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The industry chimes in on the importance of reviews for Wii games


Various industry figures have come out in support of Peter Moore's claims that review scores don't impact the success of Wii games. One developer told Eurogamer that how a Wii game does is contingent entirely upon marketing, calling Wii games "pure risk." "A lot of these games that you think are the perfect game for Wii don't sell because companies don't have the money to market them," the developer said. "Whereas Nintendo is spending gazillions of dollars marketing their games."

Michael Pachter suggested that review scores aren't important because many Wii owners don't read reviews. ""I think that Metacritic scores are irrelevant for people who don't look at them - how's that for obvious?" Pachter said. "While there are many Wii owners who are hardcore and who care very much about scores, there are many - perhaps half - who are quite casual, and wouldn't know Metacritic if it fell on them." He offered games like Carnival Games and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum as examples of successful titles with little critical acclaim.

However, 2D Boy's Kyle Gabler offers an instance in which Metacritic scores and reviews do make a difference: indie games, like his own World of Goo, which happens to be the third highest-rated game on Wii. He compares mainstream games to Will Smith movies, which draw audiences without reviews.

"But for indie guys like us, Metacritic and review scores matter a lot," Gabler said. "In fact we link directly to them from our web site. So does Steam. It makes a lot of sense - potential players don't feel comfortable dishing out cash for some random unknown indie game without an aggregate thumbs-up from solid reviewers."

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