Live from 4pm: Q&A with Eurogamer's editor Finished

Got a burning question you'd like answered about Eurogamer.net? From 4pm today, editor Oli Welsh will be online to field your queries.

Today Oli announced the biggest change to the way Eurogamer reviews games in the site's history: we have dropped review scores and replaced them with a recommendation system. That seems like a pretty good place to start. There are other important aspects to the new review policy, too: a commitment to review all predominantly online games after launch, and to only review games from retail versions.

There's plenty else to discuss, though, and Oli - who succeeded former editor-in-chief Tom Bramwell late last year - will take questions on any aspect of the site and its operations, the wider games media and industry, his taste in games, his taste in hats, whatever.

Just leave questions in the comments down there to the left, and we'll pull as many as we can over to the main feed below for Oli to answer.

Latest comments  (222)

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  • Syrette 3 years ago

    A/s/l?
  • erp 3 years ago

    I moved to Ghostery from Adblock Plus and find it much better.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    @SpamdangledInteresting. I was wondering why Taboola had managed to pierce my Addblock protection a few months ago. Entire pages were blank, except for Taboola. Don't fret though, they only paid to get whitelisted under the standard rules that most Addblock users use. You can still raise the bar to restrict all advertisement including taboola with a few tweaks. Still, that article made me sad. Thanks for linking it.
  • getup2k 3 years ago

    Totally agree with you Bill_P
  • MilkYMoO 3 years ago

    Why is there a sex toy ad at the top left of this page?.Oh!, it's for some Beats music thingie.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    They add more than "Essential, recommended, _______, and avoid". How can a reviewer choosing between a 5 or a 6 be less representative than nothing? Your arguments make no sense.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    But scores. Aren't. Representative. They add absolutely nothing...
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    We don't need video game curators, we need useful consumer advice.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    You're getting hung up on this. The point is that the labels they've chosen are less representative than scores. A recommended game means nothing to me. This is basically a thumbs-up or thumbs-down system. They are removing nuance. Not adding it.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Well done!Now explain why the score isn't abstract.Careful now!
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    The information is in the review you numbskull. Were you born this stupid, or did someone drop you on your head as a baby?
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @TheDynamicDCDeerstalker.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Yes. One is nuanced and has subtlety and requires careful justification and explanation.The other is simply a blunt implement that gives no informative information about a game.Guess which is is which?
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    You're the troll.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @spamdangled There is a huge difference between numbers and words that you're not recognizing.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Either that or you really are just thick. There's no other reasonable explanation. It's like having a real-life Homer Simpson.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @Bill_P I'm convinced you're just trolling now.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @monkeighy Reading a review and speculating what the score is going to be is fun. There is a payoff there for the reader. Seeing the score and being surprised then going back and reading the review as to why it got that score is also fun. THIS IS EG'S BEST CONTENT!
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    And of course they're open to subjectivity, precisely because a number is so abstraction that everyone's idea of what an "average" score is is different. EDGE puts it at a 5. Gameinformer puts it at a 7, and so on.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @Bill_P see thats where you're going wrong.The score IS the label. That's the point.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @monkeighy There's problems with the new system. There was problem with the old system. The old system was more robust. More useful. The problem is people.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @spamdangled of course I understand the meaning of abstract concepts. Labels and scores are both abstractions from the review, but I'm saying that the labels are further removed. The labels are more opaque than scores. Scores are more useful to gamers: they are less open to subjectivity. Surely you get this point...
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @Bill_PThis coming from the person who doesn't understand the meaning of abstract concepts.
  • monkeighy 3 years ago

    @Bill_P You seem to be being deliberately obtuse. Clearly 'Essential' means a game that shouldn't be missed. Recommended means that the reviewer liked it enough to recommend it to others. Very simple really.
  • monkeighy 3 years ago

    @Bill_P How is the score 'the fun bit'? Surely the quality of the writing it what makes a review useful or interesting. The score is just a very lazy way to sum up the content. That is the problem with them.Especially when you get into games that have technical issues. Should they get lower scores? How do you then compare a good game with some glitches to a average game that runs flawlessly? A single number can't.If all you want is a number with no context then go straight to metacritic.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    The new classifications doesn't mean anything: Essential - no game is essential, how can a game ever be considered essential? Bullshit marketing speak. Recommended: By whom? You don't know me! Avoid: Don't tell me what to do! This is pretentious bullshit
  • monkeighy 3 years ago

    @Cazalinghua The problem with Amazon reviews is that only a few people who put much thought into them. There are a lot that are just " 1 star, I bought this by mistake" or "5 stars, I don't actually own this but it looks good."
  • Raiko101 3 years ago

    @Bill_P I don't understand how removing a number is dumbing down their site. If anything, it's encouraging you to actually put some effort into reading the reviews and making up your own mind, rather than having your interest determined by a number.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @VillanCaustic They can't answer questions they haven't got answers for.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    @Ionz0rHow would the playstation system cope?
  • VillanCaustic 3 years ago

    That was short... i hope that they look at all of the other questions offline and produce an FAQ based on that
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @Raiko101 They're dumbing down their website. Making themselves less accountable. And killing the most fun aspect of a review. There's nothing to like about it.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    games should come with a japan meterwarning, dangerous levels of japan
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    Ah, oh well. Nice of him to drop by. :)
  • Bremenacht 3 years ago

    For example, you could have RPS types who only ever give 10/10 for dodgy PC games.I kid, I kid!
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    Still wondering (alongside others) if there's going to be a pro & con box now, or an additional breakdown of why the game got its rating, now that the score is gone.
  • Bremenacht 3 years ago

    @FuzzyTiger - I sure can. I like distinctive reviewers anyway, so why not have a review score that suits the reviewer's style? It would be messy, but it would also be distinctive and fun.
  • Raiko101 3 years ago

    @BillP I think it's a great idea. It's a system very much similar to that which you'd use yourself if recommending games to a friend. You don't ask your mates for a score out of ten, but what they will be able to do is give you a detailed analysis of the game and their own opinion on whether or not you should play it.
  • lone_wolf_uk 3 years ago

    @ThatFuzztTigerI like jeremy jahnsGood time no alcohol required and good with alcohol are two of them.
  • kingpin3000 3 years ago

