Epic Games has launched a rating system for its online game store. And in an effort to prevent review bombing, the system has been designed to take the initiative out of the users hands. Instead, users who have played a specific game for more than two hours will be randomly polled and asked to give the game in question a rating (on a five star scale). These ratings will collectively form an overall aggregate rating and generate tags.
Polls will be kept brief, and on its blog post concerning the matter Epic Games promises that it won’t spam users with them. Poll questions will typically be in multiple choice and “yes or no” form. A few examples of poll questions users might see are “How challenging are the bosses in this game?,” or “Is this game better to play with a team?” Likely users will be able to skip a poll prompt altogether if they’d rather not participate.
The blog post states that “This approach protects games from review bombing and ensures people assigning scores are actual players of the games.”
Review bombing – which is the practice of users acting in bad faith to flood a product with negative reviews in order to malign the creator – has increasingly become a problem for many platforms, and online game stores are certainly no exception. In recent years Valve has had to take steps to mitigate review bombing on its Steam platform.
Will Epic Games new review system be the solution for more fair reviews? Only time will tell.