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Metacritic disabling user reviews until 36 hours after a game launches

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For years, review bombing has been a big problem. This stretches decades, one of the ones I remember most prominently was Modern Warfare 3 in 2011. Now, Metacritic is going to combat this problem.

For those out of the loop, review bombing is when a game or movie comes out and is instantly hit with an overwhelming amount of negative reviews. For games, it’s pretty much always suspect when a game has tons of negative user reviews moments after the game has released because it’s not possible for anyone to have finished it themselves that fast.

To combat this, Metacritic will not be allowing user reviews for 36 hours (a day and a half) after a product’s release. This will make it so a game’s user reviews remain untouched until people have either beaten it or had enough time with it. Will it completely stop review bombing? Probably not but it will at least preserve it for the first 36 hours.

“We recently implemented the 36 hour waiting period for all user reviews in our games section to ensure our gamers have time to play these games before writing their reviews,” a Metacritic representative told Engadget. “This new waiting period for user reviews has been rolled out across Metacritic’s Games section and was based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts.”

This all comes after The Last of Us Part II was instantly hit with negative user reviews. While it has sort of evened out overtime, it was initially under a 4.0/10. This happened within minutes of the game’s launch, largely coming from people who had read leaks of the game’s plot. Naughty Dog’s sequel had a number of plot points leak via gameplay that surfaced online months before launch.

Many expressed lots of displeasure with story choices, despite not having full context for these moments. Add to the fact that many of them just gave the game the lowest possible score which isn’t exactly a review either.

Metacritic’s new user review policy has already been implemented with Ghost of Tsushima.



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