If you take every game I've worked on that's been rated on Metacritic and averaged them all, you can sum up my career in a single number: 69.2.
That's not good.
Sadder still, as time progresses, it's almost consistently downhill:
The Urbz: 70
The Sims 2: 75
The Sims 2 Pets: 68
Those are the five games I had a material contribution on. If you include Lair, where I had an "Additional Design" credit but essentially nothing I did made it into the game anyway, the average goes down even further to 66.5.
This means, if my entire career were averaged out into a current game on the market, it turns out to be... Lost Cities, the card game recently released for the 360 on Live Arcade.
Hrm. That's not a terrible game.
The other current 360 game with a 69 Metacritic: Turok.
It's frustrating. Obviously, everyone wants to do well - for their games to be well-received and fondly remembered. Of all the games I've worked on, only two really fit that bill - Seaman and The Sims 2 for consoles.
The easy excuse is that I've never had any measure of control over the overall quality of the game - I came on to Brooktown quite late, for instance, but the counterpoint to that is that the for the biggest success, Seaman, I had *nothing* to do with the game design, and only had an impact on the implementation (though don't get me wrong, I think there's still significance in that).
So, while Metacritic is obviously not an infallible measure of quality, it's not a terrible one - and it really is up to me to try to make my contribution drag that number up - to make games that are memorable, quality experiences that people *love*.
There's really no other reason to be in this industry, is there?