    @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer Surely you need to wait for the new patch to install before you review the site.
  • Cazalinghua 3 years ago

    There's been a handful of reviews in recent years where the Eurogamer review score was much higher than the Amazon average review. I know that Amazon is not a great barometer of public opinion but something seems to have gone wrong. I'm thinking of PES 2014, Battlefield 4 of Assassin's Creed Unity. Do you think Eurogamer got these wrong, and if som, will the new approach help avoid this?
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @Ionz0r that sounds a lot like hatoful boyfriend at work...
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    @bennyw01 lol
  • nobloodyname 3 years ago

    Have you considered introducing an ad-free subscription? I run an ad-blocker and am horrified at how the site looks when I turn it off. However, I know running an ad-blocker hurts your revenues and if I could subscribe for an ad-free version of Eurogamer, I would.
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    I would like to score Eurogamer a solid 8...... Or using the new system a very respectable recommended. :p
  • bennyw01 3 years ago

    Should we upgrade to dedicated hat stands?
  • VillanCaustic 3 years ago

    How do you intend to address reviewing of "broken" games such as Master Chief Collection and Assassins Creed Unity.What about examples such as Driveclub which have become excellent games since the issues have been resolved.How do you respond to criticism that games that are heavily advertised on your site NEVER receive poor reviews, even when they are poor games
  • Sheetbike 3 years ago

    @The_B I see you, Ben. For the last time I will NOT become your Phil Fish lookalike.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    67 seagulls /10
  • kingpin3000 3 years ago

    Which of your children is your favourite
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    It's still seems like a daft decision to me... But it's your website.
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @Bremenacht - Could you imagine if every reviewer opted to use their own system. "I hereby give this game four bananas out of wensleydale"
  • The_B 3 years ago

    Wow. Me no type gud.
  • samharper 3 years ago

    Not a question as such, but I hope that the dropping of review scores doesn't lead to Kotaku-style clickbait to keep up the traffic.Otherwise, I'm completely onboard.
  • The_B 3 years ago

    Oli - will you start making Sheetbike wearing Fezes?
  • MrTomFTW 3 years ago

    @Sheetbike /Editorals intensify/
  • porkface 3 years ago

    @Bill_P we've only got an hour for this so can't answer every question - I've tried to pick ones that are representative. If you've got something you'd still like addressed you can always get in touch with us directly via our usernames on the site.
  • Bremenacht 3 years ago

    Why not have reviewers decide the best outcome for a game e.g. score, recommendation or just text. Or would that be messy and detract from site identity?
  • Sheetbike 3 years ago

    Please don't say fedora.
  • Cazalinghua 3 years ago

    For multi-platform games, do you always review on the platform for the copy of the game given to you by the publisher? These days it seems triple-A game publishers make a deal with either Sony or Microsoft for exclusive dlc or console pack-ins, and that version of the game is superior to other versions. For example, Assassin's Creed Unity was arguably more buggy (at least to start with) on PS4, but Eurogamer reviewed the Xbox One version which was a lot more polished at release day.
  • cowell 3 years ago

    Basically the same question as mine lol
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    Will Oli go back and answer any of the previous questions? Or are you sticking to the cherry-picking system?
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    It's up @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer, looks like it will get answered *drumroll*
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer The dreaded one that they they didn't want to be asked but might feel obliged to answer :)
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer Hey, I resent EG being likened to the Tories. At least liken them to Labour, then at least I can imagine Wallace and Gromit, and not novelty condomhead.
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    Is this new system going to stay? For example if it becomes clear that the majority of your readers actually liked the 1-10 system would you consider a Tory u-turn in the future and change back? Or would you stick with it no matter what?
  • cowell 3 years ago

    I think that removing the score is the right way to go. However, if it proves to be detrimental to how site visitors behave and the key metrics, will we see you review that decision? I believe other sites have been down this path
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @spamdangled Hm, you could use a custom URL pointer for it too, maybe destineeee.eurogamer.net (Oh god, why did I think that)
  • el_pollo_diablo 3 years ago

    I do have a hat question, actually.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    I'd like to restate: Yes there's still a few niggles with Eurogamer, like the wording of the new ratings, the destiny articles, layout, etc. However as much as we'd like to turn this into the perfect site, there really is none and the kinks give the site its identity and character. I can get used to the new rating.Latest changes just make EG have more of the identity I want it to have. ;)
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    Oli, what is your favourite hat?
  • Sheetbike 3 years ago

    @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer That's cause other questions were invited! "[Oli] will take questions on any aspect of the site and its operations, the wider games media and industry, his taste in games, his taste in hats, whatever"
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    @ThatFuzzyTiger Worryingly that was unintentional :)
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Unrelated to scores, but what do you think about "franchise hub" website sections, that easily collate coverage of certain things (i.e Destiny) that are easily accessible, as opposed to a "stick everything on the front page" approach?
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    Awful lot of questions being answered with nothing to do with the scoring change tbh.
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @atthegates OH GODS. DESTINY PUNS ENGAGED..
  • el_pollo_diablo 3 years ago

    Quick question: Rowntree's Randoms - gummy ones or foamy ones?
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    @dogmanstaruk yep it was destined to arrive
  • Derblington 3 years ago

    Regarding review content - I read the reviews here because of the language, it's typically very high quality work. That said, often the content of the reviews can focus on a few aspects that the reviewer enjoyed and forget to explain what the game is and does objectively. Monster Hunter 4 has a nice side column going into a little detail to address this for newer players. Any chance that could become a staple with a bit more detail? It'd be nice.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    @Bill_Pwell. there isnt, im just saying thats how it currently works.what does happen though is some manipulation of the scores from the publishers which is quite shittygaming isnt alone in this, films do it and music do as well. although people give less of a monkeys what journalists think of those mediums and just like what they likegames its seems, is slightly different to alot of people for some reason. perhaps its the large sum of cash needed to invest in it or perhaps its the time
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    xD Fine, plug destiny into its own category so we can -ignore- it :p
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @SkirlasvoudYou might find this interesting re: taboola - http://uk.businessinsider.com/google-microsoft-amazon-taboola-pay-adblock-plus-to-stop-blocking-their-ads-2015-2
  • not_themilkybarkid 3 years ago

