Pick an upcoming game. Odds are, it’s a B+

Everyone knows that us WoW players love us some maths. Some love maths more than others, true.

So it’s very interesting for me to see someone doing serious statistical analysis on game reviews, of all things. Brainy Gamer’s been living up to his name and getting the slide rule out, and the results are very interesting:

Major releases, with few exceptions, aggregate inside a very narrow spectrum of scores. Publisher, platform, genre – none of these appear to matter (unless you’re Valve or Blizzard).

The data suggests that if you’re developing a AAA game, you’re probably headed for a B+, an A- if you’re lucky, or a plain old B if you’re not. Don’t worry about a C. That just won’t happen. Unless your name is Duke.

Warning – you may need to know a little bit of math for this post. Notably, you’ll need to know what a Standard Deviation is – in short, it’s a measure of how widely spread results are from their average. Higher numbers mean wider spread – if the average is 5, that could mean that the actual numbers were 2, 3, 7, and 8, for example. A lower deviation means a tighter spread: average 5, actual numbers 4, 5, 5, 6. The very low standard deviations he’s talking about in the post mean that every result is very closely clustered around the average.

He goes on to talk a bit about the reasons for this – going into some of the same ideas that have been floating around the blogosphere for a while, to do with the success of sequels and franchises. It’s interesting stuff. And it’s remarkable to see just how extreme the situation is – what will save us, I wonder?

Do you feel the franchise/sequel problem is as bad as all that in games? And do you have any ideas how it can be fixed?

_Quote taken directly from Brainy Gamer’s post.

Find Brainy Gamer’s homepage at http://www.brainygamer.com_


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