Metacritic v OpenCritic

OpenCritic believes that Metacritic is shaking in their boots. The gaming aggregate king has been hearing the footsteps of the newer OpenCritic for a while now. But recently, Metacritic has implemented a new foreign policy that really seems aimed to disrupt OpenCritic’s practices overseas. That policy? “Translation Exclusivity.”

Is All Fair In Aggregates And Translation?

OpenCritic is publicly lambasting Metacritic for their latest block on their opponent. Back in December, OpenCritic expanded and began to accept international publications into the fold. While doing so, they declined to mandate that said publication’s reviews would need to be English-only. Instead, foreign publications must simply provide an English translation of their reviews.

To reiterate, the publications themselves must provide the English translations. They do not come from Metacritic or OpenCritic. Thus enter Metacritic’s villainous plot: “As a response to [OpenCritic’s] expansion to more languages, it seems Metacritic has created a new rule for publications looking to join: translations given to Metacritic are exclusive to Metacritic. Dastardly, indeed.

OpenCritic posits that “asking for English quotations is already a significant demand. Many of these publications, especially up-and-coming ones, operate at a loss while trying to expand their reach.” They continue, stating that “insisting that these translations and this technology be exclusive to Metacritic is a clear abuse of industry power.”

It’s an interested debate to be sure. Is OpenCritic just publicly antagonizing Metacritic for their Translation Exclusivity policy which will obviously hinder them? But in reality, is a smart move designed to keep the former at bay? Or is Metacritic’s new policy something that could have a lasting negative effect on the industry? To surmise, here’s OpenCritic’s position on the situation:

We believe that Metacritic has implemented a policy for new, non-English publications that requires translated quotes be exclusive to Metacritic. In doing so, Metacritic forces additional development and localization costs on publications. We believe this is an anti-industry policy that deliberately attempts to hinder OpenCritic’s international expansion.

Let us know your stance on the situation in the comments below.

Growing up a 90's kid, Jeff found his love for gaming during Nintendo's heyday. Because of that, you could call him a "Nintendo Fanboy" (albeit a rational one) to this day. Outside of his passion for the gaming industry, he’s also an avid sports enthusiast (New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies mainly) and enjoys quality/popular TV shows and movies.