Steam's Newest Feature Nerfs Review Bombing

Today, Steam launched a histogram feature which allows users to see the timeline of positive and negative reviews, which in turn, pinpoints review bombing.

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Rebel_Scum452d ago (Edited 452d ago )

Sounds like a good idea. I can't believe review bombing is a thing tbh. Don't people have better things to do with their lives?

crazychris4124452d ago (Edited 452d ago )

Its one of the few ways to get devs and publishers to quickly notice that they are hurting their games and consumers. Worked pretty well in getting Take Two to reverse banning GTA 5 mods, Bethesda to reverse their 1st paid mod release, broken games like Arkham Knight and other consumer unfriendly practices. Sometimes they go overboard like when DOTA 2 was review bombed because Steam didn't make Half Life 3.

Rebel_Scum452d ago

There's more constructive ways to do it. 99% of review bombs are narrow in review scope. They focus only on the negative and aren't helpful to other users looking for a balanced review and just clutter up the reviews and distort the true reflection of the review score aggregate (not that review scores are the be and end all anyway).

crazychris4124452d ago

There is blasting them on social media and getting refunds, not much more we can do thats effective.

freshslicepizza452d ago (Edited 452d ago )

It's hard to get an accurate review of the game when people would rather talk about other things such as Denuvo in a game. So they come and blast the game without really explaining if the game itself is fun to play.

That's the problem now, everyone has a voice and they want to use it. Whether it be constructive or not constructive. But I do notice those who have an agneda want to speak louder than anyone else which again makes it very hard to actually get to the point, reviewing the actual game.

How many reviews of Middle Earth Shadow of War are going to have people come in and complain about microtransactions for example?

You see it here all too often, they want to speak out about what they don't like and speak over anyone else who may be interested in the actual game (or hardware). Of course you have a right to express your opinion but do it when it makes sense stop trying to put all the attention on your opinion over what others think.

DynoMiteLaserCat452d ago

When you put the ability to grade something in the hands of children you'll get childish results. Review bombing is the digital equivalent of a 3 y/o throwing a tantrum in Walmart because Mommy and Daddy won't buy them a candy. It's not fair to say that everyone abuses it, of course, as there are many useful reviews available usually but there's definitely a vocal minority out there with shit in their diapers who can't handle anything not going their way, haha.

Princess_Pilfer451d ago

The point of review bombing isn't to say "here is a comprehensive review of the qualities of the product" the point of review bombing is to say "this company has shitty buisness practices and you should not support them."

A 100% valid thing for a review to focus on.

Rebel_Scum451d ago

Which is not the point of a review. A review is a review of the product, not the business model. The business model can be a factor in the review. But if your review is just about "shitty business practices" as you say, then it is unbalanced in its review of the product as a whole.

Princess_Pilfer450d ago

The point of a review is to give whatever information the reviewer deems necessary to make an informed purchasing desision. If the Reviewers conclusion is that the buisness practices are shitty and therfore you shouldn't buy it, that's the only relevant bit of information in their view and they're 100% justified in not even talking about much/anything else except to provide context to their complaints.

You do not get to decide what the point of a review is and if or how it should be balanced. You get to decide what information is useful to you in a review. If you want more then fine ,but reviewrs (professional or otherwise) are not under any obligation to "provide a balanced review of the product as a whole." That's not even really possible, everybody has a different perspective on everything, a non-RTS fan can't necessarily say why an RTS fan may or may not like a certain RTS, they can say why they didn't like it. Not useful information to people already into RTS games, very useful for casual players who are likely to encounter the same problems.

When I'm reading a review for a paid game, if I see a header that has the words "contains microtransations (or paid mods)" then I'm not buying the game, it doesn't matter what else is said about the game. For less obvious monitization fuckery an actual explaination about why it's buisness practices are shit and shoulnd't be supported is the single most important aspect of a review to me. Once I have that (or, more accurately, know that no such information is necessary because the company isn't pulling that garbage) I can just go find another reviewer who's tastes more or less align with mine and see what they have to say.

Rebel_Scum450d ago

Sorry mate, but that's too narrow minded for me. You need to critique the game as a whole. Take Mass Effect 3 for example, it had microtransactions. It wasn't the best ME game but it was pretty decent and finished off the trilogy for better or worse to provide some narrative closure and more time with the characters. It also had arguably the best combat system of the trilogy.

But if you want to just ignore all of that that and just have your reviewer say "Has microtransactions, forget about it" then I'm not going to be interested in reading their opinion because they'd rather have their head stuck in the sand than look at the big picture.

Princess_Pilfer449d ago

Anti-Consumer buisness practices are the single most important aspect of a game, bare none. If they're there, don't support it. It doesn't matter if the game is good or not, because by buying it you're giving the OK to their exploitative BS in the only way they actually care about (with your money.) That IS the bigger picture.

