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Ben Kuchera: If you ever questioned a Polygon review score, you were right. Management makes the scores.

Three

Member
This sort of thing definitely happens in the industry and it's really frustrating to see a piece with your name in the byline that you don't stand by. I would say it was rare in my time, but it did happen.

I remember once a publication published multiple versions of my review for different platforms. What I submitted was more or less identical (minus some platform specific stuff), but because of there were different editors in charge, one was edited to be much more negative and given a lower score and one was run basically as I submitted it, so basically they told on themselves.
This was obvious of Polygon when they gave CoD Ghosts a lower score on PS4 (with Arthur Gies at the helm) "for lower framrate" than xbox one. This was later tested to be bullshit in framerate tests. Then we had Tomb Raider PS4 which had double the framerate on PS4 sometimes and still ended up with the same review scores. They literally only done it at the beginning of that gen with that one launch game.
 
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Edgelord79

Gold Member
Shit weasels always turn on each other.

Trailer Park Boys Drink GIF
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Videogames are a multiple billion dollar market, and first impressions or first wave of reviews directly impact the sales of a game.

Without any sort of neutral oversight, it was always going to end up with publishers mingling with reviewers.

Not only that, but with the click and ad revenue business model, there's a feedback loop between review sites and publishers, where reviewers don't want to risk 'offending' publishers and risk not getting scoops, interviews, etc.

See anything wrong with this picture?


The game is rigged folks.



You're right fam, the game really is rigged.






What???

Pretty sure this is fake, I think that was a review for a PS1 game


Yes, the text is from the infamous Alien Resurrection (PS1) review.

Someone's being cheeky.
 
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Abriael_GN

Member
Folks, I've got zero simpathy for polygon. As a matter of fact, it's likely one of the sites on the internet I dislike the most, but I'd be remiss if I did not caution you about the fact that blindly believing someone who has just been laid off, who is throwing wild accusations way beyond review scores, and has been known for saying and writing some pretty damn wild thing in the past, just because it's convenient to confirm your thoughts about a website, isn't the best idea, even more so when the person in question deletes everything as soon as he sobers up.

Not saying he's wrong or right because I don't know, but he's not exactly impartial.
 
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If what Ben is saying is true, then it's pretty damning. As mentioned earlier in this thread, we're all aware of the whole Kane and Lynch saga so if you've been paying attention to this stuff it's not that surprising, unfortunately.

At some point, most gaming publications went full on publisher mouthpiece mode. There's always been a degree of this kind of fuckery in gaming, but it's become much more obvious in the last decade or so.

If you remember back to the late 90's-mid/late 00's, it was a pretty regular occurrence where a major publication would leak things about games or hardware in development, often before they were announced officially, that didn't paint things in a positive light.

What???

Pretty sure this is fake, I think that was a review for a PS1 game
It's from an Alien Resurrection review, if I remember correctly. Don't remember which publication, I want to say Game Informer?
Shit weasels always turn on each other.

Trailer Park Boys Drink GIF
I started rewatching TPB during lockdown, now I'm reminded I need to finish that shit lol
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Btw, anyone got an archive of the tweets ?

Just seeing a lot of unavailable tweets in the OP.
 
Huh.. I'm pretty sure some other website ran an article about this ages ago. Basically said something along the lines of "reviewers submit their reviews and a committee decides on the score based on the contents/tone of the review".

Even that's messed up... but now we know that the committee is just one dude

Edit:

Oh, it was polygon themselves

Once a review is complete, the reviewer meets with a group of senior editors to determine which score on our scale properly reflects the text as written.

From here
 
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Chukhopops

Member
Videogames are a multiple billion dollar market, and first impressions or first wave of reviews directly impact the sales of a game.

Without any sort of neutral oversight, it was always going to end up with publishers mingling with reviewers.

Not only that, but with the click and ad revenue business model, there's a feedback loop between review sites and publishers, where reviewers don't want to risk 'offending' publishers and risk not getting scoops, interviews, etc.