    Yeah, get Rab back!
  • jamesy1 3 years ago

    When's Rab Florence coming back?
  • mintgreen 3 years ago

    good point on the ads. Can't stand all those ones that say along the lines of 'Personal trainers HATE this UK mum's secret slimming discovery'. 'Secret'/'shock'/'hate' = I will NEVER click on it. Oh and GiveMeSport's 'stories'. Give me a break more like.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    Thanks Oli. I'll continue to invest time in finding a way to make Tabolaa the blocked exception within the unblocked exception that is Eurogamer. Keep up the good work and well done.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Oli, what are your thoughts on pricing and DLC, i.e. the commerce side of the industry? Price and DLC are a very important factor for many players now. Do you accept that there is an argument that value should be debated on some level, while accepting that it is in flux all the time?Also, does Eurogamer have any kind of policy (I know it's a bad way of describing it) on current DLC practices that increasingly *appear* to be be abused?
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    @Sercd Well said
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @Ionz0r So? What's wrong with publishers marketing their games with review scores? The music and film industry do exactly the same thing... Why do game journalists take themselves so seriously?
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    @dogmanstaruk Hey, I'm trying to keep it PG rated in here for now ;) But yes, I know what you mean.
  • Sercd 3 years ago

    Only thing I would like to see is warnings on reviews about state of release (bugs), content especially when pricing (special mega triple edition ultra version*) is a concern it may not concern everyone but I want to be informed about these things and I want to feel like your on ourside when looking at games and the industry as a whole. (though that's not easy as we all have different needs).I like the new system it's a step in the right direction.
  • ThatFuzzyTiger 3 years ago

    Polygon were not so brave, we've seen their stance (I'd comment but they don't like me over there), they're keeping scores, ugh. I'd like to say Bravo Eurogamer, Bravo indeed for being brave, and being bold!As an aside, does this mean we'll be seeing Evolve's review get delayed for a bit? *playful*
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    Oh whow, you brought my remark up. Thanks Oli.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    @Bill_P never said there was. just saying games slap "10/10" reviews all over the box art to get people to get them. or out of place quotes or whateverreviews = sales to the logic of alot of publishers. and publishers in alot of ways fuel this industry
  • slowdog1976 3 years ago

    Is there not a case to further expand the criteria for which you release reviews? For example, a game like Far Cry 4 gets released. Couldn't the review for the single player aspect be released a lot sooner than the multiplayer portion? Possibly even split the recommendations. For example, the last CoD I really enjoyed the single player, but the multiplayer was not my cup of tea. The online portion however would hold back the sp review when it isn't necessarily affected by any online criteria
  • mintgreen 3 years ago

    @riz23 in a manner of speaking, I guess :S Though I was wondering if the theme of MM would somehow lift my mood, in the same way that watching The Thick Of It is good if you've had a lot of ppl piss you off that day
  • IJ 3 years ago

    Long time reader of 15 years here.Will there be an increased effort to match the tone of the review with the reviewers opinion of quality. Sometimes a review has read like an 8 and received a 6 and vise versa. The score has always put the prose in context. Given the slightly more arbitrary badge system, I'd be concerned reviews become less helpful as a guide to standard. Is it recommended because it's quirky or actually a game with great mechanics? etcIJ
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    I personally like scoring systems on games gives you a quick glimpse of how a game is generally regarded, then you can read the review if your interested in the game, if a game got 2 or 3 from EG in the past I wouldn't even bother reading the review tbh, This will waste more of my time reading a review of a mediocre game tbh, I will miss the old system.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @Ionz0r there's absolutely nothing wrong with the old system. Problems only exist when scores are misapplied or misinterpreted. EG is dumbing down their website.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Semantics is the best part :p
  • Pasco_ 3 years ago

    I think the move to reviewing games based on retail code, and waiting until after launch to review online focussed games, is arguably a bigger one that doing away with scores (though perhaps a less 'visible' one.Will staff still be attending pre-release review events and getting non-final review code to work on (but simply waiting to 'confirm' things with retail code), or are you cutting yourselves off from that potentially opinion-skewing scene altogether?
  • atthegates 3 years ago

    Was there a reason dying light wasn't added to the backdated list?
  • Sercd 3 years ago

    What about going the GiantBomb route, podcasts and articles with optional subscription?
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    @Bill_P gaming is "fun"but its an industry that makes loadsa doshthats why scores have always been a big deal to the publishers
  • HotCoffee 3 years ago

    What do you thin of the criticism that your new system is essentially a four-star scale? I don't agree with that, but I'd love to hear your rebuttal.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    Hah! Nice one, but I think Milestone is an even more loaded term than Essential. Gets closer to the truth though. I don't exactly see something like Sunless Sea as either "Essential" or a "Milestone" though. It's 10/10 good, but not any of the terms above. Let's just agree it's a tricky subject but that this is a step in the right direction for the good of the reviewing and gaming industry. Now we just need to argue semantics.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    @dogmanstaruk Gaming is supposed to be fun. Scoring games is fun. It's all harmless fun. There's no need to take this stuff so seriously...
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    free promotion isnt naught in my bookdosent matter how you get hold of the game. just dont be a dick and pay up if you like itideally demos would be better but this is the only alternative now
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    @lonz0r and if no demo exists how do you try a game to see if you like it? Without doing something naughty?
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Do you think "Milestone" might be a better way to interpret the Essential badge? It recognises their achievements as a work of design without outright declaring them superior to everything that went before or will come after.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    Would a five-star system not have been a happy medium?
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    @spamdangled Alright so maybe the wording is not the best, but I think the amount of passing time and current events will allow the term essential to encompass more games. The invention of fire can be seen as less essential to our current society than the steamengine because one is more complex and contemporary, but both have a valid claim.
  • HotCoffee 3 years ago

    Hi Oli, congrats on the change. Do you have any plans to for technical info sidebar? I'd love for your reviews to be a one-stop shop of info.I'm talking about basanswers to things like: What platforms the game is available on; If there's single player (yes/no), local multi, online co-op, online competitive etc. The resolution and FPS of the tested version; how long the reviewer spent playing the game etc.Many reviews will cover all of that, but it would be helpful.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    at the end of the dayplay the game, see if you like iteurogamer will give its opinions and you can give yoursI thought wolfenstein was a "reccomended game" but others might not have thought so.I think half life 2 is an "essential game" but again opinions differmake up your own minds!
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @Raiko101 that's certainly true, but I see it being somewhat inevitable.
  • Raiko101 3 years ago

