×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Off-Topic ‘Review Bombs’ No Longer Affect Game Scores on Steam

Valve is going to start identifying off-topic “review bombs” and remove them from a game’s review score on Steam, it said in a blog post on Friday.

“Review bombing” is a common internet phenomenon where disgruntled fans leave negative reviews on a work to intentionally harm its sales. Sometimes, negative feedback is over unpopular changes to a game, but it can also be for unrelated issues. For example, people recently review bombed the post-apocalyptic shooter “Metro Exodus” on Steam after its publisher decided to make the PC version an Epic Games Store exclusive.

Valve identifies an “off-topic review bomb” as a large number of reviews in a short period of time aimed at lowering a game’s score, where the reviews in question are about a topic it considers unrelated to the likelihood that future game buyers will be happy if they purchase the game.

“Obviously, there’s a grey area here, because there’s a wide range of things that players care about,” Valve said.

The company said it’s built a tool that identifies anomalous review activity on all Steam games “in as close to real-time as possible.” The tool then notifies a team of people at Valve who will investigate. Once the team discovers an off-topic review bomb, it’ll mark the time period it happened and notify the game’s developer. The reviews within that time period will be removed from the game’s score calculation, but will remain visible on Steam. Valve said it’s making it clear when users are looking at a store page where some reviews were removed. It’s also improved the UI around anomalous review periods.

Developers have the option to opt out of the new review system entirely and keep off-topic review bombs in their game’s score, Valve said.

More Gaming

  • Unity's Latest Demo is Visually Stunning

    Unity's Latest Demo is Visually Stunning 'The Heretic' (Watch)

    Unity’s annual Game Developer Conference keynote wrapped up Monday evening with an amazing visual treat: the latest creation from the company’s demo team. The new creation, designed to show off all of the bells and whistles of the ever-evolving Unity game engine, is a short film called “The Heretic.” The real-time cinematic runs at 30 [...]

  • 'System Shock 3' Gets Brief Teaser

    'System Shock 3' Gets Brief Teaser (Watch)

    Developer Warren Spector took to the stage during Unity’s GDC keynote to give a look at the game and note it is being built on the Unity game engine. Spector joined OtherSide Entertainment in 2016 and is currently helping the studio with “System Shock 3.” Earlier this year, troubled video game publisher Starbreeze sold the [...]

  • 'Call of Duty: Mobile' Public Beta

    'Call of Duty: Mobile' Public Beta Hits This Summer (Watch)

    “Call of Duty: Mobile” is coming to North America, South America, Europe, and other regions outside of China, Activision announced during Unity’s GDC keynote Monday night. The company also gave people a first look at the Android and iOS game in action, which is expecting a public beta this summer. The free-to-play game, which was [...]

  • The Problem of Toxicity in Esports

    The Problem of Toxicity in Esports (and Two Solutions)

    Toxicity in esports is a legacy problem, but a trio of researchers are aiming to change that. Esports’ struggle with inclusion is a longstanding problem, but recent efforts in combating sexism and racism in the gaming space have had a noticeable impact on a pair of university campuses. For Phil Alexander, an assistant professor of [...]

  • 'ICO,' 'Shadow of the Colossus' Animator

    'ICO,' 'Shadow of the Colossus' Animator Explains Challenges of Creating VR Characters

    Convincing players to believe in a video game character that can only communicate through non-verbal actions is difficult. In virtual reality, it’s even more of a challenge. This was the subject of a talk given Monday at the Game Developers Conference by legendary Atsuko Fukuyama. She was one of the animators behind beloved games like [...]

  • Unity and Nvidia Offer Devs Early

    Unity and Nvidia Offer Devs Early Access to Real-Time Ray Tracing

    Unity Technologies is partnering with computer graphics company Nvidia to offer production-focused early-access to real-time ray tracing, they announced during the Game Developers Conference on Monday. The two companies are offering an optimized preview solution for customers in the second half of 2019. Their real-time ray tracing promises photorealistic image quality and lighting for projects [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content