OpenCritic · @Open_Critic

25th May 2016 from TwitLonger

Is Metacritic sourcing from OpenCritic? Our brief statement.

Hey everyone,

We didn’t know if we should be proud or outraged when we took a look at Metacritic this morning and saw that they had OpenCritic’s review data and information on their site.

On the positive side, we were excited to see another industry giant stand alongside companies such as Insomniac Games [1], Nvidia [2] and Telltale [3] in presenting OpenCritic as an authority. However, we’re frustrated that we did not receive recognition and have requested that they either credit OpenCritic or begin licensing our API and databases.

If you can’t see how they copied us, we wouldn’t blame you - we make subtle, near-invisible changes to various review data to tag it using a system we call “horsemen.”

For example, with PCGamer’s Blood and Wine review, we added a redundant slash after With Twinfinite’s review, we capitalized the “W” and “B” in the review URL.

We can't detail every example as it would giveaway our tells, but these two are notable: Metacritic’s Blood and Wine page currently has these exact horsemen listed, leading us to believe that they may be sourcing reviews from OpenCritic. We've included an link and screenshots below.

These changes don't interfere with the user experience and are unique to OpenCritic. We checked to make sure that these links did not appear on popular websites such as Neogaf and reddit. We also feel confident in claiming that we listed these URLs first. As with most games, OpenCritic was faster: in this case, our reviews were up three hours faster.

Now you might be thinking “wow, that’s weird? Why did you build the horsemen system?” But there is historical precedent: old cartographers would add small fake places to maps and phone books would add fake phone number listings. These are simple techniques that aggregators leverage to protect their data.

We strongly believe that OpenCritic is the best review aggregator. We’re the only aggregator that correctly credits authors in addition to publications. We’re the only aggregator that lets users pick-and-choose their trusted publications. And unlike Metacritic, all of our scores are presented as simple averages with no hidden weightings, using data that can be verified by the public.

As we announced last January, our API alpha is in full swing and will soon shift into beta. We hope that Metacritic and others will consider joining our beta and licensing our API.



Metacritic page:
PCGamer Screenshot:
Twinfinite Screenshot:

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