Last update: July 17, 2022
The playscore is a rating that combines aggregate critic and user review scores. It serves as a gauge of the overall reception of a video game and to help gamers decide which games to buy.
The playscore has four attributes that make it a better measure of the reception of a game.
Historically, ratings used by video game aggregators like MetaCritic and OpenCritic are purely based on critic review scores.
Only aggregating critic scores may be the norm but a consumer study published in 2016 found that user reviews affect buying decisions. By combining critic and gamer scores, whatoplay offers an alternative approach to evaluating games.
The performance of a game can vary between devices for several reasons:
To accurately aggregate reviews, scores must be attributed to their corresponding platforms. Doing otherwise is irresponsible. Hence, the multi-platform games receive separate playscores.
GEARS 5 is a perfect example of this. It was well-received on the Xbox One with a playscore of 8.85. Meanwhile, the PC version is plagued with performance issues leading to a lower playscore of 7.13.
Aggregate scores are only as good as their sources. To ensure that we only draw reviews from trustworthy sources, we impose the following criteria to our accredited publications:
Note: For transparency, we listed our accredited sources. Every three months, we audit all our sources by adding new ones or removing others and putting them in the inactive resources list.
Modern games are continually updated months, even years, after launch. These updates can affect the overall gaming experience. Updates may include new features, balance updates, introduction of lootboxes, and technical improvements.
These updates are usually followed by new reviews from gamers and, in some case, even critics will update their scores. We keep pace with these shifts in reception by keeping track of changes to scores and recalculating the playscore every 2 hours.
A good example is Dark Souls III on PC. When it was released in April 2016, it received a playscore of 7.88, primarily due to technical issues gamers experienced. Over the years, subsequent patches fixed and improved the game leading to a higher playscore of 8.96.
The algorithm that calculates the playscore follows two steps. First, it calculates two separate aggregate scores: one for critics, another for gamers. Second, it calculates the playscore by averaging the aggregate critic and gamer scores.
|Platform||Minimum Required Critics||Minimum Required Gamers|
|Nintendo Wii U||3||30|
Note: The minimum requirement for each platform can change depending on available sources of reviews.
The color is an indicator of what range the playscore of a game belongs to. It serves as a visual aid when skimming across a long list of games. There are three colors identifying three score ranges:
The algorithm calculates the playscores of all games in our database every 60 minutes. When a whatoplay user publishes a review, it's aggregated immediately and the game's playscore is adjusted in real-time.
Only games that reach the requirements receive a playscore. Those that didn't are marked “NA'', for “not applicable”. If a game only reaches the minimum count for either critic or gamer reviews, we display and label the average scores.
The short answer is, as often as possible. We have two ways of aggregating reviews from different sources:
All critic reviews are manually checked and added by our team of data curators. This means reading the review and saving details (url, score, quote, author, etc.) into our database.
Keeping track of external gamer reviews is more complex. We developed hundreds of data scrapers that automatically gather reviews from various sources on the web. How often they capture new info depends on how frequently the sources are updated.
For instance, new games are likely to receive more reviews in its first month of release; thus, they’re updated every couple of hours. Meanwhile, older games are only updated, at least, once a week.