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Developer career scores will not return to Metacritic

Site admits "it's needless to put a number on" individuals but questions if games business correctly credits staff

Metacritic has stated that it will not bring back scores for individual developers after a week in which it was roundly criticised by the games industry for rating individuals using incomplete or out-of-date information.

Speaking in a exclusive interview published today on GamesIndustry.biz, co-founder and games editor Marc Doyle admitted the process was nowhere near as detailed as it needed to be, but he also suggested the games business does a poor job of crediting staff for the projects they have worked on.

"We have no plans to bring it back. Right now we just want to see if we can build the database, take a shot at it, see what we can do," said Doyle.

If they've worked on 30 games and we can only show four... then that's not fair.

Marc Doyle, co-founder, Metacritic

The individual scores went live last August but only recently caught the eye of high-profile developers, where vocal designers like Peter Molyneux, Cliff Bleszinski and David Jaffe were scored against each other. Other developers complained that their details were simply not included on Metacritic or lacked specific releases.

"If they've worked on 30 games and we can only show four and then we take on this score, which is really just an average of those games in our database for them, then that's not fair," admitted Doyle.

"We discussed it as a team and it made sense to just drop that overall number whilst still trying to build this database which will be difficult, but we're going to give it a shot. It's needless to put that number on it though."

The lack of information about what games people have worked on isn't entirely Metacritics' fault, argued Doyle, who questioned whether the games business correctly and fairly credits developers for the work they've done on completed projects.

"We've found it very tough in some cases to say who has been responsible for a game.

"I think that is an issue, of the industry not needing or not wanting to put that information out there. I don't know exactly what's behind that, I haven't discussed that with too many publishers."

However, he defended Metacritic's initial intention, which was an extension of the site's primary goal: to inform users of the best entertainment available and the people that have created.

"That's ultimately the goal of Metacritic: What should I watch, what should I play? Not necessarily to fuel some larger discussion over what person is more worthy than some other person."

Doyle said Metacritic is more than willing to work with publishers and developers to improve its crediting database, but he was doubtful the industry sees it as a priority.

"If by this issue coming about in the last week all of a sudden the publishers and developers are like: "Yes, let's standardise this whole system", and everyone wanted to go out there and in every game attach their credits, then we could hire someone to simply input that into our system. But... I don't necessarily see that happening and I don't think you see that happening."

The full interview with Doyle, in which he also shares his view on why games critics are not as responsible as movie critics, can be read here.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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