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#1 Posted by VoidProd (93 posts) -

Eurogamer reported that Obsidians deal with Bethesda concerning FallOut: New Vegas stated that Obsidian would only get a bonus if the game scored a 85+ on Metacritic. The game reached a Metacritic score of 84...

Bethesda shipped over 5 million copies of the game and sold quite a few digital copies aswell generating over $300 million in sales. The deal with Bethesda stated Obsidian would not recieve any royalties from sales.

Link: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-03-15-obsidian-fallout-new-vegas-deal-with-bethesda-meant-bonus-payment-only-with-85-metacritic

I'd say that's pretty shitty of Bethesda, but I have to question Obsidian aswell for putting pen to the paper on such a deal.

#2 Posted by Nentisys (883 posts) -

Thats fucking stupid on both sides.

#3 Posted by Willin (1277 posts) -

I can kind of see where Bethesda is coming from. I wouldn't want a company to make a shitty game based on a brand they owned. 
 
Still, that's not cool.

#4 Posted by Nemeroth (13 posts) -

And yet another reason why the video game industry will never be taken seriously. They have got the put their shit back together and soon.

#5 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

@Willin said:

I can kind of see where Bethesda is coming from. I wouldn't want a company to make a shitty game based on a brand they owned. Still, that's not cool.

It's 1 below what they needed.

#6 Posted by Still_I_Cry (2494 posts) -

Can't compromise the signed contract?

#7 Posted by Village_Guy (2480 posts) -

Eh, it probably happens more often than we think - publishers giving the developer a bonus if they hit a certain metacritic score.

It's not like Obsidian didn't get money to development, payment checks, royalties and whatever else financial support / payment they get, if they didn't hit it.

#8 Posted by Marz (5641 posts) -

How much was the Bonus?

#9 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

#10 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

Kickstart your next thing, I won't take back my hundred bucks if your game gets an 84 instead of an 85.

84 means the game is pretty good. 85 means the game is pretty good. Obsidian should have made the game pretty good, but instead they made it pretty good. When Bethesda asks for a pretty good game, don't just hand them a pretty good game!

#11 Posted by BlackLagoon (1371 posts) -

@Village_Guy: Actually, as per Avellone's tweet - no royalties. Just a flat payment for development with the metacritic bonus as the only potential extra.

In any case this is hardly surpsing. I believe its not unheard of for studios to require applicants for their top jobs to have titles with high metacritic ratings on their resumes...

#12 Edited by Chris2KLee (2328 posts) -

@Swoxx said:

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

And yet it's become standard practice in a lot of the industry, hence why a lot of developers get up in arms when bad reviews come in. I think Jeff mentioned once that he actually got an e-mail from an angry developer who said Jeff's review was taking food off his family's table.

#13 Posted by Willin (1277 posts) -
@NekuSakuraba: I meant I understand why there is a bonus on how well the game's received but I still think 84 is good enough for a bonus. 
#14 Posted by CptBedlam (4449 posts) -

@Swoxx said:

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

Sadly, it's nothing unusual in this industry. This is also the reason for the PR shenanigans happening around the time of a game's release.

#15 Posted by familyphotoshoot (652 posts) -

@NekuSakuraba:

Guess they should have worked a little harder then.

Online
#16 Posted by jmood88 (392 posts) -
@Swoxx

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

Agreeing to that deal is equally dumb.
#17 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

@jmood88 said:

@Swoxx

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

Agreeing to that deal is equally dumb.

Sadly as other duders have pointed out it has basically become a standard, and I doubt they had much choice in the matter.

#18 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Are kids running game companies?

#19 Posted by mandude (2667 posts) -

I feel kinda sick that Obsidian didn't get a cut of the money I paid for New Vegas.

#20 Posted by BlackLagoon (1371 posts) -

@jmood88 said:

Agreeing to that deal is equally dumb.

What makes you think they had a choice? I seems deals like that are pretty much industry standard at this point.

#21 Posted by SuperSambo (2849 posts) -

Am I the only one here who doesn't think this is bad?

They made an agreement and didn't hit the mark. There has to be a cut off somewhere.

#22 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

This is definitely a case of reading by the letter and not the spirit. Bethesda doesn't want to pay out Obsidian if they crap the bed, but the game reviewed well and sold exceptionally well.

The difference between Obsidian making a new game, and getting paid for a very popular game that they made is that Gamekult gave it a 7 rAth

#23 Posted by AngeTheDude (638 posts) -

@SuperSambo said:

Am I the only one here who doesn't think this is bad?