    I think folk need to realise that they're not meant to rely on these 'recommended' and 'essential' badges so heavily. It's there to demonstrate how much Eurogamer likes a game and wants to encourage you to play it. You should still be reading the review to determine whether or not that game souns like your cup of tea!
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @StooMonsterThat's sort of what I was trying to get at. How long can a game be considered "essential" when other games often come along with clearly superceded them. It's a sticky area.
  • not_themilkybarkid 3 years ago

    Just to help us calibrate our expectations, what would a few classic games have got under this new system? Like, say, the original Halo?
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    The problem with a overly simplified system is that EG will be recommending a lot more games that maybe would have got a 5-7 mark and been avoided u gamers in the past, consumers only have so much money to spend on games, do you think this could ultimately promote more piracy!
  • MccyMcFlinn 3 years ago

    Do you think that online gaming sites (with their ability to instantly offer reader opinions upon the world) breed a tribal mentality in their communities? Something that is/was perhaps obfuscated in printed publications either by selective publishing of reader letters or offering no avenue to reply.Further to that, do you believe that the impact/influence an individual reviewer has on the readership is lower than it was in the heyday of printed gaming press?
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @spamdangled Recommended for all time, last twelve months, this month?
  • el_pollo_diablo 3 years ago

    What's the roadmap for video on the site?
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    "Seperate marks for graphics, gameplay, story, online etc?""a short summary of Pros and Cons"Love it!
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Over time, as the list of recommended and Essential grows exponentially, there is a risk that they lose their meaning, as we've seen with scores.What other approaches did you consider? I'd be interested to know if you considered a periodic "these are the current leading examples of their genre" approach? Bearing in mind genres are becoming more and more diverse anyway.
  • kirinnokoshin 3 years ago

    Oli, Thanks for the answering my question!
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    @Cheeky-Girl-Gamer No unbiased reviews exist. Bias like stand-out moments will remain. The trick to being a consumer is, is knowing who reviewed the gamer, figuring out the bias (like Oli and Blizzard products), what the game did to make the score so high and decide if you have similar tastes. I still think that some sort of rating should remain though. If only for Eurogamer to generate some buzz and make its identity clear.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    when are you making an android app?
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    Surely a more accurate scoring system would have been an evolution of the system rather than devolving it as EG seem to have done? Seperate marks for graphics, gameplay, story, online etc?
  • IcemanAFC 3 years ago

    What about PushSquare and PureXbox? Are they going to remove scores as well given that they are part of the same umbrella i.e. The Gamer Network?
  • IOnlyUseSkill 3 years ago

    Have you considering a short summary of Pros and Cons for games that aren't labelled Recommended, Essential or Avoid?
  • Timi_W 3 years ago

    "If you expect the score to encompass every aspect of a game, the task becomes an exercise in futility." Agree with the sentiment here regarding scores, but does a brief one liner serve readers serve any more justice here for the summary? As others have mentioned, a pros / cons box might help identify highlights and lowlights, to encourage readers to explore further - especially those titles that haven't got a recommendation and may not come under consideration.
  • kingpin3000 3 years ago

    Yeah, I can see the potential problem of a lot of games being considered recommended. It is always easy to find something about a game that would allow you to put it in the category, and it is a lot harder to give reviewers objective guidelines on such a system.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    I don't end up deciding that anything below 80 is disappointing.
  • Ollienaut 3 years ago

    How will you effectively rate games that are quirky that may have terrible game play but endearing story and setting. the game maybe hard to recommend to everybody but you definitely wouldn't want people to avoid.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    The day anyone creates a site that just links to the game reviews without doing anything with the score, is the day they replaced Metacritic for me.Wonder if that already exists...
  • Cheeky-Girl-Gamer 3 years ago

    Why not just drop any kind of scoring altogether? An awful lot of very average games are going to end up recommended just for having a few stand-out moments in them.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    Can you clarify whether or not Metacritic need your consent to list your reviews, or is the removal of scores part of a safeguard in the event they don't uphold their end of the bargain?
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    @SkirlasvoudSame ago also said words are abstract and scores are more meaningful, which made me laugh.
  • kingpin3000 3 years ago

    Yeah, metacritic is only a useful tool for lazy gamers.
  • CosmicFuzz 3 years ago

    Follow up question: do you prefer your peanut butter smooth or crunchy?
  • CosmicFuzz 3 years ago

    Do you think this is the start of a general trend in the industry away from scores?
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    "Metacritic is a very useful tool for gamers." Whow, there's something I never expected any real gamer to ever say.
  • CatmanBegins 3 years ago

    Have any developers given you feedback on your changes from their perspective? Your departure from metacritic could possibly affect their bonuses, for example.
  • Rivuzu 3 years ago

    Will EG be getting involved with more "community" events? The LetsPlay's with community input are alright, but I'd really like to see EG do more outside of the large commercial expos you're running currently. Maybe branching off into online tournaments with LAN events to help support and nurture UK and EU eSports? Lord knows we could do with it.
  • kingpin3000 3 years ago

    Do you have plans to reintroduce the podcast? It seems with the new teams members you have the people and the skills to do them regularly.
  • ozzzy189 3 years ago

    I don't understand why people are moaning about the games between 'recommended' and 'avoid'. You'll have to actually read the review, which is surely the whole point.
  • splayer88 3 years ago

    I'd say, with this generation especially, if you come to a review 2 months after launch a lot of certain criticisms may be completely irradiated, making the review just as unreliable as perhaps a changing one would. Might be a point to section out a certain area of the review for minor fixable things such as bugs, lack of content, imbalance etc.... and update that particular section as time goes by.
  • losalnos 3 years ago

