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Obsidian layoffs: Could blame lie with Metacritic?

Following news of layoff’s at the developer, it’s been revealed that Obsidian’s deal with publisher Bethesda for Fallout New Vegas called for the game to receive an average Metascore of 85+ on review aggregate site Metacritic, in order for the studio to receive a bonus.

It got 84.

In a conversation on twitter, Obsidian designer and Fallout New Vegas developer Chris Avellone revealed:

“FNV was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn’t.”

Kotaku has recently reported that the layoffs are due to a next-gen, Microsoft-published project being cancelled, however with this news, it seems a possibility that the studio couldn’t continue to pay all of its staff due to a lack of bonus being received.

It’s a bit of a worrying trend if game companies are going to rely on Metacritic to determine a game’s worth. After all, everyone has an opinion on what makes a good game, so surely sales should be the most important factor, rather than what journalists think.

Let us know your thoughts on this subject by leaving a comment below.

Edited On 15 Mar, 2012

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