Valves Plan to Combat Review Bombing

Valve to bring order to the Steam Review with GRAPHS!

You may have noticed a trend among angry groups of gamers. When controversy rises some players take their frustrations out online and more recently on Steam reviews. Games become inundated with negative reviews effectively ruining the game’s score often regardless of the quality of the game itself. This week Valve posted a new blog explaining this challenge for them and how they plan to mitigate the damage for both developers and players. Their answer? GRAPHS!

Steam-Reviews-Firewatch
Firewatch went from Very Positive to Mixed after some players took offense to developer Campo Santo publically denouncing Pewdiepie.

Nothing says fun like a good graph, am I right? After considering their options including temporarily suspending reviewing on games when unusual activity is detected, recalculating how results are reached, or even removing review scores altogether the Valve choose to focus on giving players more tools to understand the review score rather than tampering with it.

Recently several titles including the remastered Modern Warfare and Firewatch received a flood of negative reviews significantly altering their overall score. It was clear in both cases the onslaught of negative reviews were prompted by developer actions rather than a natural accumulation of player experiences. The new system allows players to see the positive and negative reviews posted by month.

Now you can track the accumulation of reviews and identify unusual spikes in review activity either way. The system also identifies unusual activity and offers to exclude that period.  It doesn’t tell you why these spikes occurred but does allow you to filter reviews to easily read positive or negative date specific reviews.

This is not the first time Valve has tried to control the reviews on their platform. Last year they adjusted their reviews system to counter review inflation by adding more filters, allowing more recent reviews to be more visible, and not counting reviews added by users who received free keys in the overall score.

Do you think this helps the community or just sidelines a larger issue around the Steam community? Let us know on our Facebook or Twitter, and join our Discord for game chat and more!

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