    I'm yet to have a moment with the latest Gen Consoles that's really stopped me in my tracks (as I have with previous Gens). Everything looks like it could have been on the previous gen, albeit with better reflections, and more convincing water FX. OK, I'm using hyperbole, but I'm yet to see anything that uses a new mechanic or possibility the the previous gen simply couldn't. Have you heard developers speak about, or have you seen anything, that truly excites you about this new(ish) generation?
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    Oli: I assume you've done some dry runs, to test out the new rating system. Do have any idea of where majority of titles are likely to fall? ie will most games get no rating or most games get 'recommended'?
  • bibalasvegas 3 years ago

    I think consumers are sceptical of 'review events', it's great that you won't be basing reviews on them, but why not avoid them altogether?
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    What kind of feedback (if any) have you had from publishers and PR reps to this move, without naming names? I imagine your inbox has been rather busy this morning!It would be interesting to see the "other side" of the debate, as they've long been advocates of the score system.
  • Rivuzu 3 years ago

    @BinaryBob101 Stop it, go back to hating me you goon, or I'll jab you in your dickhole down the intertubes.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    I'd like to ban Taboola from running adds on Eurogamer. You can have my addblock exception once that site is gone. I'm in a reading state once I finish an article. I don't need to ambushed by attention-demanding words like "Secret" "Shocking" and "Medical" along with the pictures. It's not right.
  • BinaryBob101 3 years ago

    I agree with Riv:ETA for Portable View? T_T
  • Murton 3 years ago

    Question for Oli. Do you anticipate getting fewer review copies bow that you're out of the system? Publishers no longer have any benefit or incentive to supply you copies as you can't boost their MC score.Genuinely curious.
  • Rivuzu 3 years ago

    ETA for Portable View? T_T
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    personally I like sites with white text and black backgroundsbut then, thats what stylish is for
  • Buenos_Estente 3 years ago

    Can we make the seals a bit bigger at the bottom of review? ( I know they are massive at the top) - I think this is the real big issue of the day
  • SparkyMarky81 3 years ago

    Can we just admit that gamers are the real reason for this. Too many of us are just too immature to handle reviews.
  • Skirlasvoud 3 years ago

    @Physically_Insane Doubly so on a site like eurogamer where you have to read I can imagine. One of the reasons I would like to use addblock. I can simply focus on the text more without distraction.
  • IcemanAFC 3 years ago

    How much are the publishers paying EG to drop the scoring system? They have EG in their pockets ;) (it is a joke)
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @Physically_Insane Another bad example is BBC iPlayer, although grey rather than white space, where it's difficult to navigate unless you're clicking on one of the highlighted items on the front page. It should not be about how it looks, it should be about how it works: too many websites forget that. We've given examples of where it doesn't work, have you got examples of where it does?
  • Physically_Insane 3 years ago

    @not_themilkybarkid I cannot stress how important white/empty space is in good webdesign. Over do it, and yeah, it can look bad (although not worse than something that crams everything in). It's all about the right balance.
  • losalnos 3 years ago

    Now that Ian Higgers The Higgsonator Higgatron Higton has a full team, will there be more let's play live in the evening? They're good fun but I can only really get involved live in the special events (Halloween etc...) what with "THE MAN" making me "work" like I'm a "30 something adult." Unbelievable.
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @not_themilkybarkid You're completely right about Guardian.com redesign.@Physically_Insane The use of white (or empty) space is important in any graphic design, not just websites; however, there's currently a trend for cliched over-used design wankery of white space that Guardian.com epitomises.
  • not_themilkybarkid 3 years ago

    @Physically_Insane White space is horribly abused in recent "mobile friendly" redesigns I have seen. The Guardian website is a low-density, difficult to navigate disaster since its trendy responsive redesign.
  • oldskooldeano 3 years ago

    @mintgreen Can I suggest Monster Hunter? Playing MH4 will make you 'down with the kids' on a global scale, whereas, playing Zelda is actually a desperate attempt to recapture the innocent joy of your childhood, which can seem quite pathetic and embarrassing in someone of your years. I hope this helps.
  • Applebowl 3 years ago

    You guys can clearly see that the readership is now utterly bemused with the frequent Destiny articles - when will this stop?
  • Physically_Insane 3 years ago

    @StooMonster The use of white space is very important in web design, as long as it's not too sparse.
  • tomacwhite 3 years ago

    I'd like to see a return of mentioning bugs, glitches and slowdown in game reviews (like old magazines used to). It feels like it's just OK now to release games that run badly and have issues. For example, AC: Unity getting 7/10 when people were playing the game BEFORE your review and complaining about awful bugs and sub-20fps performance on PS4. It should be part of a review to talk about issues like this, especially when they're so serious (as was the case with AC: Unity). Thanks
  • mintgreen 3 years ago

    If I'm having a midlife crisis, what's the better game to get - Monster Hunter or Zelda?
  • CamoChris 3 years ago

    Are you planning to do anything about the comment system? It's very unwieldy for anything with more than a few comments.
  • Rivuzu 3 years ago

    Bah, comments are closed from the mobile version of the website.When are you bringing back Portable View?!
  • Physically_Insane 3 years ago

    Making a responsive website is very easy. I do it for all my clients. EG is a bigger beast, I'll admit, but I find it kind of crazy that they haven't done it yet - never mind a complete redesign.
  • Kami 3 years ago

    I loathe to bring it up amid the sea of questions about scores but; what are the chances of Reader Reviews making a return in the future Oli? Likely, not likely or never again?
  • amarje 3 years ago

    Well for me there's on important thing to consider - how long till we see fully responsive version of eurogamer? I do most of my reading on tablet and to be honest I feel that current mobile website is only a half step towards good mobile experience.
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @Physically_Insane I still think of the current webdesign as "the new one" which wasn't as good as the old one.I hope they don't redo it with giant icons and acres of empty white space.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    request.review/cover more mods!so many amazing total conversion mods out there that need coverage!
  • beck1110 3 years ago

    I like the review system but have often found eurogamer lacking for DLC reviews. Is there any plan to review the evil that is DLC? I for one would like to know if a season pass is worth it.
  • Ionz0r 3 years ago

    question1:now you have dropped scores will you be including summery highlights in the reviews to wrap them up? things that may be worth pointing out about the game etc? such as shit framerate issues dodgy DRM or game length or praises such as good story or a slick enginequestion2:will you be making an official android app at any pointquestion3:are video reviews going to be a thing in the future?and finally..any ideas for more hardware reviews/benchmarks of gadgets/pc components
  • apoc_reg 3 years ago

