Thursday, April 03, 2014

Metacritic Scores With Amazon

Metacritic has leagued with Amazon, in a sense, by offering direct links back to products it has given scores on. And as the Time article by Matt Peckham reads, it’s not exactly a great thing. 

For those who don’t know, Metacritic has rose to be the tops when it comes to reviews for movies, music, and anything involving entertainment. It utilizes scores and resources for hundreds of websites and newspapers to compile reviews into a score. 0 is bad, 100 is the best. These are based on critic reviews, people who are paid to watch/read said item and write about their opinions for the general public. It does not take into consideration customer reviews, those of us who pay to buy the product. That’s where Peckham and I feel that this Amazon “buy now” link will come into trouble.

Amazon is the hub where you can buy virtually anything. It’s also where you’ll get a lot of honest feedback about a product. Sometimes a sarcastic remark here and there, (The BIC Pen’s for Her are hilarious), but overall, when you read an Amazon review, you get an honest customer response. A game like SimCity (I really don’t mean to pick so much on EA…okay maybe I do, but this is a great ecample) got a decent score on Metacritic at 64. There were a good number of mixed reviews, most people like the game, but wouldn’t rank it in Top10 must haves. Flip over to Amazon and ratings are at 1.6 out of 5 stars. That is really bad in Amazon world. But Metacritic reviews say that it’s a game worth trying. Needless to say, it’s obvious that MC wants to make more money, like any business would. And this partnership with Amazon will net them some additional profit for every sale made via the redirects on the MC website. But it can be misleading to consumers, thinking that the MC scores are more important, buy the game, and realize that it sucks once they read the Amazon reviews. I don’t feel that Amazon or MC are trying to be dishonest: both of them want to boost their profits. It’s just a wonky review system to have MC’s scores say one thing and Amazon’s saying another. Who do you believe? Who do you follow? Who do you choose not to follow? Or do you say “screw it” and buy/avoid the game anyway regardless of what reviews say? I’m curious to watch this unfold with consumers.


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