Valve Addresses Review Bombing on Steam by Removing Them from Review Scores

Megalith

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To mitigate the effects of review bombing, Valve announced Friday it has a built a tool that would identify and alert the moderation team of any game with “anomalous review activity.” After a case of review bombing is confirmed, the reviews submitted under this time period would then be removed from the review score calculation. Gamers can opt out of this change, however, and “off-topic review bombs” will remain on the site for anyone curious enough to read them.

Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer. The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation. As before, the reviews themselves are left untouched - if you want to dig into them to see if they're relevant to you, you'll still be able to do so. To help you do that, we've made it clear when you're looking at a store page where we've removed some reviews by default, and we've further improved the UI around anomalous review periods.
 

Stryke1983

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Seems reasonable at first glance, especially as it gives you the clear choice of whether to see them or not. If I'm using reviews to help determine whether or not I want to buy a game I don't want to have to wade through thousands of complaints from people just bitching about the developer's political views, etc.
 

MMitch

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So if a SaS game suddenly implements something really shitty and gamers review the game accordingly, how will that be differentiated?

I suppose the review team need to confirm those are categorized as "review bombing" before applying the sorting which you can anyway opt-out and review for yourself to confirm.
Obvious bombing will be caught while review based on a true sentiment should be allowed (Your example).

Again, nothing is perfect and can be abused. The good point is you can still review those marked as bombing.
 
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I suppose the review team need to confirm those are categorized as "review bombing" before applying the sorting which you can anyway opt-out and review for yourself to confirm.
Obvious bombing will be caught while review based on a true sentiment should be allowed (Your example).

Again, nothing is perfect and can be abused. The good point is you can still review those marked as bombing.

i think if they WILL do something like that it'd be good. i really dont think they will however.
i do like that they're not flat removing it entirely and its something you can opt out of ... so this is good.
 

STEvil

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I suppose the review team need to confirm those are categorized as "review bombing" before applying the sorting which you can anyway opt-out and review for yourself to confirm.
Obvious bombing will be caught while review based on a true sentiment should be allowed (Your example).

Again, nothing is perfect and can be abused. The good point is you can still review those marked as bombing.

Sure, I can and those of us who know how to do it, but an inexperienced user is less likely to know how.
 

velusip

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I'm guessing this doesn't detect paid/free key/influencer reviews.
 

Lumpus

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Sheeple, haven't you heard the word? Our corporate master overlords don't want their prey (customers) to comment or review any of their products or interfere with their right to soak the consumer.

What is already happening with Disney coercing Rotten Tomatos to prevent review bombing of Star Wars/Captain Mary Sue is also already affecting AAA gaming titles too. They can't let a bad game released too early affect your quarterly profits, now can they?

/has to be the fault of toxic fans, gamers, etc
/;) :p
 

Bobert

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I wonder which publishers pressured Valve into doing this.
Throw some darts and you will win. :LOL:

1506950278044.jpg
 

Ebernanut

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I strongly dislike the term review bomb, it's an obvious attempt to demonize negative reviews and make them sound militant. If a bunch of people dislike something about a game that makes it more relevant to the discussion not less and from the so called review bombs that I've seen they are generally very transparent about why they're leaving a negative review.

The only reviews they should remove are paid for reviews and obvious attempts to game the system and leave multiple reviews.
 

SuicidalGoat

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Reading through this thread, I feel like I am on the outside of the 'norm'

I personally don't want to wade through mass amounts of nerdrage butthurt or the trigger of the day. A game should stand or fall based on the positive and negative reviews through its life. Not get tanked because of (often misplaced) internet outrage. Have I left a negative review based on changes a dev made that I believe negatively impacted the game? Yes. Do I agree with Valve giving us the tools to make informed decisions? also yes.
 

tetris42

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I'm skeptical about this system. What's to distinguish a review bomb from a developer making an update change that breaks or ruins something about the game, causing a flood of players to give it negative reviews? Or what about an early access game that has positive reviews, then they come out and say they're not going to finish it, sparking a bunch of negative reviews, since they were expecting a finished game?

I agree not wanting review bombs over something unrelated to the game itself, but a bunch of negative reviews all of a sudden is sometimes earned naturally instead of anything orchestrated.
 

GoldenTiger

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Reading through this thread, I feel like I am on the outside of the 'norm'

I personally don't want to wade through mass amounts of nerdrage butthurt or the trigger of the day. A game should stand or fall based on the positive and negative reviews through its life. Not get tanked because of (often misplaced) internet outrage. Have I left a negative review based on changes a dev made that I believe negatively impacted the game? Yes. Do I agree with Valve giving us the tools to make informed decisions? also yes.
This.
 

HAL_404

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i don't read game reviews ... I wait for gameplay videos to get posted on YouTube and turn the volume off if the footage has player narration then decide for myself if I like it or not

remember the day way back when, when game trailers were Hollywood - like productions and looked nothing like the gameplay experience?
 