    Surely this will just become a mass of recommended with the odd outside that, what real benefit is that other than a lack of fidelity for the consumer?
  • TeaFiend 3 years ago

    Is there going to be a transcript of the answers afterwards?
  • oldskooldeano 3 years ago

    Thanks for doing this Oli. Does an 'Essential' rating denote the literal meaning of the word, ie. a game that is absolutely necessary to experience? If not, then why do you call it 'Essential'?
  • Jimjamyaha 3 years ago

    @giddydrunk wait... aren't reviews an opinion? they're never fact.
  • Alex_Star 3 years ago

    @Physically_Insane"When will you update the UI/design of the front page? Hire me, I'll do it in a week."I second that. The UI/design(which looks old) really needed a serious overhaul much more that those score numbers.
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    Are the other Eurogamer sites going to go the same way, or is it just the UK site?
  • golem09 3 years ago

    And at the same time, people who wouldn't care about it's brokenness, but share the same feeling, won't be turned off by a 7/10
  • IcemanAFC 3 years ago

    Why do the logos on the rating look like something from the United Nations?
  • giddydrunk 3 years ago

    An overal rating isn't needed as it becomes opinion rather than a review of the game. A representation of each characteristic thtat goes into a game needs individual scoring.It's just wrong when you come across review where the game is broken but because of that warm fuzzy feeling it gives the reviewer it's one of the best games of the year.
  • gwil 3 years ago

    There is only one thing I dislike about the new review format, and that's that the score sits at the beginning of the review. I liked the dramatic flourish of putting the final judgement at the end of the review. What's the reasoning behind this change?
  • Oridan 3 years ago

    ...of course someone asks the same as me the second I hit "post". Ha!
  • Physically_Insane 3 years ago

    When will you update the UI/design of the front page? Hire me, I'll do it in a week.
  • Oridan 3 years ago

    Could we get a podcast, please? Maybe with some of those lovely new video people in it?
  • superfurry 3 years ago

    Will you be bringing back the podcast? It almost seems like it would be a waste not to, especially given Bratterz skills as a host always able to steer the conversation in an interesting manner.
  • kirinnokoshin 3 years ago

    Has this change been influenced by a need to not ruffle publisher feathers while maintaining critical standards? Using this new system, a disappointing AAA title can no longer receive a perceived bad or middling rating which is what I was led to believe publishers are concerned about over say, highly critical prose (i.e. the masses just look for the score).
  • MrTomFTW 3 years ago

    Who do you think would make the better lover? Ryan Gosling or Benedict Cumberbatch?
  • golem09 3 years ago

    @IcemanAFCTo me it sounds more like 10=essential, 2-9=recommended if liked for certain reasons, 1=avoid.Which basically means all kinds of comparisons to number ratings are inherently stupid.
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    Question: is Oli's hat that he flings to the hatstand a top-hat or a bowler?
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @TelexStar Agreed. it's a shame that people's livelihoods get determined by an aggregation of subjective opinions ? seems like an excuse not to pay people rather than make them strive for excellence.
  • IcemanAFC 3 years ago

    People will still tend to assigning it some rating. At the moment 9+ sounds as essential, 7-8 as recommended, 5-6 as no comment and anything below 5 as 'Avoid'
  • urban 3 years ago

    Christ, what a paradoxical statement. 100% or 1/10? That's the answer
  • urban 3 years ago

    You predicted there would be a backlash to this right? This AMA came up pretty quick in response.I'm in agreement btw, scoring 1/10 is far too arbitrary, however I'm not sure the new system is 100% the answer.
  • TelexStar 3 years ago

    @StooMonster Metacritic isn't inherently bad. Just publisher culture with regard to what's deemed a success is. I'd argue that withdrawing from Metacritic completely makes aggregation less accurate. (I don't mind either way, I'm just playing devils advocate).
  • GiarcYekrub 3 years ago

    Do you see the Essential as a like for like replacement for 10/10 or a 9+ score or not, if not how does it differ?
  • golem09 3 years ago

    What new scoring system? There is no new scoring system. People just still badly want it to be a "score"
  • MrTomFTW 3 years ago

    @Tomahawk - EG have done articles like that in the past. Here's one of them: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-26-ocean-views-and-indie-gaming-introducing-the-developers-on-the-tip-of-the-african-continent
  • golem09 3 years ago

    What new scoring system? There is no new scoring system. People just still badly to be a "score"
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    Why does Safari browser keep "auto correcting" Metacritic into Meteoritic? :)
  • giddydrunk 3 years ago

    The new scoring system is too simple and vague. The scoring system became distorted as a game could score a 6 and be bad but shouldn't that be above average.
  • spamdangled 3 years ago

    "The words are too abstract and subjective. Numbers are more meaningful to more people."What on earth?!How do you arrive at that backwards conclusion?
  • Tomahawk 3 years ago

    I applaud Eurogamer's decision to drop review scores. Often it seems people focus more on the scores than the words justifying them. My questions to Oli are: when will we see more journalists of different racial backgrounds on the EG team? and also why doesn't Eurogamer highlight game communities or developers from wildly different backgrounds? There are developers from developing countries.
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    Metacritic is a very useful tool for gamers. Why are you undermining it?
  • StooMonster 3 years ago

    @TelexStar Google good, Meteoritic bad?
  • garethwilliams 3 years ago

    When we sing the alphabet, why do we sing L,M,N,O and P really fast?
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    Do you think gamers are too stupid to understand that review scores only represent one aspect of a review? That it should not be taken as a definitive grade...
  • Alex_Star 3 years ago

    How about actually doing a poll first among Your readers whether they like the numerical score or not?
  • TelexStar 3 years ago

    I love the new change of direction but do you feel this new change could have a significant negative impact on reader numbers? Also, ss you're adopting a 5 star system for Google searches, did you not consider doing maintaining something similar for Metacritic, similar to how film critic reviews operate on Metacritic?
  • Bill_P 3 years ago

    What's wrong with quantifying a video game review into number? You've just replaced numbers with words. The words are too abstract and subjective. Numbers are more meaningful to more people.
  • MrTomFTW 3 years ago

    Anything you say?

Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...

