Funcom Blames MetaCritic For Share Price Drop

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Funcom Blames MetaCritic For Share Price Drop

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Funcom pins its plummeting share prices on The Secret World's MetaCritic performance.

The MMO merchants over at Funcom aren't having a particularly good week. The company's share price has halved over the past few days, and according to a recent investor relations update, MetaCritic is to blame.

"Following the launch of The Secret World on the 3rd of July 2012, Funcom's share price has decreased significantly," reads the update. "The company attributes this mostly to the aggregate review score, the "Metascore", for the game at MetaCritic (www.metacritic.com) together with other public sources for tracking the performance of games."

The company goes on to add that the game's score of 72 out of 100 "must be considered low" and isn't in line with the positive feedback the game received during its beta phases. While you might question its decision to call a solid seven out of ten "low," Funcom may have a point. The Secret World is one of the few games on MetaCritic with a user review score higher than its professional one. The current user score stands at 8.4. For reference, our own Paul Goodman gave the game a hearty four out of five.

"A game like The Secret World, which is not based on a well-known brand, is normally dependent on positive press reviews to achieve successful initial sales, in addition - but not limited - to other factors like word of mouth," continues the press release.

By this point, you're probably at least a couple of sentences into your comment predicting that the game will go free-to-play within the next eight minutes, but things aren't quite that bad. The game's sales aren't matching Funcom's expectations, but the included real-money shop is making more than expected. Also, The Secret World costs less to run than Age of Conan, which struggled on for around three years before going free-to-play.

To try and scrape some money back, Funcom has put the game up for sale on Steam and is currently "implementing several cost-adjustment initiatives due to the expected lower initial revenues from The Secret World to secure future positive cash flows."

Source: Funcom

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inb4 gamers asking for handouts because their too cheap to pay for good games.

It most likely will go free to play, because honestly it doesn't seem all that original. WHOA THERE, now before you start getting together with pitchforks, I mean the mechanics don't. Aside from the skill building allowing you to be whatever you want (see runescape doing this before.) and the obvious setting, it just seems like the hook is the same as every other MMO.. Dunno, guess I'm just expecting new games to be more like GW2 and actually push the bar on what I expect from an MMO instead of just copying WoWs mechanics with varying improves/licks of paint.

I give it a year or two.

Elate:
It most likely will go free to play, because honestly it doesn't seem all that original. WHOA THERE, now before you start getting together with pitchforks, I mean the mechanics don't. Aside from the skill building allowing you to be whatever you want (see runescape doing this before.) and the obvious setting, it just seems like the hook is the same as every other MMO.. Dunno, guess I'm just expecting new games to be more like GW2 and actually push the bar on what I expect from an MMO instead of just copying WoWs mechanics with varying improves/licks of paint.

I give it a year or two.

People play it because of these

This is a task in the secret world

cngu bs gurfha-eryngrf abg whfg gb gurfbyne obql, ohg gur geniry bs gur uhzna obql-ovegu gb orlbaq rvtug synzrf-rvtug fgngvbaf ba gur cngu bs yvsr? nygubhtu gur beqre vf abg jung frrzrq vavgvnyyl boivbhf

Your task is to translate these notes into readable English.

how is 7/10 low? #gamerlogic

Translation: look where the painting is pointing in the museum, the code is on the clock (or something like that)

I can't believe publishers use Metacritic as hostage to paying the developers for bonuses and now share prices. I thought it was a joke a few years ago, but to see how review scores (something entirely subjective) can directly affect the employees of a game company is a bit disgusting.

It's a damn shame and damn odd that alot of critics have based their review on a beta version of the game (never seen that before) and giving the game really bad scores. Its the first MMO not to copy wow and its damn original. I've never been this hooked to an MMO before. And WTH Elate, how are the mechanics Wow'ish? have you even seen the game in action. You should know what you are talking about before saying such things, your making yourself look stupid. Guess you cant help it though since you are obviously a victim of the GW2 hype and i bet you dont know that game is shit :) (i've played it)

Well Funcom, how about you stop blaming Metacritic itself and take a look at the reviews to see why you got that score, and then try to fix those problems? The critics aren't wrong because the consumers slightly disagree, and we all know what a piece of shit the user scores are anyway. How many of those users actually rated the game at 8.4 (or as close as possible to that)? Almost no-one I bet.

It's also somewhat appropriate for me to post this, so I am. Because I love it.

Evil Smurf:
how is 7/10 low? #gamerlogic

You know how scoring works. 0-6 Unplayable, 7 Bad, 8 almost good, 9 Ok, 10 Good.