BreezeDM

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Game constant crashes or slows down because of DRM software - Off topic
Game installs kernel level scanner - Off topic
Game update requires accepting EULA that is illegal in most countries - Off topic
Game scrapes personal details from unrelated files on your system - Off topic
Game releases update that censors content - Off topic

Those are all things I and a lot of gamers care about before buying a game.
 

Delicieuxz

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It's a disingenuous propaganda manoeuver by Valve that isn't targeting review bombing, but is targeting any significant negative review period for the sake of boosting sales.

Valve say they're counting reviews that criticize things like DRM preventing people from being able to play a game or which causes serious issues with a game as a "review bomb" because DRM isn't technically a part of the game. That's parallel to saying that any negative review criticizing bugs which prevent people from enjoying or at all playing a game is a review bomb because bugs technically aren't a part of the 'game', either.

In other words, Valve are saying that any review that critiques the real-world presentation of the game and doesn't delusionally review a fantasy no-issues conception of the developer's optimal vision of the game is a "review bomb".

It's absurd. And what Valve are doing is also, like what Tim Sweeney is doing, is pissing in our faces and telling us that it's raining.
 
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Armenius

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Is the opt-out option universal, or do I have to enable the stupid thing every time I visit a product page? If it's the latter I'll be very upset.
 

NickJames

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I'm guessing this doesn't detect paid/free key/influencer reviews.

Usually those reviews are tagged as such

I am not a fan of this method of fixing review bombing because then it increases the overall score of the game. I tend to look at the game, look at the score, if it's low/avg then I look at reviews and if I see review bombing I find out why then make up my mind. Now I need to go straight to reviews first since the overall score will be manipulated. Definitely an opt-out for me.
 

Delicieuxz

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Is the opt-out option universal, or do I have to enable the stupid thing every time I visit a product page? If it's the latter I'll be very upset.

The setting stays the same after setting it. However, the setting doesn't work for me, and pages with negative reviews still show the filtered score and number of reviews at the top of the page.


1577856794_Valvereviewfraud.jpg.a49cea4391ef9e9b701d2a2af127dbcc.jpg
 

Armenius

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Usually those reviews are tagged as such

I am not a fan of this method of fixing review bombing because then it increases the overall score of the game. I tend to look at the game, look at the score, if it's low/avg then I look at reviews and if I see review bombing I find out why then make up my mind. Now I need to go straight to reviews first since the overall score will be manipulated. Definitely an opt-out for me.
I'll add that if I don't get a clear picture on whether or not it's just whinging I'll go to the Discussions and see what is actively being talked about. It can add further context to any issues.
The setting stays the same after setting it. However, the setting doesn't work for me, and pages with negative reviews still show the filtered score and number of reviews at the top of the page.


View attachment 148855
I read the post linked in the OP and they said that it is in Steam Setting under the Store section. I'll check it out when I get home.
 

Delicieuxz

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To access the setting, click the downward-pointing arrow next to your name at the top-right of the Steam store, and choose Preferences.

The setting looks like this.

Steam truthful review setting.jpg



It doesn't work for me, though, and the reviews are still being censored.
 

horskh

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I fail to see when "review bombing" is bad. It's not like people are going around randomly hating good games. If people decide they do not like something with regards to a game, or adjunctly related to the game, then they will post a negative review. I have found it only takes a brief read of a few reviews before I get the gist of people's opinion, and can regard or disregard it on my own.
 

fuzzylogik

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Already forgot and maybe it's mentioned... but... wouldn't it be more effective if reviews can only be done by folks that own the game? Or rather, filter on that?

I dunno, sometimes it seems pretty obvious when you have stupid bad reviews (harder to tell with good ones though I think) - see it all the time on Amazon when somebody is crapping over a product and a tiny bit of effort shows that the person is just angry because they bought the wrong thing, didn't know how to use it etc. - Having the verified purchase thing is kinda nice. but anyways, always seems to be a good thing to take reviews with a grain of salt regardless :p
 

Armenius

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Already forgot and maybe it's mentioned... but... wouldn't it be more effective if reviews can only be done by folks that own the game? Or rather, filter on that?

I dunno, sometimes it seems pretty obvious when you have stupid bad reviews (harder to tell with good ones though I think) - see it all the time on Amazon when somebody is crapping over a product and a tiny bit of effort shows that the person is just angry because they bought the wrong thing, didn't know how to use it etc. - Having the verified purchase thing is kinda nice. but anyways, always seems to be a good thing to take reviews with a grain of salt regardless :p
You could never review a game on Steam without owning it.

Some people have suggested in the past that there should be a minimum amount of play time required to post a review, but that doesn't work for very short games. I am not against making a minimum of 2 hours of play time to review, though, as that would get past the refund period to filter out people who are dumping games early.
 

sharknice

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I have to admit I'm feeling a bit of schadenfreude. The drama does provide some entertainment. Are the social justice gamers going to boycott Steam and Epic now? Where will they buy their games?
 
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Does this cover those 5 star/perfect score reviews that are just revenge for the 1 star/lowest score reviews?
 
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