15:20 By Martin Robinson

Hello! I am, as you're probably aware, not Oli, but I'll be acting as the Moneypenny to his Bond - a role I often take, which usually means picking up his hat from the floor when he tries to fling it on to the office hat-stand - and I'll be going through your questions to present them to him.

15:21 By Oli Welsh

Hi! I'll be back to answer your questions from 4pm. Should be fun. I've got half a flapjack, some Polos and an empty bottle of water. I should probably get some coffee. It's been quite a day.

15:23 By Martin Robinson

We'll be starting at 4pm pretty sharpish. Do keep the questions coming in the meantime! I'm going to brew myself a particularly strong cup of tea, see you in a bit!

DavoTheDiv_2010 says:

Re: Not updating reviews. More and more games are now shipped a little broken. Does this not justify review revisits a few months down the line? Assassins Creed and Driveclub are perfect examples.

16:00 By Oli Welsh

Hello! Let's do this.

16:01 By Martin Robinson

Just to say, we're under way, and we have our first question courtesy of DavoTheDiv_2010.

16:03 By Oli Welsh

Not updating reviews: we didn't feel that a constantly changing our reviews gives readers a firm footing and a sense of trust in them. I'm not saying we'll never do it, but in order for our reviews to be the strongest and best possible, I think it's best avoided.

When a game ships a bit broken, we'll make sure the review notes this prominently, although we'll still try to look past it to the quality of the game underneath. When a game ships a LOT broken, we'll say Avoid.

If a game changes a lot over time, we'll re-review it. However, I did say in the blog that there might be exceptional circumstances where we might update. I think the recent examples of Driveclub and Halo: Master Chief Collection would qualify.

apoc_reg says:

Surely this will just become a mass of recommended with the odd outside that, what real benefit is that other than a lack of fidelity for the consumer?

16:06 By Oli Welsh

So it's really important to understand that, as well as Recommended, Essential and Avoid, there's a middle band of quality that will get *no recommendation*. Just the short summary at the top.

The majority of games would probably be reviewed this way. I'm not saying the majority of our reviews will be, because on platforms like Steam and iOS we tend to be quite selective and naturally review games we're interested in and like, so there will be a lot of Recommended games. But it should at least be a 50/50 split between Recommended and no recommondation, with Avoid and Essential being the occasional outliers.

16:07 By Oli Welsh

From the blog: "So what about games that carry no recommendation? This will cover a pretty broad spectrum of quality, but typically they'll be games with some qualities to recommend them but about which we have important reservations. This is where you'd find, for example, a sports game that provides no meaningful advance on last year's model, or an indie game with beautiful artwork but irritating design, or a well-made action-adventure with a dull storyline and samey gameplay. In these cases, the summary line should let you know whether you're interested to read more."

16:08 By Oli Welsh

I would also question the value of fidelity - I think when wondering if we're going to buy a game, we tend to think "am I interested? does my friend recommend it?", not "how good is it exactly in a sliding scale compared to other games?"

Bill_P says:

Metacritic is a very useful tool for gamers. Why are you undermining it?

16:13 By Oli Welsh

I agree that Metacritic ought to be a useful tool, but I don't think it's working. I don't think that's the site's fault. It's about the culture of the video games industry and audience.

For one part, publishing executives put too great an importance on this number and engineer their entire games around it. They put huge pressure on developers and PRs to meet certain numbers for their games when those numbers aren't really in their control. The only way to guarantee them is to make bland, technically sound games that have loads of features, because those tend to do well in Metacritic's system. So that's what we get. It's killing invention in mainstream gaming. On top of that, developers unfairly have their livelihoods threatened by a bunch of reviewer's opionions collated into a number.

Also, video game review scoring is inflated. Look at how high the numbers are compared to the film reviews on Metacritic. That's not a useful spread. We end up deciding that anything below 80 is disappointing somehow, or not worth chancing, and that can't be right.

kirinnokoshin says:

Has this change been influenced by a need to not ruffle publisher feathers while maintaining critical standards? Using this new system, a disappointing AAA title can no longer receive a perceived bad or middling rating which is what I was led to believe publishers are concerned about over say, highly critical prose (i.e. the masses just look for the score).

16:18 By Oli Welsh

That's not what motivated it at all. We didn't think about how publishers would react until we decided on a new system. Our motivations was really that we didn't think scores were working for us, or for you, or for the games themselves. They weren't getting our message across fully, and sometimes they were distracting from it.

It's true that we're no longer a threat to a publisher's Metacritic score, and so we might have fewer ruffled feathers along the way. I'm sure we'll still have some! But we've never really sought to avoid that at EG. And I think the overall impact of us not being on Metacritic will be positive, for the reasons I just stated - I don't believe in that system or the way (some) publishers use it.

StooMonster says:

Are the other Eurogamer sites going to go the same way, or is it just the UK site?

16:20 By Oli Welsh

Some of them already have! I believe Germany launched with us today, and others will follow this week. We gave them all a choice to stay with the old scores or use the new system, because they have to do what's right for their markets. But I think most will be joining us soon.

Ollienaut says:

How will you effectively rate games that are quirky that may have terrible game play but endearing story and setting. the game maybe hard to recommend to everybody but you definitely wouldn't want people to avoid.

16:23 By Oli Welsh

Great question. This is a big part of what the new system is about. Some of these games may well be Recommended, even if we wouldn't have awarded them, say, an 8/10 before. We do want to use Recommended in a more flexible way. For example, I would have recommended Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut, because it's compelling and hilarious and you should check it out, even though it's kind of terrible.

If it's really too flawed to recommend at all, we'd give these games no recommendation, but it would be clear from the summary at the top of the review that we had reasons to love it.

Uncompetative says:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection got a 9. What would it get under the new system, as I couldn't find it in your list of Recommended games?

16:27 By Oli Welsh

Right, so this is one of those tricky cases. It got a 9 because we didn't wait until after launch to review it - we played on live servers but didn't encounter the matchmaking problems until there was a full population. Under the new rules, it wouldn't be reviewed until after launch, so we'd know the score (you know what I mean). I didn't add it to the Recommended games list because we now know the issues it has, but this is one of those rare cases where we might actually update the review and make it Recommended once we're satisfied it's fixed.

