Game review scores have always been a vocal point for drama and contention in the video game industry. A single number attempts to serve as a representation of the quality of a product that huge groups of people spend years creating, and that result doesn’t always jive well with critics, fans, developers and executives.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer is no different.
Speaking with Gamespot in a lengthy interview that you’d do well to read by hitting the source link below, Spencer is asked about what he thinks of ReCore‘s reception. That game did alright in some places, but other sites absolutely hammered it.
Here’s Spencer’s response in full. I don’t want to chop it up, so give it a read.
I feel great about ReCore. About being able to work with with Inafune-san and Armature. And I’m very proud that it’s in our portfolio. I wish it reviewed higher, but I don’t necessarily look at the reviews as a reflection of the game’s importance to us. The game is selling well, which I like. The gamers’ response to the game has been positive, which is the most important thing.
And we priced ReCore lower than a full triple-A game because we knew the game that we were building and the size of the team, I wanted to make sure that people felt like it was fair value for what it was. I think in the end that was a good decision, because I think trying to get people to buy a $60 game when it’s not a $60 game short-term might feel like a money-making thing but in the long run I don’t think it helps the game or the IP.
On the reviews, honestly I thought some of the reviews were a little harsh in terms of their view on the game. But for us, inside, again I feel really proud to have the character, the story, the gameplay style, and the partnership with Armature and Inafune-san as part of our portfolio.
I didn’t try to tell anybody that it was a ten. I think we knew, as with any games, that there are certain things… if we started from the beginning and we knew what we’d get, there’s a couple of things we would’ve done slightly differently. But we’re very proud of how the game ended up. And I think seven, eight, nine, like anywhere in there is fine. Three or four… I mean somebody gave Forza Horizon 3 a four. I think there’s certain reviews that are written more to get clicked on than they are to actually accurately reflect the quality of the game, and that kind of bums me out.
For what it’s worth, I think Spencer is largely right here. I don’t think all sites score the way they do for traffic. In fact, as someone who knows a lot of reviewers, writing a review that simply serves to garner clicks rather than inform consumers is a rarity.
It happens, though, and that’s absolutely a bummer.