See anything wrong with this picture?


The game is rigged folks.
Lol you already tried that same bullshit in April, I could post the exact same reply but I’ll just leave this here:

 

Banjo64

Member
The ‘gaming industry’ at large is filled with some of the biggest man baby losers I’ve ever seen. Not exclusive to video games obviously, but seems to be an ultra high concentration.

And no offence to some of the underlings like this guy, but if you’re job is to review video games you should have been out of there on the very first strike.
 

Banjo64

Member
You're right fam, the game really is rigged.









Yes, the text is from the infamous Alien Resurrection (PS1) review.

Someone's being cheeky.
I think the issue is that most of the people who enjoyed Halo Infinite’s campaign would agree that it feels like a skeleton and there should have been more. I don’t think you can say the same about Horizon. That’s why the reviews for Halo ring hollow in a way that Horizon’s don’t, regardless of where the reviews are coming from.
 

Ezekiel_

Member
You're right fam, the game really is rigged.

Lol you already tried that same bullshit in April, I could post the exact same reply but I’ll just leave this here:
My point is that some reviewers are obviously biased, (if not outright payed to do exactly that), and your responses is to point a finger to other reviewers, so thanks for proving my point.
 
Ben Kuchera was a known douchebag going all the way back to when he was at Ars Technica. Which is why I'm surprised he would get fired from Polygon, the most douchey game website on the Internet and that's saying a lot when Kotaku exists.

But people like him tend to fail upwards, so I'm expecting he'll be douching it up at Bloomberg or something soon.
 
If the accusations are true then fuck Polygon.

However, it’s telling how many people are using this incident as ‘proof’ that the entire games journalism industry is dodgy.

Polygon has never been the leader in games journalism no matter how much it wanted to be, and Polygon has never set the rules of how every other publication in the world does its business.

If this ends up being true then all it does is prove that Polygon’s management is fucked. It has nothing to do with (modern day) Gamespot, or IGN or any of the thousands of smaller sites out there. Until you can find evidence of wrongdoing right now at a specific site, then that site and its writers shouldn’t be dragged into this shit.

You only need to look through the replies here to see completely unproven shit like “some reviewers are obviously biased”. Too many people are eager to tar everyone with the same brush and this Polygon incident should be about Kuchera and Polygon management, not bizarre leaps of logic like “AHA! So that’s why that PlayStation site gave Gran Turismo a 9”.
 
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nush

Gold Member
Ben Kuchera was a known douchebag going all the way back to when he was at Ars Technica. Which is why I'm surprised he would get fired from Polygon, the most douchey game website on the Internet and that's saying a lot when Kotaku exists.

But people like him tend to fail upwards, so I'm expecting he'll be douching it up at Bloomberg or something soon.

Profit as long as the system you are in lets you and then play your switch card when you've got nothing to lose once you've been kicked out.
 

Filben

Member
Not shocked. When sites exist that have practically the system/console name in its own name and give out ultra high scores left and right even for the most average or even a bad game, it's not too far stretched that outlets do the same where it's not so obvious from the name.

There's a reason many sites and people advocate against scores, because there's things you can't put a – meaningful, mind you – number on them and it just shifts away discussion. Just because it has been a sort of industry standard because it's so damn convenient and beneficial, mostly for those making money in the industry though, doesn't mean that's how it should be. Putting a score on something is really subverting all the effort you put into your text; you see that constantly when people tear each other apart over a fucking number, because it's not the number they would have put onto a fucking video game, film, book, or whatever, and because video games often attract the socially weakest persons, aka Gamers™ (but edgelords exist in any community anyways).

Why write anything at all if the number is all people and publisher management cares for? Why not made people actually read the stuff you have to say?

Write a review, ditch the numbers and you ditch the illiterate or those who don't fucking care and also those caring too much or only about that fucking number they somehow need to validate their own purchases, life decisions, images or themselves because they can't cope with their insecurities otherwise.

