×
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

  • Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2'

    Ubisoft to Discuss 'The Division 2' Plans Wednesday

    Ubisoft will spend some time outlining the current status and the future of its online shooter “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2” during a State of the Game livestream on Wednesday, it announced on Twitter. The stream airs at 3 p.m. GMT/8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST. Ubisoft isn’t giving any details about what it will discuss. [...]

  • Just Cause

    'Just Cause' Video Game Getting Movie Adaptation From 'John Wick' Writer

    “Just Cause” is the latest video game getting the movie treatment. Germany’s Constantin Film has acquired movie rights to the “Just Cause” video game franchise and hired “John Wick” creator Derek Kolstad to write the script. Constantin Film’s Robert Kulzer and Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh will produce the pic with Kolstad, who has written [...]

  • Saint Louis, MO - April 13:

    State Farm Extends its 'League of Legends' Esports Sponsorship Through 2021

    Insurance company State Farm has opted to extend its sponsorship of multiple “League of Legends” esports properties through 2021, according to a press release. State Farm started its sponsorship in 2018, and will continue to support the North America League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), as well as three “League of Legends” esports events: the [...]

  • 'Dauntless' Full Launch Supports PS4, Xbox

    'Dauntless' Full Launch Supports PS4, Xbox One, PC 'True Cross-Play'

    Co-op RPG “Dauntless” gets its full release Tuesday and will support complete cross-play across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, according to a press release. The free to play game is coming out of its beta period with improvements based on the feedback of players. “Dauntless” having complete cross-play functionality at launch is a huge [...]

  • Oculus Rift CES 2017

    'Phantom: Covert Ops' Brings VR Stealth to Oculus Quest and Rift

    Stealth-centric virtual reality game “Phantom: Covert Ops” is coming to Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift devices later this year, and developer nDreams has released new in-game footage giving a glimpse of what is to come. In “Phantom: Covert Ops,” players take on the role of an elite covert operative with a single night to prevent [...]

  • Sony Compares Next Gen PlayStation Load

    Sony Compares Next Gen PlayStation Load Times to PS4 Pro

    A video comparison between the performance of a PlayStation 4 Pro and Sony’s next-generation PlayStation shows off the speed of the latter, as shared by Wall Street Journal reporter Takashi Mochizuki via Twitter on Tuesday. The main focus seems to be the rendering times in the side-by-side comparison, as a countdown appears just above the [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R.

    'Game of Thrones' Author George R.R. Martin Consults on Video Game

    George R. R. Martin, the famed author of the “Game of Thrones” book series, has consulted on an upcoming video game currently being developed in Japan, this according to a blog post from the author which lays out the work he is now up to in the wake of the HBO television series finale. “I’m [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content