"Review bombers" will finally be shut up by Valve

Steam awards

"One thing we've noticed is that the issue players are concerned about can often be outside the game itself", Kroll wrote. We think this makes sense when you realize that, generally speaking, earlier purchasers of a game are more likely to enjoy it than later purchasers. In the cases where the Review Score didn't return fully to its prior level, we believe the issue behind the review bomb genuinely did affect the happiness of future purchasers of the game, and ended up being accurately reflected in the regular ongoing reviews submitted by new purchasers. Two days, later Steam Spy reported that Firewatch saw 510 negative review scores posted, dramatically altering the user score on the game's Steam page.

In the thread above, Quinn also detailed her own experience with Steam saying that when she reached out to Valve for help on a harassment-related issue, the company essentially told her that she was on her own. These pretty little graphs show the ratio of a game's positive-to-negative reviews over time, and if you hover over a specific date range, they'll show you a sample of the reviews posted in that time.

Valve has considered the review system such a major problem that it did even consider, for a while, removing reviews completely reports PCGames. They could have prevented users from editing their reviews after a certain period of time has passed. Instead, the implemented system intends to place the power in the hands of the consumer, as Kroll mentions in the blog post. As a potential purchaser, it's easy to spot temporary distortions in the reviews, to investigate why that distortion occurred, and decide for yourself whether it's something you care about. Review bombing doesn't seem to be going anywhere for the time being, but at least we'll be a little more informed about it going forward.

Review bombing is what happens when a group of people flood a website with user reviews at the same time - nearly always negative or 1-star reviews - attempting to radically alter the public perception of a product. When it comes to the Review Score itself, however, it's even less clear that these out-of-game reasons are relevant. This occurs when a developer or publisher does something that many gamers feel very negatively about. It could do literally nothing for the average joe.

At the time of writing, the histogram has been added to all games on Steam.

A couple of days afterward, Firewatch received 510 negative scores that altered the game's user score on Steam, according to Steam Spy. Regardless of what you think of PewDiePie these reviews hardly reflect the quality of the game. But it would give developers the time to focus on their games instead of handling the hateful mobs, who are angry just because a developer made a game about refugees or included a transgender NPC. Kotaku's Grayson points to a fetishistic faith that if people are badly manipulating data, the answer is to add more data.

This isn't a change that has a consensus to be simply good or bad.

So instead, Valve made a decision to not change anything about how the reviews themselves work, but it would offer a "histogram" chart revealing the curve of user reviews over time.

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