Steam Ratings, Reviews, and The Bombing – Steam’s Histogram Puts All the Work Back on the User - MMO

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelMMORPG.COM Staff LegendaryPosts: 26,057
edited September 25 in News & Features Discussion

imageSteam Ratings, Reviews, and The Bombing – Steam’s Histogram Puts All the Work Back on the User - MMORPG.com

This last Tuesday Valve employee Alden Kroll published a blog article addressing the issue of review bombing and their response to the problem. The article itself is very well written with an honest and transparent tone. If you haven't read it yet you should. You can find a link to the blog post from the MMORPG news article here.

Read the full story here


¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 


Post edited by SBFord on
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Comments

  • ChilltimeKonckerChilltimeKoncker Member CommonPosts: 1
    The link is to your User in C: Drive :) - MMORPG news article here.
  • Octagon7711Octagon7711 Chicago, ILMember EpicPosts: 6,197
    If people who play the game feels wronged in some way there should be a way for them to express that and let new players know.  Steam forum threads can be deleted or closed which leaves reviews, reddit, or other internet forums to share how they feel about game decisions.

    Any new player whose interested in the game will do their research by reading the reviews and will come to an understanding of why a game is being bombed.  The positive reviews will still be there for them to read and are easily filtered so anyone can just read the positive reviews if they want.  The real reason is that review bombing is working and results in sales reductions.  
    alkarionlogonelesslightLastlaughlolGdemamiFrodoFraginsSamhaelsholo635MadFrenchie

    "Change is the only constant."


  • AdminAdmin Santa Fe, NMAdministrator RarePosts: 5,432
    Thanks! Fixed this up :)

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    The dead know only one thing: it is better to be alive.

  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    edited September 25
    Remove the scores? Sure, lets remove one of the few tools that users have to both accurately inform of the actual score of a game and influence the developers.

    Lets see ... 2k and their basketball game ... that company was found manipulating unfavourable reviews, while also including invasive microtransactions into their games. The game was bombed. Sure, the review manipulation is not directly related to the actual game, but it shows how easily "game journalists" and their scores are manipulated in favor of game companies.

    No, user review need not only to stay, but become the prominent qualifier for any game. Had I known that gamers gave ME:Andromeda 5.5 as opposed to "game journalists" 7.5, I would have researched further into the problems and saved myself a bad purchase.

    The bottom line is that unfortunately game journalist reviews on pretty much any site (too much carbon copying happening to rush those reviews) are unreliable. While the gamer reviews do have their issues, the bigger volume statistically and lack of influence from the game developers make them a more accurate indication of a game's quality.
    Post edited by Xasapis on
    alkarionlogonelesslightNikaas
  • ICEBLUEICEBLUE Gilbert, AZMember UncommonPosts: 57
    I wonder if they should not have a physical score a player enters, but more base it off the number of purchases and the average time played. This would give you a complete look at how long those who bought the game played it. It would get rid of the review bomb, since many who do these are long time players who get mad at something the see done by the publisher or a new feature or tweak they don't like.
    FrodoFragins
  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    edited September 25
    ICEBLUE said:
    I wonder if they should not have a physical score a player enters, but more base it off the number of purchases and the average time played. This would give you a complete look at how long those who bought the game played it. It would get rid of the review bomb, since many who do these are long time players who get mad at something the see done by the publisher or a new feature or tweak they don't like.
    Review of the Grand Theft Auto franchise changed when the parent company decided to ban all mods from the single player game, so they push people to the online version and microtransactions. Due to the review bombing of the game, the developers relented and the mods were made available again .

    That's one example of how review bombing helped improve the game for the gamers in an instance that had nothing to do with the date or amount of time played.