You also missed the whole part where there are other reviews. You can look up gameplay footage/reviews if the gameplay and story are all you care about. That doesn't make reviews who's primary purpose is cirtiwsizing the buisness practices less valid.

Rebel_Scum449d ago

No you're missing the big picture because your focus is on one thing.

Buying ME3 for example, I didn't buy any microtransactions. That doesn't mean I support it. The developer/publisher will have data on the units sold as well as the ratio of units that made microtransaction purchases. That second piece of data is the key evidence they need to figure out if there is a market for it because at the end of the day the market decides these things. You not buying it hurts their bottom line, but doesn't provide evidence for them that the microtransactions in the product was not good.

I don't think they is a professional reviewer out there that does reviews that focus on business practices. I'm sure if you ask Jeff Gertsmann or Danny O'Dwyer they'd just look at you like you're an idiot. Giantbomb has user reviews and they don't get review bomb thank god. And I've never seen a review focusing on it either. How do you think this is helpful because to an end user who wants to know about the whole product, you're not giving them any information.

Princess_Pilfer445d ago

Anti consumer industry behavior is by definition a bigger picture than an individual game, because it shows up in multiple games.

Yes, it does. You're supporting it with the only thing they care about: Money. By buying the game you tell them "you can keep putting these things in the game and I'll buy it anyways, so you should keep doing it because it won't stop me and some people will purchase the microtransactions, therefor there is no downside to including them." That is you supporting it in the only way that matters.

That is not an argument. Just because professional reviewers do or don't do something doesn't make it valid or not valid. Also, these are USER reviews. The user giving their experience from their perspective, trying to be an overall buyers guide doesn't necessarily come into that. My perspective, and the perspective of many others is: If it has microtransactions, I'm not buying it" therefor reviews that focus on buisness practice above the rest are extremely helpful.

Not all reviews, even professional ones, focus on the whole game anyways. Dragons Dogma reviews don't focus on the story. Why? The game doesn't focus on the story, so saying "it's bad and not really there" and moving along is more or less all you have to do.

Rebel_Scum445d ago

"Yes, it does. You're supporting it with the only thing they care about: Money. By buying the game you tell them "you can keep putting these things in the game and I'll buy it anyways, so you should keep doing it because it won't stop me and some people will purchase the microtransactions, therefor there is no downside to including them."

The downside is they've spent resources to implement these microtransaction "features" with no benefit if no one buys them or buys enough to squander the costs back. Did you completely ignore what I said about sales data or do you think that's a mythical beast?

But the real laughable thing is how you like reading reviews that focus on microtransactions when on the store page or on the physical copy it mentions it has them. If that's all you need to know, then you shouldn't need a review bomb to tell you.

"Dragons Dogma reviews don't focus on the story. Why? The game doesn't focus on the story, so saying "it's bad and not really there" and moving along is more or less all you have to do. "
Didn't you read when I said the review should be on the product as a whole? You're absolutely right, if the game doesn't focus on story, yeah it doesn't bear mentioning, so what's your point?

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 445d ago
Gh05t452d ago

"In light of the debacle between Pew Die Pie and Campos Santos"

"It might be that they’re unhappy with something the developer has said online... or simply that they don’t like the developer’s political convictions. 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."

I love the irony here.

freshslicepizza452d ago

What irony, that people can't see past their own beliefs and can't enjoy a product because of it? To this day you still have people who will not buy Oculus Rift for example because of Palmer Luckey being involved who isn't even with the company any longer.

How many here can actually view games based on the software, not the hardware it may be on?

Gh05t452d ago (Edited 452d ago )

"...that they’re unhappy with something the developer has said online" and "out-of-game issues aren’t very relevant when it comes to the value of the game itself"

So now apply this wording here to the authors example of what may have caused it (firewatch).

A developer has their content removed from a page because of an out-of-video issue that isnt relative to the value of the video they have removed.

Im not saying Campos Santos was wrong, I just find the whole steam reasoning ironic based on the authors reasoning for the move.

Honestly I like the compromise that Steam has made here. They dont remove the reviews but allow a little behind the scenes look so customers can make a better informed decision whether they trust the reasoning behind the reviews. This to me is the best of both worlds and am rather impressed with it. Much better than wanton deleting reviews and being the arbitrator of what Steam "believes" is happening and accidentally removing a review that is legitimately negative for the right reasons.

theshredded452d ago (Edited 452d ago )

User reviews are just bad and regular people aren't trustworthy. I bought a lot of games that I felt were disappoiting like Uncharted 3, Braid and Far Cry 3 based on user reviews and skipped games like Mass Effect 3 and Resistance 2. I was pretty naive for trusting others and not watching gameplay footage...