The change was first reported by Redditor argandg, who noted that while there were 78 new positive ratings between the 4th and 5th of December, the number of negatives dropped by 6,429—from 9,335 to just 2,906. At the time of writing, there are 8,864 positive ratings and 3,207 negatives.
Metacritic has confirmed it removed several user ratings after they were flagged for “suspicious activity.” It says the decision was to avoid “potential score manipulation,” also known as review bombing.
“Metacritic takes issues of potential score manipulation seriously and has a number of policies in place to maintain score integrity. Moderators regularly review the site and remove any entries that do not fall within our guidelines in addition to a moderation queue where Metacritic users can flag unusual behavior. Moderators then review and remove any entries that violate our terms of service,” said a company spokesperson.
It’s worth noting that Metacritic only deleted people’s number ratings. User reviews were not removed as ratings can be submitted without a review. IGN points out that the site’s terms of service state it can remove user submissions “without notice.”
Review bombings are something Steam is familiar with. Valve’s online store has brought in several features to address the problem, including an “off-topic filter,” which excludes these reviews from counting toward a game’s overall score.
In other Hideo Kojima news, the famed Metal Gear Solid created says he wants his next title to be “the scariest horror game.”
As to make the scariest horror game, I’ll watch the scary movies in order to awaken my horror soul. THE EYE is the Thai horror movie I rent when making PT but was too scary to finish watching. The package is scary so I rented the disc only. Will I be able to finish watching? pic.twitter.com/BVwPruUAvt— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) November 22, 2019