    Post edited by Xasapis on
    GdemamiFrodoFraginsSamhaelNikaas
  • XodicXodic RealityMember RarePosts: 708
    It's hard to consider them reviews. It's a do you or do you not recommend this game. It's either yes, or no. If Valve can't see the problem...
    SBFordConstantineMerusGdemamiinfomatzTiller
  • omegaxhowleromegaxhowler Naperville, ILMember UncommonPosts: 1
    I think the problem is that there are two different categories of games getting scored the same way. There are games that have no intention to update, and games with intention to patch and update. A game that wont be updated will have a much accurate score for the content that u are going to experience. However, a game that is updated has a change in content that is not fully identified with the older reviews of the content as things may be broke that once worked and things may be patched that once were broke.

    Id say that a simple fix would be to exclude all old reviews of a game prior to an update before the current update. Give users the opportunity to update an old review after playing the game. In this fashion the priority is on the current release instead of the entirety of the games life. In addition, maybe state the amount of people who have updated the game so that the scores sample that the scores are from is represented.
    alkarionlog
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAMember LegendaryPosts: 23,195
    edited September 25

    Xasapis said:

    Remove the scores? Sure, lets remove one of the few tools that users have to both accurately inform of the actual score of a game and influence the developers.






    It's a tool that some players abuse. There is a difference between having issues with a game and being pissy and trying to exact revenge. Hate those people. They bring down the community.

    I don't put any more credence in player reviews than I do with professional reviewers. Players can have just as much of an agenda. And the idea that some of these players are so disenfranchised because they aren't getting their way that they can go and negatively (or positively) sway reviews is just as bad as "paid reviews".

    I say take away the scores.
    Post edited by Sovrath on
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  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    edited September 25
    Lets put it this way. Origin has zero player reviews. Steam has the system we already know. Which of the two sites give you a more informed overview of the games they are selling?

    Do you really want to turn Steam into Origin?
    Post edited by Xasapis on
    GdemamiFrodoFraginsSamhael
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAMember LegendaryPosts: 23,195

    Xasapis said:

    Lets put it this way. Origin has zero player reviews. Steam has the system we already know. Which of the two sites give you a more informed overview of the games they are selling?

    Do you really want to turn Steam into Origin?



    have reviews but just don't have scores. And make it so that players have to have purchased the game if that isn't already a thing and that the review has to come a day after purchase and on, or something like that.
    Mabushii



  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    Another example was Oxygen not included. Game had "very positive" reviews, up until a game update that made the game unfun (introduced a condition that led to loss no matter what). The recent reviews became "Mixed", while the overall was still "Very Positive". A look on the actual comments would inform of the problem. Right now the game is back to "Mostly Positive" for the recent reviews.

    So yea, the actual classification (there is no score like the metacritics one) is important and indicative of the game both in its lifetime and current state.

    Overall, you'd be hard pressed to find an instance where the bombing was not justified (with just one exception). One exception is not reason enough to scrap a system that works really really well 99% of the time.
  • GdemamiGdemami Member EpicPosts: 10,938
    If they want to keep scoring(worthless), data driven scoring seems the most sensible to me...
  • alkarionlogalkarionlog SMember UncommonPosts: 1,433
    so should players now link to otehrs sites to do the bombing? only reason I can see for valve do this is, game company pressuring then to do it so they can go they happy way in doing shit things again without a chance for player pay back, all review bombing had a reason with amde then fix they act pretty fast after.

    less bethesda, that fuckers are trying the paid mods again with fallout4.
    Gdemami
    FOR HONOR, FOR FREEDOM.... and for some money.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 15,012
    Xasapis said:
    Lets put it this way. Origin has zero player reviews. Steam has the system we already know. Which of the two sites give you a more informed overview of the games they are selling?

    Do you really want to turn Steam into Origin?

    Yes. The Origin service is pretty good. Origin offers a money back guarantee if you don't like the game. You have 1 week to install and 24 hours after install to play it (72 hours for new releases with technical issues). https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/great-game-guarantee
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  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    Torval said:
    Xasapis said:
    Lets put it this way. Origin has zero player reviews. Steam has the system we already know. Which of the two sites give you a more informed overview of the games they are selling?

    Do you really want to turn Steam into Origin?

