*Take note that they have now taken down the Job Role Description, first they just removed the Metacritic part but i guess it has gone into damage control time. What’s the bet though that they still use that one point when it comes time for the in house reviews of the Applicants… Filthy Mugbloods*
An interesting bit of industry news popped up on destructoid that seems completely nonsensical.
In the studio’s lengthy list of requirements for a design manager position, it asks for, “Credit on at least one game with an 85+ Average Metacritic Review Score.”
The thinking is obvious — Irrational wants high quality developers with a traceable history of success. Still, arguments brought up against it are fairly sound — it excludes the fact that game making is a team effort, critical opinion isn’t always indicative of a good or successful game, and that even the best developers can be hamstrung by poor decision making by those wearing the expensive suits. Likewise, a game can be great in spite of a bad creator at the steering wheel, all thanks to a talented team.
It’s certainly an odd thing to have as a basic requirement, given the amount of variables that go into the generation of a Metacritic average. It’s certainly not a criteria I’d have, but then, Irrational did make BioShock, so I guess it knows what it’s doing.
I really hope it isn’t just me thinking this is a completely stupid thing to promote in an actual job listing. It is just as nonsensical as someone wanting to work on a game company because they made one awesome game. One success does not guarantee success again, hell the success might not even be attributed to their own contributions I just don’t know enough about the games industry to comment on that part….
I am also a little perplexed by this since many of these big companies have consumerist demands towards their products and quite a few of the top metacritic games really didn’t sell as well as any of the same ole blockbusters. Acclaimed does not always mean mainstream appeal.
I really don’t know what a design manager even does, what i do know though is that large game development encompasses many different areas and a literal army of coders, writers, artists, and testers. How much credit can a design manager take when most of the core work is done by other people and how much influence can one have when a games’ design, direction and core elements are usually decided by the corporate suits and their intent on maximising returns.
I actually like many of the games in the top 15% of metacritic, there is Little Big Planet so wooo but there are many though that are really rather insipid such as Modern warfare (1 and 2) and GTA IV (uggh) so even at that range of the spectrum a quality product is not even guaranteed. There are heaps of very decent titles that are below the cutoff too, many of which have their own strengths and weakness that may or not be important to their new game project. They would also be missing out on some deservable talent, not to mention that it also greatly constricts the pool of available and talented people to draw from.. It all just seems kinda retarded.
It is also quite funny this popped up as RPS only just had a little article as part of their Sunday Papers purporting we ban the number 7 so as to fix games journalism (and numbers in general), it also had quite the treatise against the metacritic model. Why OH Why must the men in suits and much of the general media be so enthralled by an aggregated score. There is soo much diversity in the gaming sphere and much of it comes up to personal taste and as such being guided by aggregated numbers make no sense.
Maybe they should just be worrying about their intended audience and here’s a suggestion, how about hiring people who fit with the project, who have experience and the drive to complete whatever fancy pants project you are going to do WELL. Problem solved.. send money to thank me later.