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A Statistical Analysis of Video Game Scores


Video games have long been reviewed and given scores (grades) to let people know how good they supposedly are. This should be an objective process but as many people know there is a definite subjective element at play. Over the course of the last several years the defacto scoring metric has become Metacritic.

The site aggregates critic reviews alongside user reviews for direct comparison. To get the final Metacritic score for critic reviews the site uses a special formula to weigh the reviews that are included in the metric. The end result is a score that unfortunately can affect the wages that game developers get paid.

Going into this particular analysis there were two theories that were going to be tested. The first is based on the average review score. On Metacritic games are scored on a 0-10 basis. Given these numbers the average score should theoretically fall at the 5 mark given that that is the mid point or average of the range. My theory going in is that this is in fact false and the average score will actually be much higher.

The second test revolves around user scores vs critic scores. It was my belief going in that user scores would be lower. This stems not necessarily from more stringent reviewers but rather from hatred towards publishers such as Electronic Arts.

The study used a simple random sample of twenty games from both the first person shooter (FPS) and role playing game (RPG) genre. The genres were graded separately from each other and broken down in various statistical forms.

Descriptive Data

Score Comparisons


The data above simply represents the breakdown of the numbers at our disposable. It does not however give us an answer to the questions that have been pondered up above. To do that we need to do something called a hypothesis test. The first test simply compares the average score to the theoretical average of 5.

The second test compares user reviews directly to Metacritic scores.


The formulas used above may look quite confusing to some and that is understandable. Ultimately, the tests we performed told us two things. In the first test the result simply states that yes, the average user score is significantly greater than 5. In the second test the results tell us that the average user score is less than the critic score. To be more specific however, in the world of statistics we don't say that we are correct but rather that we fail to prove that we are wrong.

CrossPost From Video Game Mojo
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About Nathan Evrardone of us since 1:43 PM on 08.06.2012

Besides being extremely handsome and agitating, I also enjoys writing about all things business related. My education consists of Bachelor's degrees in both Management and Marketing along with a good education from the school of hard knocks.

My true business passion lies in small business and all things virtual. My very first college paper was an economics paper on virtual economies and was poorly written. Now my writing is merely sub par. My inspiration and interest in all things virtual really started with the book Play Money by Julian Dibbell. It is a fascinating look into the underground economies that run behind the scenes.

My online work includes a business blog called Gerbil Voodoo that covers all things business related and a blog title Video Game Mojo. My online portfolio also includes two e-commerce stores, angrybirdsmarketplace and tissottimepieces. Both of which are partnerships with a good friend of mine who does most of the heavy lifting.

Feel free to drop me a line telling me how awesome I am or more realistically how awful my writing is. Hope to hear from you soon!

Gerbil Voodoo
Video Game Mojo
Xbox LIVE:navynoob
Steam ID:navynoob


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