Okay... that's a meltdown, I'd say. Just a little bit less context and it's almost like those people back in the day on social media, posting publicly something like "When the most trusted person BETRAYS you..." and everyone acts like they care and reply "oh no what happened?" and of course they wouldn't reply because that would be too much for the public but they also couldn't resist to write SOMETHING and tease them.

Seriously, if it involves highly unethical behaviour, write all that shit into a single post but don't use that fucking reactive and extremist Twitter other for maybe linking to that post. If it's criminal acts, report it to authorities.

Aside, it's funny how society and people wants to be oh so progressive these days, yet they constantly use Twitter for publicly shame, discredit and persecute people like in the middle ages. The modern pillory.
 

Mithos

Member
Uhmm.

Your review score SHOULD match your written words...
Because otherwise the score is wrong or what you've written is wrong.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Videogames are a multiple billion dollar market, and first impressions or first wave of reviews directly impact the sales of a game.

Without any sort of neutral oversight, it was always going to end up with publishers mingling with reviewers.

Not only that, but with the click and ad revenue business model, there's a feedback loop between review sites and publishers, where reviewers don't want to risk 'offending' publishers and risk not getting scoops, interviews, etc.

See anything wrong with this picture?


The game is rigged folks.

You're right fam, the game really is rigged.









Yes, the text is from the infamous Alien Resurrection (PS1) review.

Someone's being cheeky.

Lol you already tried that same bullshit in April, I could post the exact same reply but I’ll just leave this here:


Not to both sides the situation but metacritic should really ban gaming sites/magazines that are quite clearly platform warriors from being weighted....or rather their weights should be super super super low.
Cuz obvious XboxBread and PlaystationTaco are gonna give their platforms exclusives super high scores everytime.
 

TheSHEEEP

Gold Member
That's one of the hardest to follow meltdowns I've seen.

So much without context. So weird.
No wonder it's about Polygon.
 

Chukhopops

Member
Not to both sides the situation but metacritic should really ban gaming sites/magazines that are quite clearly platform warriors from being weighted....or rather their weights should be super super super low.
Cuz obvious XboxBread and PlaystationTaco are gonna give their platforms exclusives super high scores everytime.
I can agree with that, they should have a lower weight in the final score. But to be honest the only reviews I consider fair are the Steam ones.

I also wouldn’t blame reviewers for being careful when some platform holders have blacklisted review sites for giving a 7/10… and people were cheering for it.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
I can agree with that, they should have a lower weight in the final score. But to be honest the only reviews I consider fair are the Steam ones.

I also wouldn’t blame reviewers for being careful when some platform holders have blacklisted review sites for giving a 7/10… and people were cheering for it.
A sad state of affairs indeed.
If you "back" a platform holder you basically have to suck their dick when reviewing their games.
And even smaller sites/magazines have to be careful cuz they can get blacklisted from getting early copies if they rock the boat.
 

Wildebeest

Member
What a nightmare, he is going to get blacklisted by all the industry PR who don't like people having unofficial opinions, and then nobody will take him seriously. What a maverick.
 
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DenchDeckard

Gold Member
I think the issue is that most of the people who enjoyed Halo Infinite’s campaign would agree that it feels like a skeleton and there should have been more. I don’t think you can say the same about Horizon. That’s why the reviews for Halo ring hollow in a way that Horizon’s don’t, regardless of where the reviews are coming from.

Horizon has lots of issues and I don't hink is worth high praise. That's my opinion though. 7 to 8 out of ten max.

Sony,Microsoft all dedicated review sites have questionable high reviews.

Halo infinite played great and was well worth the play time. Solid 8 out of ten for me. I think its because its Ezekiel_ Ezekiel_ we know he is fanboy wigging out and trying to paint Microsoft ina bad light when we know its across the board.
 

