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Steam Review System Seeing Significant Changes

Category: Gaming
Posted: 09:25AM

Game reviews, whether they are multi-page articles or one line recommendations, can be very important to people before making a purchase, but while they do provide valuable information, the state of the game may have changed since then. To address exactly that issue with Steam Customer Reviews, Valve has changed how the system works to emphasize more recent reviews.

With how the system originally worked, newer reviews were not always as visible as older reviews that were deemed 'most helpful.' Now recent reviews will be featured more prominently, to give customers a more up-to-date view of the game. Additionally the review scores that are listed at the top of the product page have also been tweaked to be based on reviews from the past 30 days (if there are enough reviews from that period and the game is at least 45 days old). The overall score that includes older reviews are still listed, should you want to see them.

There is a bit more information at the source link if you want to read it. Personally, I am fairly happy to see these changes. I have experienced many games changing significantly post-launch from new content being added, bugs being fixed, and performance optimizations. A system to help capture these changes in reviews should benefit everyone who chooses to look at them, and the developers who invest the effort to make those changes.

Source: Steam News

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Guest comment
Guest_Guest_* on May 05, 2016 07:45
While this had good intentions the downfall is that games like many triple a titles are not punished for releasing bug fest.
I'm looking at u ea
Guest_Jim_* on May 05, 2016 14:25

While this had good intentions the downfall is that games like many triple a titles are not punished for releasing bug fest.
I'm looking at u ea

Except the exact point is to not punish a game for a bad early/launch state. If the title has been fixed, the newer reviews can reflect that, presenting the customer a more accurate accounting of the game. If the time, money, and effort has been put in to fix the "bug fest" then why should the punishment be continued?

For example, consider X Rebirth, a game I have not played and do not own, but I have a friend that loves the series. Apparently at release it was in a horrible state with bugs and performance issues, but the developers did not give up and continued working on it. It's Overall review rating on Steam is "Mostly Negative" with only 35% of reviews being positive, but its Recent review rating, considering just the past thirty days is "Mostly Positive" with 70% of reviews being positive. Should these developers be punished despite their 2.5 years of work to fix and improve the game after release? (It released November 2013 and received a major patch and more content this past February.)

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