Steam’s Review-Bomb Shelter
When Borderlands 3 was announced as a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store for PC, review-bombing began on cue. The previous Borderlands titles, which were earning user review scores in the 90% area, were plagued with negative reviews on Steam. Massive waves of review-bombing on Steam began after Metro Exodus was announced to be an Epic Games Store exclusive. Since these reviews are not properly reflecting the actual quality of these games, Steam has developed a system to combat these actions. While these comments are not being removed, users can now see which reviews are actually relevant.
What Steam is doing about review-bombing is slapping an asterisk on certain reviews. These are marked for “off-topic review activity”. That’s basically the professional way of saying “Ignore these fools”. As mentioned above, these reviews are not being removed. The comments that are upvoted the most will still be very visible. The reviews marked with asterisks will have their score removed from calculating the games’ scores. Basically, the games affected by review-bombing will still have an accurate score from before the bombings started, but the comments will remain.
While this implementation may be a direct response to attacks on Epic Games Store exclusivity, this will most likely be extended to other “off-topic” reviews. “This game’s not free. It should be free.” or “I didn’t buy this, but I don’t like the way it looks” type of reviews will also likely be targeted. Steam may have developed this system to retain the quality of their reviews, but a large portion of the affected comments are protesting a rival online store. Perhaps more can be done between competitors to dissuade the negativity toward other stores.
Are you happy with Steam’s anti-review-bombing system? Let us know in the comments below.