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Type of site
|Created by||Matthew Enthoven, Charles Green, Richard Triggs, Aaron Rutledge|
|Alexa rank||48,681 (November 2017)|
|Launched||September 30, 2015|
OpenCritic is a review aggregation website for video games. Created and founded by Matthew Enthoven, Charles Green, Aaron Rutledge, and Richard Triggs, OpenCritic lists reviews from popular critics across multiple video game publications for the games listed on the site. The website then generates a numeric score by averaging all of the numeric reviews. Several other metrics are also available, such as the percentage of critics that recommend the game and its relative ranking across all games on OpenCritic.
OpenCritic was developed to avoid some of the controversies that Metacritic has gained in the video game industry. A game's Metacritic score has become strongly attached to the financial performance of a game and subsequent efforts of the development studio and publisher, such as affecting post-release studio bonuses. However, Metacritic provides limited details of how it calculates its review scores, and uses weighted averaging that favors some publications over others, leading many to criticize the heavy weight that the industry puts on the site.
The concept of OpenCritic was developed by a team led by Matthew Enthoven of Riot Games. The philosophy of the site was to avoid the pitfalls of Metacritic by making the nature of the review aggregation clear and open. They also wanted to provide a more human element to the scores; reviews are presented with the author's name listed, and they wanted to allow users to customize what reviews took priority.
The site has been in development since 2014, and formally launched on September 30, 2015. At the time of its public announcement, the site carried reviews from about 75 different sources. The site plans on being a "historical record" of video game reviews from its launch date forward and does not plan to fully populate older games. Further, to support the site's full set of features, they had to omit games on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita platforms, due to difficulty in getting gameplay video and screenshots. They since reversed their omission and plans to add games from the two systems. Developers can submit games for inclusion on the site as long as certain qualifications are met; further, other review sources can also request addition to the site by meeting certain qualifications. The site also plans to list Steam Early Access scores in the future. In addition to pages for game reviews, OpenCritic also has pages for individual publications and reviewers. The site initially launched ad free, using Patreon to start, but since switched to a ad-revenue supported model.
On October 9, 2017, the official Twitter account for OpenCritic announced that they would be taking a stand against loot boxes, saying they were "looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic." They also mentioned they would be testing out different types of flag to apply to game review pages, including clarifying whether a game has a loot box system that randomizes the progress in a game rather than it being experienced-driven and whether a game's randomly generated loot boxes contain more than "cosmetic" rewards.
OpenCritic collects links to external websites for video game reviews, providing a landing page for the reader. Reviews include both those that are scored (and thus entered into their aggregate score) and unscored reviews, including reviews that come from popular YouTube reviewers. A user of the site is able to mark any of these review sources as trusted publications which will be reflected in how the reviews are presented to the user and tailor the content to them, as well as generating a personalized aggregate score for that user.
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