to all those who say no to the eyelashes..

    would you pay 2000$ for half life 3?

    and remember half life 3 wont last 1/10th as long as any mmo.
  • 1 Hide
    demonhorde665 , September 25, 2012 11:07 AM
    the beauty of STO is that you don't have to pay 1000 bucks for spocks eye lashes LOL of all teh mmo's STO is teh only one i've come a cross that has a system in place for trading in game resources (dilithium) for real cash tokens (c points). i've made quite a few purcahses in STo , and NOT ONCE did i use real money or my own credit card , i simply grinded dilithium and traded it for c-points bam got what i wanted. I wish more mmo's would do this because every one wins. some one still has to buy the c-points so the company gets their money, and folks can grind time away to trade to get c-points to afford spocks eyelashes. every one wins in this system ... now if they couold just keep the exchange rate from blowing up to 300+ dilithium per c-point every time new content is made .. i'd be 100% happy.
  • 2 Hide
    techguy911 , September 25, 2012 11:11 AM
    Maybe if they fixed major problems in star trek online people would play it, beam down with away team then poof where did they go? that problem STILL exists, that was a game breaker for me and why i left.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 11:22 AM
    this would have more merit if Cryptic had QA department. But clearly form all the release I seen since the game came out they have none. That or the team they have need to be fired. Let see there the new c-store ship they release that was unable to do End Game content (STF). There the recent patch where they broke STF and other missions. The klingon decloak bug which they once said would take a while to fix. IS know working as intended. KDF Full PVE faction. We still waiting for that feature first promised back in august 2008. If they put have the effort in lip service for KDF into content. They kdf would have about 10 times more stuff then Starfleet. But, at least Cryptic all talk and little on action. IN the last two years we seen 6 new missions add to game. This is on game that been lacking content since day one. Heck there grand total of 8 KDF missions. THen abother 20 FE that where written for Federation but the KDF could play. But make no sence. Like the news FE where KDF Takes orders from a starfleet officer. Cryptic was to lazy to make seperate KDF Contact for them. That was way to much work for them. That just small example of the shitty work they done. There rating reflect the game they have and are producing. Maybe they should release a better quality game if they want better rating? Why do i play it? Because it is Trek and my fleet. Any thing else and I be gone. Heck I allready fine my self playing GW2 more and more each day. My fleet is what keeping me in game. That and my love for trek
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2012 11:48 AM
    Yup STO started life as a snapped in half small Turd, now its just a HUGE PILE of steaming Shit!

    You want to know why STO has a bad Meta Score Cryptic, go read your forums for a few clues!
  • 6 Hide
    classzero , September 25, 2012 12:23 PM
    oenj23to all those who say no to the eyelashes..would you pay 2000$ for half life 3?and remember half life 3 wont last 1/10th as long as any mmo.

    I won't pay 59.99 for half life 3. I will wait for a steam sale. But thanks for playing.
  • 3 Hide
    cnox , September 25, 2012 2:05 PM
    Why don't they just issue metacritic releases like Startrek Online: Patch 1.3.2 and people can rate the game for each major update?
  • 5 Hide
    hate machine , September 25, 2012 2:29 PM
    This guy complains about metacritic scores being low on launch for all MMOs because MMOs are expected to ship incomplete and as a buggy mess.

    Funny how Rift had such a great launch with little to no downtime and a flawless client. GW2 launched and while there were some exploits and bugs and system outage due to the high concurrency both of these games garnered high scores during launch.

    Guess you shouldn't ship crappy games and blame the genre if it is a stinker on release.
  • 1 Hide
    Vorador2 , September 25, 2012 2:57 PM
    The problem is not metacritic. Metacritic is just a review aggregator. The real problem lies on the reviews.

    Oh wait, it doesn't either. The problem is releasing a shitty half-baked product, then complaining that you're getting the flak you deserve.

    A way to keep everyone reasonably happy in this case would be to periodically refresh the reviews for MMOs and the aggregated score. But most reviewers won't bother to refresh a review they've done already. So suck it down already Cryptic.
  • 0 Hide
    thecolorblue , September 25, 2012 3:08 PM
    demonhorde665the beauty of STO is that you don't have to pay 1000 bucks for spocks eye lashes LOL of all teh mmo's STO is teh only one i've come a cross that has a system in place for trading in game resources (dilithium) for real cash tokens (c points). i've made quite a few purcahses in STo , and NOT ONCE did i use real money or my own credit card , i simply grinded dilithium and traded it for c-points bam got what i wanted. I wish more mmo's would do this because every one wins. some one still has to buy the c-points so the company gets their money, and folks can grind time away to trade to get c-points to afford spocks eyelashes. every one wins in this system ... now if they couold just keep the exchange rate from blowing up to 300+ dilithium per c-point every time new content is made .. i'd be 100% happy.

    RMAH?

    no thanks, D3 killed that idea forever... will never play any game with a RMAH again
  • 2 Hide
    robochump , September 25, 2012 5:54 PM
    For some reason it appears very difficult to design a good MMO. SWTOR actually did a god job but like most MMOs once you hit the end game the MMO experience falls apart. If you are charging a monthly sub then end game is critical. SWTOR also suffers from poor PvP content.

    As for Star Trek Online the space combat is OK but cannot be expected to carry the game and the ground combat is quirky. I simply lost interest due to game design.

    I do agree that MMO ratings is a slippery slope since the MMO does change over time but all games should get rated for initial content then make efforts to work with review sites to display updates and review them.
  • 0 Hide
    Zagen30 , September 25, 2012 6:07 PM
    On a somewhat unrelated note, this suggestion holds merit for Metacritic's TV reviews, especially since they list shows as ": Season Y." The score for the entire "season," however, is just based on the reviews for the first episode, and most of the shows that get put up there are rookies, in which case the entire "season's" score is based on the pilot. It's a well-observed fact that pilots are not often that representative of how good or bad a show turns out; there have been plenty of great pilots that gave way to crummy series, bad pilots that eventually turned into fantastic shows (Seinfeld being one of the most famous examples), and everything in between.
  • -1 Hide
    Kami3k , September 25, 2012 6:15 PM
    demonhorde665the beauty of STO is that you don't have to pay 1000 bucks for spocks eye lashes LOL of all teh mmo's STO is teh only one i've come a cross that has a system in place for trading in game resources (dilithium) for real cash tokens (c points).


    EVE Online says hello.
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