Media analyst says that "grade-grubbing" does nothing for the sales of their games.
Media and entertainment analyst, Doug Creutz of the Cowen Group stated that a survey conducted by his company proves that game review scores are the least influential factor when consumers are deciding to buy a game. Among 8 different factors, aggregate scores on sites like Metacritic ranked as least important. The highest factors ranked were genre and whether the gamer enjoyed previous versions of the game, underlining why sequels are so important to game publishers.
Creutz stated that his report was highlighting how unimportant reviews are for a specific reason. "We note this, in part, because of persistent rumors that some game developers have been jawboning game reviewers into giving their games higher critical review scores," Creutz's report said. "We believe the publishers are better served by spending their time on the development process than by 'grade-grubbing' after the fact."
That is quite a tongue-lashing to game publishers, to be sure. With this report coming on the heels of Jesse Divnich stating that marketing is more important than reviews, one wonders if we will see shift in how publisher promote their games.
Or, as Creutz said, they should just concentrate on making a great game instead of worrying about what Jeff Gerstmann happens to write about their game.