Metacritic Implements Waiting Period For Player-Reviewed Games
Over the past few years, quite a few games have been on the receiving end of internet fan ire, with review bombing becoming an increasingly go-to method to express dissatisfaction with a particular title. While purposefully altering a game’s user score has been used for noble intentions in the past – such as protesting questionable development decisions and occasionally even promoting positivity – the practice has proven to be increasingly toxic as of late, especially following the emergence of numerous negative Metacritic user reviews for Naughty Dog title The Last of Us Part II.
In an effort to combat further review bomb abuse, Metacritic has recently updated their system regarding user scoring and reviews. The review aggregator site has now disabled public game reviews for the first 36 hours of a title’s release, only re-enabling them after this initial time limit has passed. During this waiting period, users will now discover a small message in place of a game’s user score (H/T ResetEra), asking players to “please spend more time playing the game” and to “come back to review” the title on the appropriate date.
While the game has been acclaimed by fans and outlets for its shocking and effectively dour subject matter, The Last of Us Part II was nonetheless hit with a monsoon of negative comments in the week of its release. Though the unconventional narrative was bound to have plenty of genuine detractors, the amount of negativity on display on Metacritic proved to be exceedingly over the top, with thousands of user scores going up within hours of the game going live. The extreme toxicity around the game has even found its way into real life, with several members of the dev team even receiving death threats from hateful players.
Though this new Metacritic policy is sure to be somewhat of a deterrent for trolls, it remains to be seen how effective a delay may ultimately be – especially as players are still freely able to review bomb after the 36 hours have passed. Metacritic is hardly the only review site with this kind of problem, as Steam has also seen similar fan-wrath manifest on the PC game storefront. However, as demonstrated with last year’s release of Borderlands 3, the Valve site has taken a more nuanced approach by developing a countering system capable of detecting “anomalous” behavior and balancing out review bombs.
What do you think? Are you glad to see Metacritic do something about this trollish behavior, or do you feel that more could be done to deter this from happening in the future? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Don’t Feed the Gamers on Twitter and Facebook to be informed of the latest gaming and entertainment news 24 hours a day! For more headlines recently featured on DFTG, check out these next few news stories:
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Eric Hall2040 Posts
Phone-browsing Wikipedia in one hand and clutching his trusty controller in the other, the legendary Eric Hall spreads his wealth of knowledge as a writer for Don't Feed the Gamers. Be sure to catch his weekly "Throwback Thursday" segment for a nostalgic look at trivia from the past.