    Yes. The Origin service is pretty good. Origin offers a money back guarantee if you don't like the game. You have 1 week to install and 24 hours after install to play it (72 hours for new releases with technical issues). https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/great-game-guarantee
    Where can I find information in Origin site about the quality of a certain game BEFORE I buy it?
    Gdemami
  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAMember RarePosts: 3,551
    Xasapis said:
    Remove the scores? Sure, lets remove one of the few tools that users have to both accurately inform of the actual score of a game and influence the developers.

    Lets see ... 2k and their basketball game ... that company was found manipulating unfavourable reviews, while also including invasive microtransactions into their games. The game was bombed. Sure, the review manipulation is not directly related to the actual game, but it shows how easily "game journalists" and their scores are manipulated in favor of game companies.

    No, user review need not only to stay, but become the prominent qualifier for any game. Had I known that gamers gave ME:Andromeda 5.5 as opposed to "game journalists" 7.5, I would have researched further into the problems and saved myself a bad purchase.

    The bottom line is that unfortunately game journalist reviews on pretty much any site (too much carbon copying happening to rush those reviews) are unreliable. While the gamer reviews do have their issues, the bigger volume statistically and lack of influence from the game developers make them a more accurate indication of a game's quality.
    The problem with this line of thinking comes from something you said yourself. "Sure, the review manipulation is not directly related to the actual game". That sentence right there. It effects both ends. Review bombs aren't an accurate representation of an actual games score either. Reviewers at least have a guideline they have to follow for writing a review and making it make sense, and you choose whether or not to think it was somehow manipulated. I choose a select few reviewers I actually listen to. 

    The idea behind a review bomb changing a problem with a game makes sense to me. It sounds good on paper. But at this point, what ends up coming of it most of the time. Absolutely nothing. It gives users the idea that they should rate something either 1 or 10. 1 if there is one problem with the game they don't like, and 10 if it's good to them. There's no in between, save for a few users who actually take time to think out a response. The main issue in my head is, users don't actually give things a chance. THIS GAME HAS DENUVO 1 OUT OF 10 REFUSE TO BUY. Game gets review bombed with 1 out of 10's because of DRM. When they are playing it on steam a platform made to be online DRM itself. I just think there needs to be some stipulations into what constitutes a review. It seems like people flock and score it based on what else they see, and it doesn't give games actual fair reviews. No game should be a 1 out of 10 unless it was unplayable, yet you see any time a review is negative on platforms like Metacritic or steam it's always one extreme or the other.

    If a game takes away a feature, I think the potential buyers should be aware of that, but it shouldn't make the game get a 20% positive review status on steam. That will just turn away anyone who doesn't know any better. I don't know how to fix the situation myself, but it just seems like I pay less and less attention to user reviews and just watch videos myself because user reviews are usually just bombs in one way or another. 
    Mabushiisarah116infomatz
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,273
    Xasapis said:
    Torval said:
    Xasapis said:
    Lets put it this way. Origin has zero player reviews. Steam has the system we already know. Which of the two sites give you a more informed overview of the games they are selling?

    Do you really want to turn Steam into Origin?

    Yes. The Origin service is pretty good. Origin offers a money back guarantee if you don't like the game. You have 1 week to install and 24 hours after install to play it (72 hours for new releases with technical issues). https://www.origin.com/usa/en-us/store/great-game-guarantee
    Where can I find information in Origin site about the quality of a certain game BEFORE I buy it?
    Why would you want to rely on Origin about info on Origin games? You can find reviews for any game whether they're on Origin, Steam, GOG or none of the above in the hundreds of gaming sites, youtube, twitch... If you want to trust just user reviews on the site that sells the game and you get burnt it's your own damn fault.

    GdemamicmacqTorvalSamhaelMabushiiinfomatz
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  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    There is no 1 to 10 score. The only score is whether you recommend the game or not. And not recommending the game because of a reason outside of the actual gameplay is still a valid reason. As for the reviewers, yes, they can be a fallback plan in the cases where you have no system like the steam one, since the gaming press at large is unreliable and anti-consumer in their attitude.

