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In a recent interview, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has some choice words regarding the publisher’s use of the Spider Man IP.

Kotick stated, “Our Spider-Man games have sucked for the last five years. They are bad games. They were poorly rated because they were bad games. We went away from what is Spider-Man. It’s about web-slinging. If you don’t do web-slinging right, what is the fantasy of Spider-Man?”

Kotick made this statement when discussing the merits of kids and movie-based games. He had “one of those wake-up calls” when Blizzard executives asked why Activision was hoping a “kids game” would achieve an average review score of 80.

“The producers said, ‘Well, it’s a kid’s game, you don’t get the best ratings on a kid’s game because reviews aren’t going to review them as favorably, so if you look at them objectively an 80 is actually a good rating for a kid’s game or movie game,’” said Kotick. “I remember walking out of the meeting saying, ‘Why would we make an 80-rated game?’ Even adjusting for genre. I was thinking that when we did the great Spider-Man PlayStation game, we got a 95 rating. You can make a great game.”

While this may not be the most pressing news story today, it does shed some light into the videogames making process. Maybe I’m just naive or idealistic, but I always assumed that when a developer makes a game it would make the best game they can with the allotted resources. I never would have imagined a step in game development where a bunch of suits, sitting in a board room, discuss what Metacritic rating their game should shoot for. Do you guys think that this is an important issue, or am I just making something out of nothing?


  1. Well, more than just the suits clamoring for “this score” or “that score”, it’s really the expectations they’re allotting a game. If they minimize their expectations, then they aren’t surprised if it does poorly, and will in turn be pleasantly surprised if it soars higher.

    That said, Kotick and his blanket statements make me feel…less than ideal. Let’s leave it at that.

  2. I think Metacritic is becoming a scary convention for the video game scene. A Metacritic score holds so much power over games and gaming these days that I wonder how healthy it is?

    Note that I’m _NOT_ saying that Metacritic for doing this deliberately, and I have no personal beef with the site or how it’s ran; I think that it just sort of panned out that way. Somehow, some way, Metacritic aggregate scores have become a powerful influence on game journalism, and game development. It might even be a key factor in what Japanese games make it to western shores, but that’s pure speculation.

  3. Well its good that he’s noticed they’ve sucked, but I wonder if he knows why they sucked or whether they just look at scores and decide that they aren’t good enough and tell people to fix it.

    I thought Web of Shadows was really fun until maybe halfway in when it becomes really apparent that the rest of the game is just more of the same. The webslinging and the mix of flying and combat was cool, but it just didn’t hold up to the boring sandbox they put you in. And the storyline, moral choices included, was just boring and dull. To make a successful game of any sort you need to focus on the franchises strengths and determine what the weaknesses are. Too often it feels like licensed games just assume that they’ll sell because a well liked superhero/movie-character is on the box.

  4. avatar Jordan Garski

    I wish Sony would come out and admit the movies kinda sucked

  5. avatar mutafa


  6. avatar Reggie

    This intorduecs a pleasingly rational point of view.

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