Maybe they shouldn't have made a shitty MMO out of what could have been a good game, then?

I think the REAL issue with MetaCritic is that they have this weird 'some review sites are more equal than others' thing.

Say THIS site gives a game a 4/5.
MC turns it into a 8/10.
Then, via magic, decides an "8" at TheEscapist is equal to a 7.2 at a 'more equal' site.
Then adds THAT to the rest of the pot and...

Well, seeing as how nobody is reading this...
OMG I LIEK TURUDALZ!

Tanis:
Well, seeing as how nobody is reading this...
OMG I LIEK TURUDALZ!

OMG ME TOO

Tanis:
I think the REAL issue with MetaCritic is that they have this weird 'some review sites are more equal than others' thing.

Say THIS site gives a game a 4/5.
MC turns it into a 8/10.
Then, via magic, decides an "8" at TheEscapist is equal to a 7.2 at a 'more equal' site.
Then adds THAT to the rest of the pot and...

STATISTICS. Look it up.

I'd buy this game, but their customer service department leaves much to be desired.

Because I hadn't logged into my Funcom account for more then 3 months, I had to go through a 'manditory security verification' where I had to send scans of two government IDs. The CS rep then proceeded to argue with me when I asked why I needed to send VERY personal information to log into an account used to play a Free-To-Play MMO with no credit card info attached (Age of Conan).

Total bullcrap, and not worth the effort, even if the game is good.

I was going to say something here, but that game review parody video up there made me laugh too much xD

As soon as I have a new PC and a higher monthly income (which is in a few months), I will buy that game and pay the monthly fee. Rest assured, The Secret World! More paying customers are coming!
Although I do wish they lowered the monthly fee a bit. Just a bit. It adds up.

Anyway, I don't understand why someone would give a bad score to a game with a fresh concept and setting. I understand even less why someone would give a bad score based on playing a beta.

All in favor that we torch down metacritic say "Aye!"
Seriously, that crap has got to go. They have no standards when it comes to what reviews get aggregated, I've seen reviews, like 1Up's of A Vampyre Story or Gamespot's of Gass Guzzlers that had very little connection with the game itself.
If my site ever gets aggregated, I swear I'm permanently switching to a vegetable based rating system. Right now it's optional, TSW was garlic btw, while SWTOR was a tomato. AGGREGATE THAT!

This is the result of an industry that places unneeded focus on review aggregators. Thank God the movie industry doesn't fall into this trap.

The only thing I see is a developer trying to make excuses for an underwhelming product. Listen to criticism, do your best, give it continual support and answer fan feedback, and you'll have little to worry about.

In no other industry is a 72% considered "low". Blame that on reviewers posting inflated scores and gullible fans believing anything below an 8/10 is a complete failure.

I've been playing since launch and I've seen a lot of people bashing the game based purely on some in-EA's pocket reviewer who played a few hours of a beta.

TSW takes time and commitment to get the most out of it. Guess what, it's an MMO, they're supposed to work that way.

It's actually the most original concept and well-executed launch I've seen in the MMO-scene for a very long time. I'll be continuing my sub and playing alongside GW2. (Guess what guys, it's not sports, you don't pick one side, we're gamers, we can enjoy all offerings. I know, blasphemy!)

Game's good, the user reviews are proof of that.

rolfwesselius:

Elate:
It most likely will go free to play, because honestly it doesn't seem all that original. WHOA THERE, now before you start getting together with pitchforks, I mean the mechanics don't. Aside from the skill building allowing you to be whatever you want (see runescape doing this before.) and the obvious setting, it just seems like the hook is the same as every other MMO.. Dunno, guess I'm just expecting new games to be more like GW2 and actually push the bar on what I expect from an MMO instead of just copying WoWs mechanics with varying improves/licks of paint.

I give it a year or two.

People play it because of these

This is a task in the secret world

cngu bs gurfha-eryngrf abg whfg gb gurfbyne obql, ohg gur geniry bs gur uhzna obql-ovegu gb orlbaq rvtug synzrf-rvtug fgngvbaf ba gur cngu bs yvsr? nygubhtu gur beqre vf abg jung frrzrq vavgvnyyl boivbhf

Your task is to translate these notes into readable English.

Yeah but, if I wanted a good puzzle game, surely I would play one, one that doesn't have the crappy MMO features slapped on the side. Honestly I'm kind of annoyed with Secret World, it's a really interesting IP, and those mechanics you've mentioned seem quite fun.. but then they turned it into MMO mulch.

