Steam review bombers will have their ratings count for less | PCGamesN

Steam review bombers will have their ratings count for less

steam new releases 2017

Steam have been wrestling with the problem of user reviews for a while now, and the issue has only become more urgent with the growth of ‘review bombing’ - the practice of downvoting a game en masse, not necessarily for genuinely held issues with its quality, but to serve any number of other agendas or avenge perceived slights.

Hopefully, these upcoming PC games will be reviewed fairly on Steam.

Valve addressed review bombing specifically in September, by flagging occasions when a game received a suspicious number of negative reviews in a short time. In their latest post, Valve are looking at the helpfulness rating, noting that some players "are rating more than 10,000 reviews as helpful or unhelpful on a single game. This behaviour is not only humanly impossible, but definitely not a thoughtful indication of how 'helpful' each of those reviews were." This is another aspect of review bombing: upvoting or downvoting reviews en masse according to how a user wants a game to be perceived, without actually reading those reviews.

So Valve are working on two main changes. First is "a new method of calculating the helpfulness of each review, taking into account the users that are trying to manipulate the system."

valve steam review bombing

Ratings on reviews will now be valued differently for users that are far outside the norm - "accounts that rate an excessive number of reviews on an individual game will see the weight of each individual rating count for less and less." If, on the other hand, you follow "the normal patterns of rating," your ratings will continue to count the same way as they always have.

Secondly, store pages will now show positive and negative reviews in proportion to the overall score for a game. "For example, if the game is reviewed positively by 80% of reviewers, then the ten reviews shown by default on the store page will be 80% positive, showing eight positive and two negative."

The idea here is to stop the reviews on a game's page being so easily manipulated by a few determined players, and instead to accurately reflect the overall sentiment of players. Both changes are being rolled out in beta today - you'll be able to turn them on and off to see how it affects the way reviews are displayed on any game's store page.

Here's the announcement in full on Steam.

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Darkedone02 avatarBraneman avatarJav avatarhahnchen avatar
Darkedone02 Avatar
5 Months ago

So let me guess, bad games are going to go though, while the good guys that been voicing their opinion get their voices unheard off because your power to vote is basically squashed from your recent conquest from the last row of bad games they downvoted...

Braneman Avatar
5 Months ago

HAH, so this system will actually reward developers for doing shady things. Hey everybody don't worry if a patch completely SMASHES your games stability so long as most of the reviews are written before then(which they are most reviews for larger games are written early on) practically nobody will know because a large percentage of the reviews are positive.

Who's willing to bet that companies will start figuring out how long they need to keep their stuff together to get enough reviews that it doesn't matter what they do, nothing will show up unless they pull an EA level of bad. Don't worry just delay your horrible intrusive microtransactions for two weeks, THEN implement them, the Steam review system won't reflect that at all because most of the reviews are positive.

Jav Avatar
5 Months ago

Oh gee. Big surprise. Apparently a gift to EA.

hahnchen Avatar
5 Months ago

EA don't sell their new games on Steam any more.