MobyRank FAQ

The following document is a list of Frequently-Asked Questions (and their answers) regarding MobyRank.

Select one of the above links to jump to that section or question.

What is MobyRank?

MobyRank is a statistically accurate metric of critical success for a game using a weighted average of normalized rankings from individual critics. In simple terms, MobyRank is the combination of reviews and rankings from professional critics and reviewers from a number of online, television and print media outlets. The higher the MobyRank, the higher the collective critical opinion is of the game.

Why have a MobyRank?

There has been a lot of criticism of video game journalism. Whether you agree with the criticism or not, there is a lot of variance in video game reviews and rankings. Two different reviewers may give the same game very different scores. Whether a game is "good" or "bad" is highly subjective. By taking a weighted average of individual critics, the game's MobyRank is an accurate metric of the overall critic success of a game. MobyGames believes that MobyRank will be useful in deciding whether you should try a game or not.

What do you mean by normalized rankings?

Some critics score games out of 100. Other critics assign a letter grade such as an A or B. MobyRank normalizes each critic's score to a number between 0 and 100. For example, an A+ would be 100 and a F would be 0. By creating a standard score, critics using different systems can be compared.

Why a weighted average?

There is a lot of variance in video game reviews and rankings. Some critics consistently assign high scores to games; other critics may consistently score games lower. MobyRank assigns a weight to each critic based on their history, accuracy and past variance. Critics with high accuracy, low variance, and high repute have their score weighted higher in the MobyRank calculation than critics with low accuracy, high variance and low repute.

What is each critic's weight?

We do not publish this information. MobyRank is a video game metric, not commentary on the state of video game journalism.

Do you include the MobyScore in the MobyRank calculation?

No. MobyScore is the opinion of people like you. MobyRank is the opinion of the professional critics. Sometimes the critics "get it"; sometimes, they don't. We feel you should have as much information about a game as possible.

Why is a MobyRank missing for my favorite game?

MobyRank requires a certain number of critic scores to be statistically accurate. There may not be enough critic score contributed for your favorite game. You may contribute rankings yourself and when enough are approved a MobyRank will be calculated.

Why does the MobyRank change for a game?

As additional critic scores are added for a game, a more accurate metric to critical success is calculated. Each new score may move the MobyRank higher or lower. Additionally, the weight applied to a critic is computed from that critic's past accuracy, variance and reputation. Over time a critics weight may change, also changing a games MobyRank higher or lower.

What is the scale for letter grades?

Letter grades map to the following points. A and A+ are considered the same score. Similarly F and F- are considered the same score.

I do not see my favorite website, magazine, television in the list?

Media outlets come and go. Websites merge together. New companies are created. Old companies go out of business. If you feel there is a media outlet of high repute that should be included in the MobyRank computation, please contribute it.

You rejected a website I contributed. What gives?

We make a determination each time a media outlet is contributed for consideration to be included in the MobyRank computation. We are always looking for new sources of well written, thoughtful, accurate reviews and rankings. At this time, the website you contributed did not meet our standards. MobyGames does not include aggregate sources in the MobyRank computation Media outlets change over time. Please feel free to contribute the website at some later date.

What are your standards for including a media source?

The following is a rough guideline MobyGames uses to determine whether a source should be included in the MobyRank calculation. In general, a review source should have a large body of work. This is typically at least few hundred reviews for a source that reviews multiple platforms. Exceptions are made for sources that are dedicated to a single platform. Reviews should be well written and of reasonable length. Reviews should have been published at or close to the release date of the game being reviewed. Review sources should be aesthetically pleasing and professional. Online sources should operate under its own domain name. Blogs are typically not included in the MobyRank calculation.

What the heck is an aggregate source?

Aggregate sources are media outlets that combine the scores of individual users or critics. An example: Gamespy will publish an official review for a specific game. Gamespy will also have an average of user contributed reviews. The official Gamespy review is acceptable for inclusion in the MobyRank computation. The average of user contributed reviews is not acceptable. Using aggregate sources may double count certain critics and artificially increase their weight. Aggregate sources scores may change over time as additional sources are added and are considered statistically unreliable. Websites such as MetaCritic, GameRankings, Rotten Tomatos and GameStats are considered aggregate sources and are not included in the MobyRank computation.

What is a review abstract?

A review abstract is a single paragraph that is a concise summation of the review. This is typically the first or last paragraph of the review, but may be from the body of the review as well. Abstracts should come directly from the review itself and should not be paraphrased or edited except in the case of space limitations. A review abstract should be a single paragraph without any additional formatting such as end lines, bold, italic and the like. Review abstracts may contain links to MobyGames material in the form of Moby Tags. Review abstracts are limited to 1000 characters or less. It may be necessary and is entirely permissible to edit the abstract to fit within the space limitations. Submitters can edit an abstract when:

- It otherwise exceeds the 1000 character limit - just cutting text from end or beginning.
- The submitter has to concatenate two or three paragraphs into one if they are very short or make no sense individually. (Without changing meaning).
- Removing sentences which make no sense in an abstract - usually unconnected references to review staff or other parts of the magazine/website.
- Removing platform-specific parts in multiplatform reviews.

I do not know the date of the review?

That is OK. Get as close as possible. Often sources will only publish the month in which the review was made. Other times sources will not publish a date at all. A date is required for each contributed review. Do a little research and get as close as possible.