Cryptic Studios Calls For a Metacritic Reform

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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  • pliskin1
    $1000 for eyelashes? No thanks.
  • joytech22
    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.
  • clubsaucekiller
    joytech22NO. 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.Luckily no one cares what you think about them.
  • Pennanen
    clubsaucekillerLuckily no one cares what you think about them.Same goes for you. Please go.
  • therabiddeer
    This just in: Developers angry they cant release a half finished product and claim that it is "evolving"
  • razor512
    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.
  • thecolorblue
    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
  • 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.
  • demonhorde665
    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.
  • techguy911
    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.