Ozriel

Member
I think the issue is that most of the people who enjoyed Halo Infinite’s campaign would agree that it feels like a skeleton and there should have been more. I don’t think you can say the same about Horizon. That’s why the reviews for Halo ring hollow in a way that Horizon’s don’t, regardless of where the reviews are coming from.

Source?
 

Ozriel

Member
Fuck polygon. Everyone knew they were Microsoft shills. :p

They had an article claiming the Kinect was likely spying on gamers for the NSA.
Gave Forza Horizon 2 a 7/10, and Forza Horizon 3 an 8.5/10 when their peers were dropping stellar reviews.
That’s…not competent shilling.

Who can forget Arthur Gies panning Killer Instinct (2013) for having ‘buxom women’ and claiming Orchid had a pose depicting ‘scissoring’.



Polygon can be weird sometimes. I did enjoy quite a lot of their articles.
 
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STARSBarry

Gold Member
And he was more than happy to take their money and go along with it until the turntables and they kicked his ass to the street.

I would wait and see how this goes though, because while completely believable comes across as someone who has been kicked out of his club and is finding that he can't interact with the rest of society outside of his old bubble.
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
He is stating his opinion. What source does he need?

Opinions are singular, not "most people think xyz" though.

I can also say "I think most people thought Horizon FW was a disappointing game" and state that's my opinion and we both know how that statement will go some with of the crowd here.

-

Anyway, to the point of the greater topic, I don't think I've used metacritic as a gauge for if I want to play a game or not for years now. I look up the game and it's gameplay online and see if that attracts me more than its reviews course.
 
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Tams

Member
What did he honestly expect working for Polygon?!

They are the new Kotaku, and Vox Media their owners, are the new Gawker. The Verge is the new Gizmodo; also owned by Vox Media.

The Verge, which later led to the umbrella company Vox Media, was created by an editor at Engadget, Joshua Topolsky, having a tantrum. He has been wildly more successful that Engadget, but you can guess how he got that success.
 

Tams

Member
Ben Kuchera was a known douchebag going all the way back to when he was at Ars Technica. Which is why I'm surprised he would get fired from Polygon, the most douchey game website on the Internet and that's saying a lot when Kotaku exists.

But people like him tend to fail upwards, so I'm expecting he'll be douching it up at Bloomberg or something soon.

And Ars Technica still have Kyle Orland.

Hey, at least neither are Peter Bright... oops, do we not say that name anymore Ars Technica?
 

Wildebeest

Member
Polygon is intended to be serious long form content which treats the games industry seriously and respectfully. The goal is to flatter and puff up the industry in order to get better quality advertising. They do not exist to tell the truth about games or be critical of the industry, unless it is the sort of performative self-criticism the industry wants to be aired in public. Pretty obvious agenda when you think about it.
 

Tams

Member
Polygon is intended to be serious long form content which treats the games industry seriously and respectfully. The goal is to flatter and puff up the industry in order to get better quality advertising. They do not exist to tell the truth about games or be critical of the industry, unless it is the sort of performative self-criticism the industry wants to be aired in public. Pretty obvious agenda when you think about it.
That might be what they think they are, or are trying to be, but only GamesIndustry.biz does that.

Eurogamer sometimes too, but they went down the drain recently too.
 

hemo memo

Member
Review scores are a joke in general.
Most of them are given based on who is making the game, the relationship between the website and the publisher, personal bias of the reviewer and so on.
Pretty much. They are so afraid of burning bridges that they can’t stand independent. Even though reviews are marketing for the game even the negative ones. It is ridiculous how weak these media sites.
 

Banjo64

Member
Opinions are singular, not "most people think xyz" though.

I can also say "I think most people thought Horizon FW was a disappointing game"
Well if you preempt your statement with ‘I think’ and ‘I don’t think’ it’s going to pretty clear to anyone who can interpret basic English that I am in fact staying my opinion.

and state that's my opinion and we both know how that statement will go some with of the crowd here.
Like my comment about Halo has gone down with a certain ‘crowd’ probably.
 
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