The possibility of leaving Steam reviews has always been a double-edged sword. It is, undoubtedly, a fundamental tool, through which users can express their opinion and guide the undecided towards the purchase or not of a specific game.
The user, however, has abused more than an opportunity, exploiting it for completely different purposes. Specifically, we are talking about the phenomenon that goes by the name of review bombing which occurs when players publish a large number of reviews in a short period of time for the sole purpose of lowering the overall evaluation of a game . Very often they focus on an irrelevant topic, which should not be considered for the purposes of the overall assessment and which is not fundamental for the satisfaction of the future buyer.
One of the most striking cases occurred in very recent times. Following the transfer of Metro Exodus from Steam to the Epic Game Store, where it will be sold exclusively for a total period of one year, the angry players for the temporary abandonment of their favorite platform have bombarded the other episodes of the series with negative reviews , lowering their evaluations appreciably.
Steam has long included useful tools to isolate the phenomenon. Thanks to a graph included in each product page, it is possible to monitor the progress of reviews in real time and immediately identify if there has been a sudden increase in negative evaluations. This, however, is not enough, as those bad reviews continue to influence the overall rating, which is the first thing that catches the eye of the customers.
For this reason, Valve has formed a team that will take care of thoroughly investigate whenever the review bombing phenomenon occurs. It will clearly not be a simple job, since peaks in negative reviews are not always attributable to this practice: they occur, for example, even when a game receives a bad update. In any case, from now on when the team determines that the abnormal activity is a "review bomb" not relevant, it will inform the developer and the reviews published in that period will then be removed from the calculation of the overall assessment . The reviews themselves will not be changed and will continue to be public, whether they are relevant or not. The new functionality is already available and, to guarantee maximum freedom to users, it can also be disabled.