Chris Avellone, lead creative designer at Fallout: New Vegasdeveloper Obsidian Entertainment, has claimed that the company did not receive a bonus payment for its work on New Vegasbecause it did not garner a high enough Metacritic score.
The game was released in 2010 for Windows PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, and within a month of launch had shipped 5 million units and made $300 million in sales.
However, Obsidian was told that it would only receive a bonus payment from publisher Bethesda if the game received an 85 or more score from aggregate reviews website Metacritic, says Avellone. The game actually scored 84 on PC and Xbox 360, and 82 on PS3.
Avellone tweeted, "Fallout: New Vegas was a straight payment, no royalties, only a bonus if we got an 85+ on Metacritic, which we didn't."
This isn't the first time this sort of practice has been heard of, with reports in the past from numerous publishers who have based royalties for video game releases on how well a game does on Metacritic.
Gamasutra has contacted Avellone to clarify, and to ask whether he believes receiving this bonus would have allowed the company to dodge the latest round of layoffs this week.