There's an argument that you could recommend it for solo players - it's a great campaign package - but I don't think that covers enough of this game's audience really. The summary would make it clear that it was worth them picking it up.

kingpin3000 says:

Do you have plans to reintroduce the podcast? It seems with the new teams members you have the people and the skills to do them regularly.

16:31 By Oli Welsh

We get this question a lot! I'm glad everyone used to enjoy our shambolic podcasts...

We don't have plans right now. To be honest, it's quite hard to justify the time and effort, because the audience is quite small compared to other things we do and there isn't a good way to make money out of podcasts. There are other benefits, of course, like building a bridge to you guys, encouraging a close relationship with the site and team and just having fun.

You're right that with the new video team hires we've made we'll have the production skills and podcasting experience to do it much better. We'll look at it again once those guys have bedded in and the relaunched channel is running to our satisfaction.

CosmicFuzz says:

Do you think this is the start of a general trend in the industry away from scores?

16:35 By Oli Welsh

I don't know, to be honest. A month ago, when we were finalising our plans, I'd have said no. But then Joystiq announced a very similar plan for very similar reasons (before it sadly went under). If nothing else, that's an indication that some of our peers are thinking the same way, and perhaps some other sites who've wanted to do this for a while will be encouraged by our lead. Maybe they'll wait and see if we fail first!

I don't necessarily see the likes of IGN dropping scores, and that's fine. I think a wide range of review systems is a good thing. It's the idea that they can somehow all be homogenised into one, and the meanings that get attached to numbers like 7, that's the real problem.

dogmanstaruk says:

I think the site should be commended for dropping review scores. My question is on a different topic. Is the site due a design update? It feels a bit old and crinkly.

16:38 By Oli Welsh

Yeah, absolutely. We've been kicking around ideas recently. There's some really cool stuff in there for both the desktop and mobile sites.

Rather than piling it all up into one massive project, labouring on it for months and releasing it at once, we might make the changes gradually - for example, to article pages first, and then the homepage later. This should allow us to work faster and smarter. Look our for some changes soon.

Skirlasvoud says:

I'd like to ban Taboola from running adds on Eurogamer. You can have my addblock exception once that site is gone. I'm in a reading state once I finish an article. I don't need to ambushed by attention-demanding words like "Secret" "Shocking" and "Medical" along with the pictures. It's not right.

16:42 By Oli Welsh

I see this comment a lot and I understand how you feel. The Taboola deal is really, really valuable to us commercially. We're working with them to improve the quality and relevance of the links they send through and hopefully you'll see stuff that doesn't annoy you as much.

Applebowl says:

You guys can clearly see that the readership is now utterly bemused with the frequent Destiny articles - when will this stop?

16:46 By Oli Welsh

Here's the thing. Quite a few of us on the team play Destiny and are really into it. That makes it possible for us to cover this game really well, in depth. There are a few games that really suit this kind of coverage - Hearthstone is another, which we post about quite a lot. Others, like Dota 2, we're not so strong on. You've got to be playing the games.

That said there's no point if there's no audience for what you're writing about, but there's a huge audience out there playing Destiny, with a big appetite for reading detailed articles about it. For them and us it's an interesting game and worth following.

I understand it can be annoying to readers who aren't playing the game - sorry about that. Hopefully it will stick out less when we're covering more "long engagement" games in this detailed way, which I would like to do. But we're going to keep doing it because, for Destiny players, it's really good editorial, it's worthwhile, and it's really popular.

16:46 By Oli Welsh

(Stealth Destiny aritcle.)

bibalasvegas says:

I think consumers are sceptical of 'review events', it's great that you won't be basing reviews on them, but why not avoid them altogether?

16:50 By Oli Welsh

Because they can provide useful access to help us do our jobs and keep you informed about the game; interviewing a game director, say, or getting video capture of a gameplay mode that wasn't in the beta and won't be available until launch, or getting some preliminary Digital Foundry analysis done so we can bring you that quicker.

Once you're not reviewing from them, they're really no different from the preview events that we attend as a matter of course; we'll attend if we think there's useful material there, but we won't use the material as the basis for our review, because we got it under controlled conditions.

In all honesty I don't know how many we'll go to now, but I wanted to leave the option open.

slowdog1976 says:

Is there not a case to further expand the criteria for which you release reviews? For example, a game like Far Cry 4 gets released. Couldn't the review for the single player aspect be released a lot sooner than the multiplayer portion? Possibly even split the recommendations. For example, the last CoD I really enjoyed the single player, but the multiplayer was not my cup of tea. The online portion however would hold back the sp review when it isn't necessarily affected by any online criteria

16:56 By Oli Welsh

There's certainly a case for it, but personally I don't really like the idea of splitting up reviews. One product - one price tag - one review. They're much more authoritative that way.

That said, we can certainly help you out. In the case of COD, we would wait for the final review, but we'd have a day one write-up before that which would give you a pretty good idea of how we felt about the campaign.

With Far Cry 4, campaign is most important for players and we'd probably review it at launch and not wait for the online. Then we could follow up with an update on multiplayer later if it seemed worthwhile.

Of course, we need to figure out which way to go on each game. There are going to be a few edge cases where it's quite difficult to call whether a game is "predominantly" online or not, but I think mostly it'll be quite clear. Do the majority of players play the game solo or in online multiplayer? There's your answers.

Cheeky-Girl-Gamer says:

Is this new system going to stay? For example if it becomes clear that the majority of your readers actually liked the 1-10 system would you consider a Tory u-turn in the future and change back? Or would you stick with it no matter what?

16:58 By Oli Welsh

Never say never, as they say... But we are committed to staying the course with the review system. If our traffic absolutely falls through the floor and the site stops making money, I guess we'd have to consider our options then. But I don't think that's going to happen.

Ionz0r says:

Oli, what is your favourite hat?

17:01 By Oli Welsh

My best hat is my dark brown Victorian-style bowler from Bates of Jermyn Street. I wore it on my wedding day.

My favourite day-to-day hat is an eight-piece "baker boy" style cap in a lovely brown and orange tweed.

Choosing between them would be like choosing between my children.

17:02 By Oli Welsh

OK, thanks everyone! Sorry I couldn't get to all your questions. We should do this again some time. Love you all. x