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Metacritic logo.svg
description Reviews / ratings
Registration Optional
languages English
owner CBS Interactive Inc.
Originator Jason Dietz, Marc Doyle, Julie Roberts
Published 2001
status On-line

Metacritic is a website that aggregates ratings for movies, DVDs, music, computer games , books, and TV shows. An excerpt and hyperlink are provided for each of the reviews listed .


Metacritic has been online since 2001. In 2005 the founders Marc Doyle, Julie Doyle Roberts and Jason Dietz sold the website to CNET , a subsidiary of the US media group CBS Corporation. In December 2019, Metacritic took over the staff of the discontinued competitor website GameRankings , which was also operated by CBS Interactive.


Metacritic calculates a so-called Metascore between 0 and 100 for each listed product from differently weighted ratings of relevant media. The rankings of the site are particularly important to manufacturers of computer games, for example, contracts of some publishers contain clauses according to which a good Metascore from Metacritic leads to a bonus payment to the developer. The ratings on this page even have an impact on the share prices of participating companies.

In addition to the ratings of large media, registered users can submit their own ratings. These are classified on a scale from 0 to 10.


Metascore is the name, legally protected by the website in the United States, for a combination of several existing reviews of a media publication into an integer rating between 0 and 100. This allows an, albeit greatly reduced, qualitative assessment at a glance of a title. A Metascore of 100 indicates a title of excellent quality, and a score of 0 indicates a title of non-existent quality.

Other websites based on the same principle ( Rotten Tomatoes , GameRankings , OpenCritic ) have their own names and do not use the term Metascore. However, other publications often use the term synonymously for any aggregation of scores.

Determination of the rating number

As a rule, several dozen test reports from a wide variety of publications are included in the evaluation, including the major print media from the respective industry, but also - especially for console and PC games - renowned Internet publications .

The judgment given by the critic is converted to the Metascore scale from 0 to 100 points and then combined as a weighted average with the other judgments belonging to the title. If there is no evaluation in the form of a scaled numerical value (for example “6 out of 10 points” or “83%”), the Metascore editorial team assigns a score to the report itself - based on various clues in the article and the overall impression that the article reproduces .

The weighting of the individual judgments is based on the reputation and degree of specialization of the publication. For example, a recognized specialist magazine for computer games receives a high weighting for the metascore of a computer game, but a lower weighting for the score of a book than a magazine about new books.

The individual judgments used can be found in the discussion of the respective title.

Use of the Metascore rating system

Metascore in a Steam account

Metascore ratings can be found, for example, in the online catalog of the computer game distribution platform Steam and the associated user account management. If available, the Metascore is displayed for each game on the corresponding product page, in the game list or similar sub-pages. The German company SpieleRadar uses the same technical system, where the process is also applied to user comments and, under the label Hype-O-Meter, also to the measurement of the extent to which a game that has not yet been published is reported.

Within the games industry, the Metascore also has an impact on the contractual conditions between developers and publishers, which sometimes leads to controversial views. A statement by game designer Chris Avellone on Twitter in March 2012, according to which his development studio Obsidian Entertainment had missed a bonus payment for the development of Fallout: New Vegas , because the Metascore was only 84 points instead of 85 attracted more attention . In total, the developer studio is said to have missed a success bonus of one million US dollars. According to a statement by game designer Kim Swift from April 2013, the metascore of previous work often serves as the basis for contract negotiations between publishers / financiers and developers. Proponents of this procedure claim that this serves as security and a basis of trust for the donor, especially with high funding amounts. Critics complain that this is only used by donors as a justification to be able to significantly reduce the profit-sharing of the developers regardless of the sales success. This sometimes means that measures are taken during development that do not serve to improve the game but to potentially increase the metascore, such as eliminating or restricting particularly critical journalists and testers.

User score

On its website, Metacritic has given registered private persons (users, English term for users) the opportunity to publish reviews and a rating (score from 1 to 10 points) themselves. That evaluation is called the user score. The average of all user ratings is displayed next to the Metascore as a user score. After a review bombing of a video game that had not yet been released, Metacritic decided not to allow private reviews on its own website until 36 hours after titles were published.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Carsten Görig: The uncanny power of the average. Retrieved October 2, 2012 .
  2. Nick Wingfield, High Scores Matter To Game Makers, Too. In: Wall Street Journal , September 20, 2007.
  3. [1]
  4. Big News from the GameRankings / Metacritic Team ( Memento from December 9, 2019 in the Internet Archive )
  5. ^ Heise online : "An ugly game" and the dismissal of a Gamespot editor. Retrieved October 2, 2012 .
  6. GamesRadar. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on October 1, 2012 ; Retrieved October 2, 2012 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.
  7. Ben Gilbert: Obsidian missed Fallout: New Vegas Metacritic bonus by one point ( English ) In: Joystiq . AOL . March 15, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  8. Jason Schreier: Why Are Game Developer Bonuses Based On Review Scores? ( English ) In: Kotaku . March 15, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  9. Jason Schreier: Metacritic Matters: How Review Scores Hurt Video Games ( English ) In: Kotaku . April 11, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  10. Game culture: First measures against "Review-Bombing" at Metacritic after The Last of Us Part 2. Accessed on July 20, 2020 .