A 'review bomb' is a sudden influx of a large number of negative user reviews of a game, usually regardless of its actual quality, intended to discredit or punish its developer or publisher. Metro 2033 and Last Light are recent high-profile examples: Steam users who were unhappy with Deep Silver's decision to make Metro Exodus an Epic Store exclusive dropped thousands of negative reviews on its predecessors, enough to negatively impact their overall user ratings. It's an inherent flaw in user review systems—although some see it as a feature—that can set game makers against their audiences: "Players value reviews highly, and want us to ensure they're accurate and trustworthy," as Valve said in a new Steam blog post. "Developers understand that they're valuable to players, but want to feel like they're being treated fairly." After collecting feedback and analyzing data, as it does, Valve has announced plans to tackle the problem by identifying review bombings, and excluding them from overall review scores. The process for doing so will begin with a new, automated tool that will identify "anomalous review activity" on all Steam games, in as close to real-time as possible. When a problem is detected, a team at Valve will be notified, and will investigate further. "Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer," Valve wrote. "The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation." Off-topic content will include obvious things such as storefront changes and exclusive publishing deals, and also complaints that are related to, but not actually about, games, including the presence of DRM and changes to EULAs. Valve said the "general" Steam user doesn't really care about that sort of thing and so for most users, review scores are more accurate if those complaints are excluded—and users who do get into it at that level are often more willing to "dig a little deeper" before making their purchases.   The reviews themselves will remain in place, allowing those who want to dig deeper to do so, but the store page will be marked to indicate that off-topic review activity was detected and removed from the score. The review graph will also indicate which segment of offending reviews has been removed from the score. User reviews have been changed to exclude 'off-topic' reviews from overall scores.
DRM complaints are considered off-topic, and you can opt out of the entire systemDRM complaints are considered off-topic, and you can opt out of the entire system
Valve will be filtering review bombs out from overall Steam store scores, if their team of moderators considers the reasons 'off topic' enough to be ignored.
Get ready to add some games to your growing backlog: Steam's Winter Sale is now live and is set to run through January 3.Get ready to add some games to your growing backlog: Steam's Winter Sale is now live and is set to run through January 3.
Review bombing has been a longstanding issue for Steam. In an update, Valve says it’s targeting off-topic review bombs on Steam and removing them from overall user scores.Steam user review scores won’t factor in off-topic complaints