Thursday, September 21st 2017

Steam Adds Historical Review Data for Games to Counter Review Bombing

You've probably heard about the recent issues regarding PewDiePie (handle of one of the most popular gaming YouTubers, Felix Kjellberg) and Campo Santo (Firewatch). The company issued a copyright strike for the YouTuber's streaming of their game, where Kjellberg used racist terms which Campo Santo didn't feel they should be in any way associated with. YouTube accepted the copyright strike, taking the video down. Legally, Campo Santo (and any video game company for that matter) can do such a thing. Kjellberg, however, is particularly worried because, as he said, "It's a pretty big deal. If I get more than three of them, my channel will shut down." As a response, users started review bombing Firewatch on Steam - id est, posting negative review after negative review, or changing their positive reviews for negative ones, so as to diminish the game's score in the light of what they see as a reprimandable action from Campo Santo.
Now that you've been brought up to speed, Steam is tackling this review bombing issue by adding an historical view of a game's given positive and negative reviews, which should tell players something more about a game's score other than the general "recent reviews" scoring. A game like Campo Santo's Firewatch, which historically has had a "Very Positive" review score, now stands with a "Mixed" recent reviews score, all started due to this issue. You can clearly see the beginning of the review bombing on the provided histograms. Some users seem to even be disguising the reasons why they are giving negative reviews by bashing the game's storytelling or gameplay - the amount of users reporting this since the review bombing started seems too suspicious for a "naturally occurring bad review phenomenon".
By adding the histogram, Steam is looking towards letting players filter through the noise generated by users (which may or may not have anything to do with the game in particular) while not losing access to any data in the process. What do you think of this action from Steam? Is it censoring users' opinions, or simply adding some more objective data to allow new users and prospective buyers to filter through the subjective sea?

Sources: Steam Blog Post, Polygon
Add your own comment

44 Comments on Steam Adds Historical Review Data for Games to Counter Review Bombing

#1
StrayKAT
I think it may have started before any of this... Dota is popular to review bomb because people hate Portal/Halflife going nowhere and generally hate the direction Valve has been going in.
Posted on Reply
#2
Ubersonic
Not a fan of Pewdiepie but Campo Santo deserve everything coming at them. Using false copyright strikes as weapons against Youtubers is a massive no no. They should have learned from the ****storm that landed on Wargaming after they merely threatened a content creator with one lol.
Posted on Reply
#3
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
StrayKAT said:
I think it may have started before any of this...
Oh yes.

As fot the reviews, Steam reviews are esdentially useless. They are not, but the "score" is way to unrefined; only good or bad essentially.
Posted on Reply
#4
StrayKAT
Frick said:
Oh yes.

As fot the reviews, Steam reviews are esdentially useless. They are not, but the "score" is way to unrefined; only good or bad essentially.
I'm still the same shallow kid as I was 30 years ago.... when I looked at the back of boxes and said "Looks cool! I want to play that!"

Word of mouth works too, but that's basically it. I purchase a lot on Steam this way. I'm usually happy enough. Firewatch is good btw..
Posted on Reply
#5
kn00tcn
Raevenlord said:
What do you think of this action from Steam? Is it censoring users' opinions, or simply adding some more objective data to allow new users and prospective buyers to filter through the subjective sea?
does TPU have user engagement statistics when language like this is used? i find it pretty infuriating when a news post tells the reader what to do or think, this started happening a decade ago with 'normie' & clickbait blogs, there's no reason for it... people have an intrinsic urge to make a comment, the fact that a lot of articles (of any site) have people commenting on only the headline shows that asking the reader to comment is redundant unread text

as for the question, showing the graph is quite the opposite of censoring opinions... in fact it shows an interestingly large amount of positive ratings at the same time as the negative... how is this censoring? when reviews or negative threads get deleted, that's censoring, but if a mob is bullying a store page, regular people have the right to know that there is a mob present
Posted on Reply
#6
Assimilator
None of this would be a problem if Valve would man the fuck up and take responsibility for their own platform instead of saying "oh the users moderate it".

That didn't work for Greenlight, it doesn't work for reviews, and Valve needs to start using some of that pile of cash they're sitting on to curate their platform and weed out the mountains of crap that are making it a sad joke.

If you MUST use Steam reviews for your purchasing decisions, look only at those from reviewers who actually give a shit, such as the pcmasterrace curator group.
Posted on Reply
#7
9700 Pro
All of this because of one word. If game developers would hear all the swearing and other "non correct" words I say when gaming goes wrong, they would have heart attack immediately.
Posted on Reply
#8
Hugh Mungus
If devs are being shitty, I want to know about it sonI won’t support them. This histogram makes it easier to research why there are suddenly a lot of negative reviews so I can easily tell if it’s a bug inthe game, negative reviews from some large youtuber or some internet drama causing them and then I can form my own opinions on whether the devs deserve my support or not.
Posted on Reply
#9
INSTG8R
Hugh Mungus said:
If devs are being shitty, I want to know about it sonI won’t support them. This histogram makes it easier to research why there are suddenly a lot of negative reviews so I can easily tell if it’s a bug inthe game, negative reviews from some large youtuber or some internet drama causing them and then I can form my own opinions on whether the devs deserve my support or not.
Just remember you have to own the game to make a review :) I don’t see the problem they don’t like what he says on his channel remove myself, association and my product from said channel.
Posted on Reply
#10
Hugh Mungus
INSTG8R said:
Just remember you have to own the game to make a review :) I don’t see the problem they don’t like what he says on his channel remove myself, association and my product from said channel.
I wasn't talking about the pewdiepie/firewatch situation and if I was I would be neutral. Pewdiepie made a mistake, Firewatch devs overreacted slightly and then they were like: well, it's wrong, but maybe we shouldn't bomb his house.

