Last year, OpenCritic announced that they would be opening up applications to international publications, removing their requirement of only accepting English-only publications. This now means that not only can international readers view reviews from their own country but expands the potential reach that up-and-coming websites find helpful as they expand. The biggest requirement that is unique to international publications from both OpenCritic and Metacritic is that the publication provides the aggregation websites with an English quote. While both have opened up their sites to international applications, OpenCritic believes that Metacritic is now requiring these sites to provide an exclusively translated quote to Metacritic while having to prepare a separate quote for any other website and remove public access to the quotes.
From OpenCritic's press release:
On one hand, we’re excited: the timing would indicate that Metacritic is feeling uneasy with our recent progress. However, we strongly believe translation exclusivity is anti-industry and want to raise awareness about its implications.OpenCritic openly stated that while they believe that this development is in retaliation to their own growth, and that they think this act is anti-industry. This also isn't the first time Metacritic has been found to be using OpenCritic's development in its own interest, if this is indeed true. On the 25th of May 2016, it was brought to light that Metacritic was sourcing reviews from OpenCritic by changing aspects of the URLs in their reviews that could then be found on their competitor's page; if you wish to read the full TwitLonger detailing these events, you can here.
For some publications, having to create multiple English quotes requires sites to pay more for translation work and in some cases has even resulted in poor translations. OpenCritic also provided evidence of some of these less than stellar translations. They went on to make a point that for a lot of these publications, having their work displayed on a site like Metacritic can not only provide reach but also a sense of legitimacy, and with Metacritic being the current dominant aggregation site, OpenCritic asks, "Who does this policy help other than Metacritic?"
The statement ends saying they believe that the snippet written, or translated, by a publication is property of that publication and they should not be restricted by an outside company like Metacritic, especially "in order to broaden their audience and solidify their domain authority."
We have reached out to Metacritic for comment and will update this article when we receive a reply.
What do you think of OpenCritic's accusations? Do you believe that these accused actions are indeed Anti-Industry? Do you believe that a site should be able to share their quote wherever they want? Share your thoughts in the comments below!