Sony’s First-Party Studios Aim for a 90% Metacritic Score According to Former Dev

Sony's First-Party Studios Aim for a 90% Metacritic Score According to Former Dev
Written by Alexis

During a recent episode of Flow Games L.A., former Santa Monica Studio art director Rafael Grassetti shed some light on Sony’s standards for its first-party studios. With a particular focus on powerhouse developers Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio, Grassetti revealed that achieving a 90% Metacritic score is a target for every game they develop. This ambitious pursuit of excellence reflects the dedication to quality that has propelled Sony’s first-party studios to the forefront of the gaming industry.

A Culture of High Standards

Image from the Last of Us Part II

Achieving a high Metacritic score is no small feat; however, Sony’s first-party studios have a history of excelling in gaming. Much of this success can be attributed to the culture of high standards and consistent aspirations toward greatness that Sony instills in its developers.

With titles such as Uncharted, The Last of Us, and God of War under their belt, both Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio have consistently pushed the envelope with their respective franchises. This dedication to excellence has earned Sony’s first-party studios a reputation for delivering top-notch gaming experiences, and their unwavering commitment to maintaining a 90% Metacritic target exemplifies their ongoing aspiration for greatness.

The Role of Metacritic in the Gaming Industry

Metacritic scores serve as a benchmark for measuring the quality of video games, compiling review scores from numerous gaming publications into an aggregate score. Gamers often use these scores to gauge the merit of a title, and they can hugely impact a game’s success or failure in the marketplace. As such, aiming for a 90% Metacritic score represents Sony’s proactive approach to pursuing critical acclaim, which increases the likelihood of commercial success.

For developers, high Metacritic scores can translate to better sales figures and increased job security, demonstrating the value of their creative output to the company and the wider gaming industry. By striving for a 90% score, Sony and its developers are directly incentivized to create exceptional gaming experiences.

A Testament to Quality: Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio

Image from God of War Ragnarok

Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio are prime examples of studios consistently delivering world-class gaming experiences, earning them multiple awards and accolades in the industry. Their dedication to quality is widely acknowledged thanks to the several stellar titles in their catalog.

Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series and The Last of Us franchise are genre-defining experiences that showcase the studio’s remarkable ability to blend storytelling, character development, and gameplay mechanics. These titles have consistently garnered Metacritic scores above 90%, with the 2020s The Last of Us Part II securing a 93% Metacritic rating, further solidifying Naughty Dog’s status as a gaming industry titan.

Similarly, Santa Monica Studio – best known for its work on the illustrious God of War franchise – has a reputation for creating thrilling, visually stunning games. The studio’s most recent release, 2022’s God of War: Ragnarok, dazzled fans and critics alike, earning it a 94% Metacritic score.

The Broader Impact of a 90% Metacritic Target

While a 90% Metacritic score may be the target for Sony’s first-party studios, it also sends a clear message to the rest of the gaming industry that holds a constant pursuit of excellence and innovation above all else. This commitment creates healthy competition among developers, driving them to make more engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining gaming experiences worldwide.


Rafael Grassetti’s revelation that Sony’s first-party studios – specifically Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio – strive for a 90% Metacritic score speaks volumes about their unyielding pursuit of excellence when developing games. As both studios have consistently demonstrated their ability to create exceptional gaming experiences, it is evident that the 90% target has served them well in pushing the boundaries of the medium and delivering unforgettable experiences for gamers worldwide.

Ultimately, setting a high Metacritic benchmark illuminates Sony’s commitment to providing quality gaming experiences for its audience while fostering a competitive spirit within the gaming industry that benefits gamers everywhere. With the continued dedication to excellence from Sony’s first-party studios, there is no doubt that future titles will continue to captivate players and leave a lasting impression on the gaming landscape.

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