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Braben clarifies journo Metacritic idea

Reviewing games is "a really hard job".

Frontier Developments boss David Braben has clarified a suggestion he made earlier this year that review aggregation site Metacritic should start rating critics as well as games.

Speaking to Spong at the BAFTAs in London last night, Braben explained that he didn't intend his comments to be interpreted as a criticism of game reviewers, but as a way of recognising the challenges that they face.

"I think a lot of people assumed I was criticising journalists, which wasn't the intention," he said.

"What I was really saying was that actually, it's a really hard job. Because if you want to try and make your reviews stand out, you end up producing something that, with time, will make you look silly.

"So, in actuality, hitting Metacritic early on is a challenge, and I am impressed by the writers who manage to do it. Essentially, yes it's a very hard job and I apologise to those who either misunderstood what I said or disagreed. I'm happy to debate with them if they want at some time!"

Braben's original suggestion was that critics whose scores most frequently match the game's aggregate rating be rewarded with some kind of annual prize.

Metacritic co-creator Marc Doyle was among those who criticised the idea.

"Braben posits that 'the best reviewers give spot-on reviews pretty soon after a game is released'," he told Eurogamer.

"Penalizing a brilliant critic who happens to utilize the lower end of its publication's scale more often than a middling critic who never gives lower than a 6/10 doesn't make sense to me."

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Fred Dutton avatar

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton was Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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