    All in all, a distribution of 20.000 reviews will always be more impartial and accurate  compared to any metacritic score. And in the rare cases where the score changes, it's very easy to identify why.
    Gdemami
  • PopplePopple Utica, NYMember UncommonPosts: 222
    I always wanted a Neutral button with the Yes and No...Some times the game dont deserve a yes or a no...
    GdemamiMabushii

    I retired retroactively..Haha

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAMember RarePosts: 3,551
    Xasapis said:
    There is no 1 to 10 score. The only score is whether you recommend the game or not. And not recommending the game because of a reason outside of the actual gameplay is still a valid reason. As for the reviewers, yes, they can be a fallback plan in the cases where you have no system like the steam one, since the gaming press at large is unreliable and anti-consumer in their attitude.

    All in all, a distribution of 20.000 reviews will always be more impartial and accurate  compared to any metacritic score. And in the rare cases where the score changes, it's very easy to identify why.
    How is not recommending a game based on a reason outside of the game a valid reason? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You are reviewing a game. Not anything else. Just because you don't like someone at the companies beliefs wouldn't give a sufficient enough reason to give it a negative review. I was talking about user reviews in general, metacritic is a 1 to 10 system. 

    Lets take a look at some reviews for a visual novel. If you go look at any of those. Half the reviews are just people laughing at the fact that the game has animated girls with breasts in it. Or they are all just joke reviews, and the games get like 95% positive reviews. For no reason whatsoever. While a game like GTA V gets 50% negative because they took out modding, when that isn't anything to do with the actual game, just one feature in said game. 
    Mabushii
  • XasapisXasapis VolosMember UncommonPosts: 5,566
    edited September 25
    Bad customer support is a reason outside the game. If you had a really bad experience with customer support, would you recommend the game, even if you liked it? Maybe yes, maybe no. Personally, I see not recommending the game for the above reason as perfectly valid.

    Edit: Modding is actually a huge reason of enjoyment for a lot of games out there. Do you honestly believe that Skyrim would still be relevant today without modding? Don't you think that removing or breaking modding from Fallout 4 wouldn't be a big enough reason to downvote the game?
    Post edited by Xasapis on
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  • XxxusernametakenxxxXxxusernametakenxxx Member UncommonPosts: 127
    Forums, user reviews are nothing but toxic places people go to these days to feel included and cry about video games they don't play.  

    When it comes to reviews sure some may be legit but anytime you see a zero on a game you can guarantee its just some loser looking for attention.  Same with official game forums, forums like this and reddit.  Anytime a new game comes out its full of haters crying and jumping on whatever the hot topic for that game is just so they can get upvotes and feel important for a day  in their life.  
    GdemamiKossuth
  • LastlaughlolLastlaughlol Member UncommonPosts: 26


    If people who play the game feels wronged in some way there should be a way for them to express that and let new players know.  Steam forum threads can be deleted or closed which leaves reviews, reddit, or other internet forums to share how they feel about game decisions.

    Any new player whose interested in the game will do their research by reading the reviews and will come to an understanding of why a game is being bombed.  The positive reviews will still be there for them to read and are easily filtered so anyone can just read the positive reviews if they want.  The real reason is that review bombing is working and results in sales reductions.  



    Too true. They let VAC banned users keep their accounts because they generate more revenue at expense of hackers in games like CS GO, CoD, etc. Classic greed.
    Gdemami
  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXMember UncommonPosts: 540
    I use reviews that actually has someone commenting on the game. Just a sentence and thumbs up or down is not telling me anything. A score does not decide for me. That is what I will look up. Something being bombed will not stop me if the reason for the bombing does not matter to me.

    Sometimes it is about mods or online when I am happy with vanilla offline. I think the people who are interested in the mods and online then should have the ability to know that they will be disappointed. I don't know how others decide about games but I do try and research. It is why I don't buy many new games now. Too dangerous to get something I don't like.
    TorvalOctagon7711Mabushii
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