They made an agreement and didn't hit the mark. There has to be a cut off somewhere.

The thing is that the mark is purely abstract. It's not like a concrete development target or something more tangible.

#24 Edited by whyareyoucrouchingspock (975 posts) -

Some kids get 50p for a days work. They need to stop crying like little bitches.

Making games that are in a fit state to be released, is a good started point.

#25 Posted by CottoneUD (136 posts) -

Man -- this sucks for Obsidian -- I have been playing through New Vegas and really enjoying it. There's a guy talking at PAX East about a new system -- Percentwise -- that looks for a true middle score dependant on the site's scoring policy. It sounds interesting -- the name isn't as catchy as MetaCritic, but it will be interesting to see his ideas.

#26 Posted by Veiasma (194 posts) -

Does anyone remember how busted New Vegas was at launch? It was bad for weeks until they patched it multiple times.

#27 Posted by JasonR86 (9581 posts) -

I've heard of publishers doing this before. I don't blame Bethesda for doing it. They essentially told Obsidian that they cared more about critical success then anything else. Plus, they offered a deal that Obsidian could have very easily turned down. But they didn't they. They likely assumed they would meet that mark. And they didn't. So...that's that. I don't see the problem. That was their initial deal up front, both agreed, and Obsidian employees did not get bonuses because they did not meet their bonus' requirements.

To be fair, this isn't just a video game issue either. Sometimes the bonus' requirements for several jobs seem odd. Some NFL receivers only get bonuses if they get so many catches during the year. Some quarterbacks only get bonuses if they get voted into the probowl. On and on it goes. Bonuses are weird beasts.

#28 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Veiasma said:

Does anyone remember how busted New Vegas was at launch? It was bad for weeks until they patched it multiple times.

Fallout 3 was busted.
Oblivion was busted
Skyrim was busted for the longest time for PS3 owners and poorly performed for everyone else.
 
I'm sensing a pattern here.  Bethesda GOTY devs.
#29 Posted by Humanity (8712 posts) -

Obsidian is known for shipping exceptionally buggy games, even more so than Bethesda. KOTOR 2 was rife with bugs when it shipped.

I'm with here. They were given a mark, they didn't hit, life goes on. I agree that bonuses based on such a horrible scaling system as Metacritic are a stupid idea - but you can't go through life on good intentions. If their deal was an 85 Average then they knew their game had to hit mostly high 80's and 90's and thats quite a feat.

#30 Posted by CookieMonster (2414 posts) -

Thats pretty shitty, but it doesn't surprise me.

And its all questionable statistics isn't it? I tend to find metacritic scores to be a bit dubious because sometimes they vary a lot from the number of scores they base it on and what websites they use as well. I don't understand how one score can be compared to another when one game has had 20 scores submitted and the other 75. Also, I find it a bit odd that a score can be so cast in stone from 30 game's reviewers opinions, because to me that is way too small of a number. I'm not saying 'Metacritic should submit 1000 reviews per game, from reviewers with different backgrounds', but I just find the whole idea of Metacritic questionable (and I would really like to know the algorithm they use for scores).

#31 Posted by kalmis (1558 posts) -

It is bad, but it is still just a bonus we are talking about here.

#32 Posted by wwweh (9 posts) -

The game was pretty much fundamentally broken if you played it from start to finish on consoles (load times and slow down) if they had fixed this issue, even at the cost of game content, reviews would of probably exceeded 85. I get the feeling they lost sight of priorities and the scores suffered.

#33 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

If they agreed to it, too fucking bad. Nobody should be saying "maybe they had no choice" or whatever. Even in a Dictatorship you have choice, even if it's obey or die. There's no such thing as "no choice", only shitty situations.

#34 Posted by Jimbo (9770 posts) -

Hard to feel too bad for Obsidian here. They were hired to make a game, made it and got paid for it.  Bonuses probably shouldn't be based on Metacritic, but it's still only a bonus - they shouldn't be in a position where they were relying on it.  The target wasn't a particularly unreasonable one, considering.  Basing the bonus on sales wouldn't have been much fairer in this instance, considering the brand was doing so much of the work in that regard.
 
From Bethesda's point of view, it seems like an eminently sensible deal structure considering who they were handing their franchise off to.

