The New Review Aggregator, Open Critic


Not necessarily the most gaming related bit of information out on the tables today, but more a site that has recently caught my attention from a few contacts in the industry who encouraged me to check it out and set up some milestones to reach that level. Open Critic is a new review aggregation site, similar to the more widely known Metacritic, and launched in September 2015.

Open Critic has some differences though that make it a more unique experience for its user base, in that it has no hidden weight calculations in its scoring algorithm; everything is verifiable publicly. A score can be “modified,” by allowing scores to be seen by publications the user trusts. There’s also an element of humanity in which the author’s name is displayed.

Open Critic has a very interesting method of operation, as outlined below:

“For each publication, we have three pieces of technology: an initializer that spiders across a publication and collects all their historic reviews, a listener that checks for new reviews every 10-25 minutes and alerts us when it finds one, and a snippeter that extracts the information we display on OpenCritic (such as date, author, score, etc.). So the initializer builds our historic record, the listener alerts us when there’s a new review, and the snippeter prepares the review for display. One last manual check, and then the review goes live!”

From a reviewer’s standpoint, Open Critic could be what the industry needs to go forward, considering the controversies that have been outlined with using Metacritic and how its scoring policies have influenced payments for developers based on score. A system based on transparency makes for a much more open-ended experience for its readership, and still allows for well-known publications to take a spotlight. The staff at Gamer Professionals looks forward to watching this project unfold with great interest.