I played TSW during Open Beta a little bit.

I didn't fall in love with the game. The questsystem was OK, the queststories were good, but the game felt dead. I didn't like my own character. In addition the combat system felt really weak.

From what I had seen during the beta I would've given that game a 6 out of 10. It's ok, but I wouldn' recommend it to others.

TSW is actually quite a good game in my opinion . I think it may just be a case of MMO exhaustion in the market.

Me and my wife particularly enjoy solving the puzzle quests. No google allowed!

Yes, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with releasing a barely advertised MMO based on a new IP right before both Guild Wars 2 and Mists of Pandaria.

Well, apart from metacritic aggregate and user review amok rage or other, random reviews popping up anywhere else - Dear Funcom, I watched your rendered promo clips and liked what I saw. Yes, I could have bought The Secret World; I didn't. Why, you ask? Well, I really don't feel like investing any time or money in MMOs at this point in time, as I feel I've had enough of that with World Of Warcraft, and I'd really prefer to keep up a healthy, well-balanced gaming habit instead of being enslaved by yet another MMO I might or might not enjoy.

I did take some of those F2P competition titles out for a spin, but life's just too short for wasting it on MMOs. Seen some, liked some, done. Any non-MMO title will get my preference, really. Sorry.

From every review that I have seen, the game absolutely deserved such a score. And, it's pretty damn good score FFS. I mean 7/10? In school, a 7 would be the point where you said you actually did a good job on that test. FFS.

72/100 sounds about right to me. The concept and atmosphere is excellent, but that can only go so far, and the actual gameplay is underwhelming.

The Plunk:
Yes, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with releasing a barely advertised MMO based on a new IP right before both Guild Wars 2 and Mists of Pandaria.

Also this. TSW is a niche title (i.e. not fantasy) and whilst that's not a bad thing by any means, this is pretty much the worst possible timing for a new and unknown IP to try to make an impact.

Oh, and...

This is what happens (again) when (yet another) company releases an MMO with unrealistic expectations.

I'd be checking it out right now but there is no way my computer could handle running it.

Evil Smurf:
how is 7/10 low? #gamerlogic

Erm, if you look at uni grades (1-10, at least where I come from), you need a 6 to pass, 7 is just slightly better and still low, where 8 is good, 9 is excellent and 10 is extraordinary. So to answer your question, very easily.

Sixcess:
72/100 sounds about right to me. The concept and atmosphere is excellent, but that can only go so far, and the actual gameplay is underwhelming.

^Pretty much this. The story's nice, but the MMO gameplay really needs to change. Why barely anyone is really trying the more standard combat systems is completely beyond me. We have the tech for it and the MMO crowd is clearly completely sick and tired of the hotkey system, so why does nearly every company stick to it? It's familiar? So is an FPS, action combat and a thousand other systems. I know you're trying to appeal to the MMO crowd, but the ones who play nothing but MMOs (most players play other stuff too) will likely be sticking to one that's already out, they're the hardest converts. Also, there's a pile of other players who'd jump in if it wasn't for those mechanics, the potential market is likely far bigger than the MMO one.

PS
Don't really see the game on Steam...?

Evil Smurf:
how is 7/10 low? #gamerlogic

More of an issue of publisher logic since scores are skewed so high anymore. Anything below a 9/10 is considered low these days.

I don't know Funcom, maybe everyone's just over MMO's now with Warcraft, EVE and SWTOR dominating everything for nearly a decade? Maybe releasing another "currently subscription, soon-to-be free-to-play" game into the current market wasn't a great move?

Just a thought, but if you don't like your MetaCritic score... make a better game.

That being said, 7/10 ain't awful. It's "okay". 6/10 is bad, by stupid game standards. Still, they could've done better.

P.S. Thanks

Ive played both WOW and Guild wars and was bored after a few weeks of playing them. Millions of people love them to pieces and play them for years. Im sure the review who gave it 7/10 has played many more MMO than those two and just found it to be so/so compared to other MMO's.

Thing is it will take something special to get people off WOW and GW2, something new and original. Funcom show know this by the many carcasses of failed MMO's. Maybe they should have made an rpg instead. lol

why are developers still using meta critic? its not exactly reliable information.

oh well, least their doing more to fight off the F2P conversion then ToR did

I liked how the secret world looked and wanted to give it a try but sadly I already have a paid account with EVE online that's been active for over a year and I simply cannot afford a second subscription. I really hope Funcom turns things around before this situation goes full on APB on us, mostly since I still do want to play the game at one point.

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