#35 Posted by Turambar (6637 posts) -
@MideonNViscera said:
If they agreed to it, too fucking bad. Nobody should be saying "maybe they had no choice" or whatever. Even in a Dictatorship you have choice, even if it's obey or die. There's no such thing as "no choice", only shitty situations.
Way to be a master pedant there.
#36 Posted by Brodehouse (9518 posts) -

I think it'll make studios think twice about Bethesda as a publisher. Which considering everything they've done to become a major publisher is probably bad in the long run for them.

Obsidian made a game that sold 5 million copies and reviewed well. But it didn't review extremely well, so now people are being fired. I think indie devs will look at that and think hard.

#37 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1723 posts) -

Baaad scene man, bad scene. Fucking metacritic. 

#38 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

The major problem I see with this is that it absolutely muddles the intent of critical evaluation. I'm not one to claim reviewers are being bought out (I doubt developers and even publishers have that much money), but by placing a financial gain on arbitrary grading--and lets not forget the 'weighting' of Metacritic or interpretation of letter grades/stars--Bethesda is only promoting the incestuous relationship that bogs a lot of the industry down. A critic should be able to review, discuss, and grade his experience without the ethical entanglement that his/her view might directly affect the well being of the individuals that make up the developer. Granted, one might argue that the review might hurt the reputation of the developer and thus its individuals; this, however, is far more direct and personal.

#39 Posted by bartok (2406 posts) -

That is a dick move.

#40 Posted by Jazz2 (150 posts) -

@Swoxx said:

Giving bonuses based on metacritic is the dumbest thing ever, regardless of this situation.

agreed.

#41 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1169 posts) -
#42 Posted by Jazz2 (150 posts) -

@SuperSambo: Can you tell me the difference between 85 and 84? Those numbers are meaningless.

#43 Edited by falling_fast (2180 posts) -

the game made like 300 million dollars in profit and they were only off by 1 point on metacritic (which is a shitty site, anyway).

and sure, they technically had a choice. the choice would be "either accept these terms or fuck off." and eventually you have to bite the bullet and do work to keep the lights on.

also, as has been noted before, Obsidian did not do the Q&A on this game. that was Bethesda's job.

#44 Posted by SuperSambo (2849 posts) -

@Jazz2 said:

@SuperSambo: Can you tell me the difference between 85 and 84? Those numbers are meaningless.

They signed the contract and agreed to it. Nothing else needs to be said.

#45 Posted by Superfriend (1520 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming said:

Are kids running game companies?

Yeah, kinda. It seems the games industry only knows extremes: Either companies are run by fucking money munching abominations that have not a trace of a human soul left in them.. or they are run by dudes who have no clue what they´re doing. Of course I´m exaggerating a wee tiny little bit, but that´s sort of how I feel about the games industry these days. By the way: If anybody tells you this whole metacritic fuckup is the right thing to do and a "professional" thing- you should punch them in the face.

#46 Posted by Animasta (14633 posts) -

@SuperSambo said:

@Jazz2 said:

@SuperSambo: Can you tell me the difference between 85 and 84? Those numbers are meaningless.

They signed the contract and agreed to it. Nothing else needs to be said.

I would like to know why you think they had a choice to the contract

#47 Edited by ProfessorEss (7254 posts) -

On one hand I totally agree that basing bonuses on Metacritic scores is stupid.

On the other hand, I don't quite understand this idea of bonuses being expected by everyone in the industry every time a product is released.

I mean, these guys excepted the job at the salary that was offered. Unless the job contracts these people signed explicitly stated "guaranteed bonuses" I don't understand why bonuses are just assumed.

#48 Edited by tescovee (348 posts) -

@SuperSambo said:

@Jazz2 said:

@SuperSambo: Can you tell me the difference between 85 and 84? Those numbers are meaningless.

They signed the contract and agreed to it. Nothing else needs to be said.

@SuperSambo said:

Am I the only one here who doesn't think this is bad?

They made an agreement and didn't hit the mark. There has to be a cut off somewhere.

I agree hole heatedly. It's not like a deal was made on some game of horse. I like Obsidian, but who cares if it was 1 point off or 30? Obsidian didn't hold up to this alleged contract. Why should Bethesda be at blame? A contact is a contract...."oh but it was only 1 point!" means nothing.

The company I work for give bonuses to the employee based on sales per quarter, if "we" were off the projected sale by 10 cents we would not get it.

Online
#49 Posted by TentPole (1858 posts) -

Bethesda has had shitty business practices for a great many years now.

#50 Posted by wwweh (9 posts) -

@Jazz2 said:

@SuperSambo: Can you tell me the difference between 85 and 84? Those numbers are meaningless.

A couple of grand in bonuses AMIRITE?