Steam Tweaks Review System to Prevent Spam
11-21-17 Steam Logo.jpg

Steam has seen all kinds of trouble in the past year with its review system. Throughout it all, parent company Valve has been making changes in efforts to better serve their customers. The most recent alterations to take place on Steam are hoping to alter the efforts some users make to change a game's appearance to potential customers via review bombings.

Let's explain a little further. I'm sure we've all seen those buttons across all kinds of sites where you can vote “helpful” or “not helpful” on various reviews. Consider a game that you bought, and a review goes up that highlights some of the same flaws (or positives) that you saw within the same game. You'd probably mark it as helpful so other potential players can see what's good and bad about that game. Well, that's what the vast majority of Steam user do. There is a small few though who are abusing the system.

Put rules and guidelines in place, and there are sure to be a select few that want to break the mold. In the case of Steam's reviews, some users are spamming the helpful and not helpful buttons. In doing so, they can essentially “vote up” whatever reviews they want. So say one of these Steam users doesn't like a game so much that they want to influence other's view of it. They'll hit “helpful” on thousands and thousands of negative reviews on a game. Some have even rated up to 10,000 reviews as helpful or not helpful on one game. By doing this they boost these negative reviews to the top of the game's store page. Thus, it could have positive ratings overall, but viewers of the store page will only see negative reviews.

Steam has attempted to fix and prevent this by changing the weight of the helpful/not helpful buttons. Those who hit the buttons over a set amount of times (not elaborated) on a single game will find their votes mean less and less as they go on. This isn't a concern for normal users as the number is most likely at least in the thousands of votes. That's just not possible for a normal person with a regular life to attend to.

The gaming platform has also been altered to show reviews based on the overall score for the game. If it has an overall positive score of 90%, then nine out of 10 reviews shown at the top will be positive. The same goes for games with bad scores. If it has a 30% rating on Steam, then 7 of the 10 reviews will be negative. As these changes move forward, Steam users will hopefully begin to see much more relevant reviews displayed on games to help guide their potential purchases.

Source: Gamasutra

April Marie
April Marie

Contributing Writer
Date: 11/21/2017

11/21/2017 04:45PM


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