Steam Implementing Changes to Cull Review Bombing

Review bombing has finally caught the eye of Valve. After the conflict between Pewdiepie and Campo Santo, followed by the lambasting of Firewatch, has made them take action. Their solution is to add a histogram of reviews, allowing customers to notice significant dips and rises in the User Score. That way, at least people will be able to see that something out of the ordinary has happened and do their own research. Not the best solution, maybe, but at least it’s something.

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Steam Implementing Changes to Cull Review Bombing
Steam Implementing Changes to Cull Review Bombing

Valve has decided to do something about the practice of review bombing. This is probably their response to the well-publicized controversy between Pewdiepie and Firewatch developer Campo Santo. Long story short, fans of Pewdiepie flocked to Steam and review bombed Firewatch, bringing down the score significantly. The practice of review bombing is nothing new, of course, but it seems that Valve want to finally combat it in some way.

According to their post on the Steam blog, Valve has considered several different options. For example, they thought of removing the User Score completely. That way, people would have to actually read the reviews. So, if they think that the review is unfair, they can choose to ignore it. The other thing Valve considered was placing temporary locks on reviewing. Ultimately, though, they decided against all of that.

Their solution, for now, is implementing a timeline / histogram of positive and negative reviews. That way, new customers will be able to notice any anomaly in the reviews. After that, they can do research for themselves. Valve claim that, after review bombing, the score recovers completely. Unless the cause of the bombing was something that actually affected the game and made players unhappy. That being the case, then the timeline should be enough. You can check out what it looks like below. Hopefully, this will at least cull review bombing somewhat.

New Steam User Review System Changes
Author JoeTheBard profile picture
A language teacher and video game enthusiast turned rogue, Joe is on a quest to become the ultimate gaming journalist. This is somewhat hampered by his belief that the golden age of gaming ended with the PlayStation One, but he doesn't let that stop him. His favorite games include Soul Reaver and Undertale. Other interests are D'n'D, dad rock, complaining about movies, and being the self-appointed office funny man, which nobody else agrees with.


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