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Valve introduces new way to tackle the problem of review bombing

By midian182 ยท 6 replies
Sep 21, 2017
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  1. Valve has announced it is addressing the problem of review bombing through the use of histograms. While the practice has been around for some time, the recent PewDiePie/Campo Santo incident has once again put it under the spotlight, which may have prompted Valve's action.

    Review bombing is the term for when a large number of people post negative comments and scores to game’s Steam page in a short period. Valve notes that it’s an issue because the criticism usually isn’t related to the titles themselves, but comes from external factors.

    "It might be that they're unhappy with something the developer has said online, or about choices the developer has made in the Steam version of their game relative to other platforms, or simply that they don't like the developer's political convictions," writes UI designer Alden Kroll in a Steam blog post. "Many of these out-of-game issues aren't very relevant when it comes to the value of the game itself, but some of them are real reasons why a player may be unhappy with their purchase."

    To try and tackle the problem, Valve has added histograms to Steam pages that show the positive to negative ratio of reviews over the entire lifetime of a game. Clicking a particular section of the graph will show the reviews from that time. If it reveals a sudden influx of negative comments, a review bombing would be the likely cause.

    Valve had considered putting temporary review locks on games but decided people would still flood them with negative ratings once the locks lifted. It even thought about removing the game scores altogether, leaving only the user reviews.

    The histograms could help purchasers in other ways, too. Valve notes that a game with reviews that continue trending up over time help identify its quality.

    After PewDiePie used a racial slur during a recent livestream, Firewatch developer Sean Vanaman tweeted that he was filing a DMCA takedown against the world’s most popular YouTuber. This led to Firewatch being hit with a slew of negative Steam reviews and scores. GTA V was also review bombed earlier this year (see the histogram above) after Take-Two issued a cease and desist order to the creators of modding tool OpenIV.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,912   +697

    It's real sad when a f-ing l-ser streamer has enough followers that are even bigger f-ing l-sers that they'll follow the first l-ser's wishes blindly because they're sheeple nimrods. Fortunately they're tactic is so blatantly obvious that it just shows how stupid these l-sers really are.

    This is a real problem in PUB where l-ser streamers have their sheeple report someone for "griefing" just because that person killed them or in some extreme cases HONKED THEIR HORNS, not even kidding.
  3. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +469

    I like the approach they decided to go with. You aren't silencing people, just showing information that could come across as suspicious to average folk.
  4. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 2,142   +1,304

    You can't take the youth out of kids.
    Your dealing with children... and they will bash each other online, leave ranting reviews and cause chaos just for the fun of it.
  5. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 598   +1,201

    ^ The only thing that would accomplish is 1. Convince me something was wrong enough with the game to not buy it even without seeing any review, and 2. Go and lookup aggregated review score anyway elsewhere on Metacritic / GOG / gaming forums to see what someone was trying to hide...
  6. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    What's really pathetic is when people make assumptions about others and attack others based on those assumptions. It's ignorant and shows they just want to show off their moral superiority.


    >Abusing DMCA is wrong, but so is review bombing. I'm not condoning the Firewatch reviews.
  7. Alex Voinica

    Alex Voinica TS Booster Posts: 87   +74

    Bombing with bad reviews against GTA V and Dota 2 was the only way of fighting back that remained for gamers after Rockstar banned mods for a limited time for GTA and Valve "forgot" to deliver us HL 2 Episode 3/ Half Life 3.
    So the measures they are taking are both good and bad. The bombing for GTA V helped bringing the mods back, while for Dota 2 it did not do anything as far as I remember.
    Jamlad likes this.

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