We didn’t make this up; this comment comes from John Garvin, the director (or, to be exact, the co-director, as Jeff Ross also had this role…) of Days Gone, and since he put the game together under a Sony Interactive Entertainment studio (Bend), he knows best.
David Jaffe, the creator of Twisted Metal and God of War interviewed Ross last week, but this time, he invited his colleague. Garvin, who not only directed Days Gone but also wrote it, said the following: „I took it [the initial review scores] hard, to be honest, because, again…This is just the reality of Sony, Metacritic score is everything. If you’re the creative director on a franchise and your game is coming out to a 70, you’re not going to be the creative director on that franchise for very long.” He left SIE Bend Studio a couple of days after Days Gone launched on PlayStation 4 (April 2019).
Sony has released a few games with solid Metacritic average scores (because that’s what the single number is: it’s an aggregate of multiple reviews from around the world), such as Ghost of Tsushima – Sucker Punch; Dreams – Media Molecule; Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games; Horizon Zero Dawn – Guerrilla Games; just to name a few examples.
It means Sony has two pillars when it comes to its mentality: one, the game has to be a commercial success (in other words, be profitable), and two, it has to get good reviews from the press. For instance, SIE Japan Studio‘s Team Gravity’s Gravity Rush 2 had an 80 score on Metacritic, but the game’s sales weren’t as good, leading to Team Gravity not getting another chance, and now, SIE Japan Studio is also essentially gone…