Valve announced that it has added a new feature to the Steam platform with the aim of fighting the alarming trend for review-bombing users have utilized.
The review-bombing is one of the approaches Steam users adopted as a way to express their annoyance with a change or announcement a developer makes. They target a developer’s game on Steam and flood it with negative comments. As a result, games’ scores plummet and based on the negative reviews, potential buyers would re-consider their decision to purchase the game.
To remedy the situation, Valve has considered different approaches including the complete removal of review score or locking reviews on games if an abnormal activity is detected. However, the team decided that none of them was a viable option. That is why they decided to change the way that players see the reviews.
Valve’s announcement reads: “Starting today, each game page now contains a histogram of the positive to negative ratio of reviews over the entire lifetime of the game, and by clicking on any part of the histogram you’re able to read a sample of the reviews from that time period.”
Therefore, potential customers will be able to spot any abnormal activity, investigate why it has occurred and evaluate whether this is yet another review bomb or a genuine user feedback.
The review bombing has been among the critical issues Valve had to solve. As RealGear reported, players have previously used the Steam platform to express their frustration with the lack of information about Half-Life 3.
However, the tension has escalated when players bombarded Firewatch with negative reviews. Their resentment was provoked by the recent issue with the popular vlogger PewDiePie who dropped a racial slur during a stream. Shortly after, the Firewatch developer Campo Santo filed a DMCA takedown against him.
Although most games affected by a review bombing restore their score, some of them suffer consequences long after the controversy dies down.