×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Valve Steps in to Correct ‘Borderlands’ Steam Review Bombings

Last month, Valve said it will start removing negative off-topic user reviews from a game’s review score on its digital storefront Steam. On Friday, it put its new policy to work by excluding thousands of reviews for Gearbox Software’s “Borderlands” franchise.

“Review bombing” is when disgruntled fans try to intentionally harm a game’s sales by leaving negative feedback. While it’s sometimes done over unpopular changes to a game, it’s also used to protest unrelated issues.

In this case, Gearbox Software fans are angry over the developer’s decision to sign a limited-time exclusivity deal with the Epic Games Store for the PC version of its upcoming shooter “Borderlands 3.” The title won’t hit other storefronts, like Steam, until April 2020.

Gearbox announced the exclusivity deal on Apr. 3. One day later, “Borderlands 2” received about 1,100 negative reviews focused on the Epic Games Store and not the game itself.

“Was a great game ’til you find out 3 will not be on Steam for half a year,” one user wrote. “Don’t let these companies screw us around like this.”

Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford commented on the review bombing on Friday, saying that misuse of the Steam user review system made him happier with the decision to go with the Epic Games Store. He also pointed out that publisher 2K Games, and not Gearbox, makes all of the decisions about things like platforms, pricing, and exclusivity.

Other “Borderlands” titles were review bombed on Steam as well, which caused Valve to step in and investigate. It ultimately decided to exclude off-topic feedback left between Apr. 3 and Apr. 8 on all of the affected games.

The Epic Games Store has signed a number of timed exclusivity deals with high-profile titles since its launch late last year, including “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2,” “Metro Exodus,” and “The Outer Worlds.”

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Call of Duty Modern Warfare

    Call of Duty League Commissioner on Why It's Time for a Franchise Model

    “Call of Duty” esports is officially headed for a city-based model. Publisher Activision Blizzard announced over the summer that the newly coined Call of Duty League will have a franchised, home-and-away structure immediately when it launches its inaugural season in early 2020. It’s set 12 teams in 11 cities, and the roster mania has already [...]

  • Nintendo Switch

    Nintendo Switch Unit Sales Top 15 Million in North America Since Launch

    Nintendo is tooting its own horn, boasting that the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems have together sold over 15 million units in North America to date. That’s according to the company’s own internal data. As of July, the Nintendo Switch had sold over 36 million consoles worldwide, the company said. Nintendo Switch carries [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': Respawn CEO on Telling the Story Behind 'Becoming a Jedi'

    When it comes to media properties, it doesn’t get much bigger than “Star Wars.” That sentiment certainly isn’t lost on Vince Zampella, CEO of Respawn Entertainment, the studio behind “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The title, which follows Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis (voiced by Cameron Monaghan) after the events of “Episode III — Revenge of [...]

  • Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

    'Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order': What to Expect From EA and Respawn's Latest

    There’s a lot riding on “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” The upcoming title from EA and Respawn is the first major single-player “Star Wars” video game since 2008’s “The Force Unleashed,” and is one of the most anticipated games of 2019. After years of multiplayer adventures, could “Fallen Order” be the title that brings the [...]

  • Google Stadia Game Streaming Service Launching

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service Will Launch Nov. 19

    Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh gave us an update on the company’s game streaming service Stadia during the company’s fall hardware event in New York Tuesday: Stadia will be available to the public on Nov. 19. Stadia promises to stream games directly from the cloud, with no need to buy a full-blown game console. Consumers [...]

  • Fortnite Chapter 2

    'Fortnite' Emerges From Black Hole With All-New Island in Chapter 2

    After its previous world was sucked into a black hole, “Fortnite” is back — with an all-new island featuring a map with 13 different locations. The latest installment of the free-to-play battle royale game, which publisher Epic Games calls the first season of “Fortnite” Chapter 2, went live early Tuesday at around 6 a.m. ET. [...]

  • Fortnite-Season-X-Out-of-Time

    'Fortnite' Goes Dark: A Masterful Marketing Stroke by Epic Games

    On Sunday, “Fortnite” — the most popular game on Earth right now — without warning, imploded into darkness. At around 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 13, a meteor in Season 10 of “Fortnite” that had been biding its time set off a cataclysmic chain reaction that sucked up everything on the the island and eventually [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content