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IGN's Re-Review Policy


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#1 Andrew G.

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 01:10

IGN's Re-Review Policy
How we're keeping up with gaming's changing pace.
by Dan Stapleton
February 13, 2014
 

It has long been the policy of IGN that, barring disaster, the score of a game should never change. Developers get one shot, so they’d better make it count. For a long time, that system worked – games came out, were played and enjoyed, and then faded away without ever becoming more than they were.

 

That policy can no longer keep up with the pace of modern gaming. While there are still many fire-and-forget releases that come and go as they always have, many more are constantly growing and changing after release. Through major patches and free content updates, a game that’s merely okay at release can become something good or even great just a few months later, and remain popular for years to come. A review set in stone can unintentionally mislead people seeking new experiences away from something we believe they’d enjoy if they pick it up today, and that’s contrary to our goals as critics and as gamers.

 

Prime examples are our reviews of League of Legends, a game which has seen tremendous change since we reviewed it in November 2009, and our review of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, which is now basically talking about a completely different game from what was released in 2011. Both are still hugely popular, but both reviews have aged poorly.

 

Now that the very positive phenomenon of ever-improving games has taken hold not just in the technological vanguard of PC gaming, but in the new generation of consoles as well, it is time to change our policy. Going forward, IGN will re-review a still-relevant game or device when we feel our original recommendation is no longer reasonably accurate and informative to our readers and viewers. Using a combination of internal and external metrics, and our own editorial judgment, we will re-review select games that are deemed still important enough to the IGN community’s interests to warrant updated coverage. We have begun with League of Legends and Minecraft: Pocket Edition, which both get new reviews today.

 

It’s a brave new world. That said, do not expect to see our review staff change scores as a knee-jerk reaction to server outages or bugs fixed or introduced by post-release patches (so long as they’re fixed within a reasonable amount of time). We want IGN’s scores to continue to carry weight and mean something to our readers, our reviewers, and game makers, and a score that can be changed on a whim the day after is a score that requires little consideration or conviction. Just as importantly, remember that every time we do a second review on an older game, that means there’s a new game out there that goes without a first review. We’re only human, after all – we can only play so many games at once!

 

Note that this policy will also apply to our reviews of the Xbox OnePlayStation 4, and Wii U platforms, among others. Just as someone who became an Xbox 360 owner in 2013 would barely recognize the original 2006 UI, we expect the same transformative process to happen in this generation, and for our audience to expect to be able to rely on IGN for up-to-date recommendations on where to spend your time and money. We intend to give you exactly that.

 

http://uk.ign.com/ar...e-review-policy




#2 +Lingwo

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 10:57

What a load of rubbish :laugh:

My thought on ever updating games like an MMO, MOBA or Minecraft esque games. Don't review them.

Just write an opinion piece up for them. Why do you need to score something that could change in a few months.

They could re-review it and then it change again in another couple of months.



#3 Osiris

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:16

They are basically just tacitly accepting the new standard that publishing an incomplete or bug ridden game is acceptable because you will correct and enhance it over the life of the product and now your reviews will absolve any legacy that may have reflected that. 



#4 Elliot B.

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:23

I think this is a good idea.

 

For example, TF2 has changed a lot since it came out in 2007.



#5 OP Andrew G.

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 18:01

They are basically just tacitly accepting the new standard that publishing an incomplete or bug ridden game is acceptable because you will correct and enhance it over the life of the product and now your reviews will absolve any legacy that may have reflected that. 

 

While that is one way you can look at it, they aren't removing the old reviews from the site. You can still view them in their archives; any critque made is valuable for potential buyers. I don't see how it's any different from anything else people buy. For instance, usually when you buy a gadget you'll fall in love with it because it's better than you're old one. The longer you own it though the more you understand the faults which will eventually lead to another upgrade. I don't think anyone will be handing out free passes to say EA because they royally screw up the BF4/SimCity launch, you can't wipe it from people's memories so it'd be foolish to pretend it was different. Plus who is to say that the next review will be better than the first? A game could easily be scored on potential which is never met, so the score drops further if the developer doesn't make good on promises like patches etc.



#6 trooper11

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 18:40

Having this kind of policy is the bare minimum that these review sites should adopt.

Its clear that sometimes a game can be great at launch or the reivewers get lucky and dont run into any issues. Yet real consumers will run into glitches or the game will get worse due to say server issues, patches that break something, etc.

They should go back and revist scores or impressions they have given.