Obsidian Missed out on Bonus for Fallout: New Vegas Because of Metacritic Score

Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone revealed yesterday on Twitter that his company didn't get paid bonuses for Fallout: New Vegas because the game was one point shy of the required Metacritic score of 85. Apparently its publishing contract with Bethesda had a clause in it that said they would get a bonus for hitting a Metacritic score of 85, but because the game came in at 84 they didn't receive any extra money. The sad part of all this is that Fallout: New Vegas raked in over $300 million in sales (on five million units sold) for Bethesda by the end of 2010.

Avellone's revelation came in response to a question about Fallout: New Vegas sales:

"@Gahzcan FNV was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn't," said Avellone.

Yesterday it was revealed that Obsidian had let 20 – 30 employees go, scalping back the teams working on the South Park RPG for publisher THQ and an unnamed next-generation game project.

Source: Develop

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  1. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    Maybe next contract they will negotiate some kind of scale.  Say, 80-84 is a small bonus, 85-89 is a larger one, etc.  Kind of a drag for them this time, but that's the contract they were working under, so tough cookies.  Unless it comes out that Bethesda manipulated the MC scores down to get out of paying the bonuses.  Wouldn't that be an interesting twist?  devil

  2. 0
    Hevach says:

    I could be remembering wrong, but I think it was the developer in the case I remember offhand. It was the Gears of War 3 guy who went on rant after rant because of 8.5 and 9.0 reviews in magazines and then an 87 or something on Metacritic.

  3. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    That sucks balls, since FNV was a way better game than FO3 was, in my opinion.

    But that's how the cookies crumble. A deal is a deal, afterall.

  4. 0
    Kal says:

    >One point on the game's Metacritic scores could have helped earn Obsidian a much deserved reward.

    -ECA Today newsletter


    I'm sorry, but am I the only one who doesn't think they deserved a bonus? I mean, come on, the game was like half done. It crashes every 10 minutes. The thing needed like a solid year of bugtesting before they released it.

  5. 0
    djnforce9 says:

    I guess they had to set the bar somewhere but I still feel those developers were cheated out of their hard earned bonus. I can understand maybe being around three or more points off the mark but a measly one??

  6. 0
    RedMage says:

    That admittedly wasn't the best phrasing.  It just seems bizarre to set 85 as good enough reception that the developers qualify for a bonus when 84 still essentially means the review community thinks your game is great.

  7. 0
    Kajex says:

    I'm not sure I can take a side. Remember, Obsidian worked on the game, but it was still Bethesda's IP. Sure, it's kinda lame that they were so close, but not close enough, but a deal's a deal…

  8. 0
    Hevach says:

    If there's a bright side to this, it's that at least we have some idea why certain developers have thrown such ridiculous hissy fits about Metacritic scores in the mid to upper 80's.

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