This is more useful for things like the GTA offline mods being banned.
Posted on Reply
#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Ubersonic said:
Using false copyright strikes as weapons against Youtubers is a massive no no.
Not technically a false copyright strike. Technically any game developer or publisher can issue copyright strikes to any person streaming the game on youtube.

However, I think they should have handled it differently. They should have contacted him directly first and asked him to remove all the videos related to their game from his channel and to not post any videos related to their games in the future. If he refused, then you hit him with the copyright strikes.
Posted on Reply
#12
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Obviously the recent reviews are suspect when the vast majority are bashing the storytelling. This was always a very strong point for the game. Since the game story hasn't changed, this is obviously a pathetic attempt by entitled people protected by anonymity on Steam to "punish" the game dev for perceived wrongs.

Good on Steam for trying to show these types of actions for what they are.
Posted on Reply
#13
StrayKAT
9700 Pro said:
All of this because of one word. If game developers would hear all the swearing and other "non correct" words I say when gaming goes wrong, they would have heart attack immediately.
Everyone gets touchy about anything involving race these days. And tries too hard to look righteous. There was that one company that hired JonTron to do voice acting, but then he made some Nazi comment on Youtube and they pulled him...

But the ridiculous thing is that JonTron is an Iranian-American immigrant.
Posted on Reply
#14
INSTG8R
Hugh Mungus said:
I wasn't talking about the pewdiepie/firewatch situation and if I was I would be neutral. Pewdiepie made a mistake, Firewatch devs overreacted slightly and then they were like: well, it's wrong, but maybe we shouldn't bomb his house.

This is more useful for things like the GTA offline mods being banned.
Yeah I will agree it was a bit of an over reaction but hey internet...
Posted on Reply
#15
Ubersonic
newtekie1 said:
Not technically a false copyright strike.
It is because he had permission from them to both make/distribute the videos and to monetize them. They never revoked that permission or even contacted him to request removal of the videos they just hit him with the fake strike to try and cause damage to him and the removal of videos associated with themselves.

This is pretty much what happened a couple of months ago when Wargaming merely threatened Sir_Foch with a fake copyright strike for videos he made with their permission because they didn't like one video, it unleashed a colossal ****storm upon them that Campo Santo should really have learnt from.
Posted on Reply
#16
StrayKAT
Ubersonic said:
It is because he had permission from them to both make/distribute the videos and to monetize them. They never revoked that permission or even contacted him to request removal of the videos they just hit him with the fake strike to try and cause damage to him and the removal of videos associated with themselves.

This is pretty much what happened a couple of months ago when Wargaming merely threatened Sir_Foch with a fake copyright strike for videos he made with their permission because they didn't like one video, it unleashed a colossal ****storm upon them that Campo Santo should really have learnt from.
A lot of silicon valley (including small companies like Campo Santo) are taken over by hyper-sensitive SJW cultists. This is the real problem. It's taken the entirety of Google over too.

It will only get worse before it gets better... and there will be no "learning" anytime soon. I wouldn't doubt that one is reading my post right now, thinking I'm some redneck who doesn't understand "minority" experiences and I'm too insensitive. Except I'm an Asian myself.. and have literally been chased by Neo-Nazis. I've dealt with true racism. Not pretend internet outrage. And even when they confront this, they're too self-righteous to have any shame. They'll just call me an Uncle Tom.
Posted on Reply
#17
neatfeatguy
StrayKAT said:
I'm still the same shallow kid as I was 30 years ago.... when I looked at the back of boxes and said "Looks cool! I want to play that!"

Word of mouth works too, but that's basically it. I purchase a lot on Steam this way. I'm usually happy enough. Firewatch is good btw..
I miss the days I could sink 30+ minutes just walking down the long rows with 3-4 shelves full of PC games at Best Buy, trying to figure out what game looked the most interesting by reading the info on the boxes and gauging the images.....

Today, everyone and their stupid ass cousin can post some retarded, off the wall review online or some gaming platform (such as Steam) and I find it very disheartening. You also have the problem that legit gaming sites, a good bit of reviewers also hold some kind of bias towards certain companies or types of games and their reviews are hard to rely on as well.....

Social media sites that allow mass sharing of information quickly can bring up a product just as fast as it can tear one down.

I still try to go by the fact that I get some information about a game as it moves through the development stages, avoid player reviews when a game launches (people will cry/bitch about the smallest things until it's patched) and quickly glance over actual gaming site reviews to get an idea of what a game holds once it releases.
Posted on Reply
#18
Raevenlord
News Editor
kn00tcn said:
does TPU have user engagement statistics when language like this is used? i find it pretty infuriating when a news post tells the reader what to do or think, this started happening a decade ago with 'normie' & clickbait blogs, there's no reason for it... people have an intrinsic urge to make a comment, the fact that a lot of articles (of any site) have people commenting on only the headline shows that asking the reader to comment is redundant unread text

as for the question, showing the graph is quite the opposite of censoring opinions... in fact it shows an interestingly large amount of positive ratings at the same time as the negative... how is this censoring? when reviews or negative threads get deleted, that's censoring, but if a mob is bullying a store page, regular people have the right to know that there is a mob present
The discussion around this subject seems to revolve around both of those fields. On one side, users say this is a censorship approach from Steam. On the other, there are people saying thank you because they want to have additional data.

These are the two prevailing arguments on the issue. That is what I'm reporting. I'm not telling you how to think, I'm asking What you think about those two sides. Really don't understand your post.
Posted on Reply
#19
LFaWolf
StrayKAT said:
Everyone gets touchy about anything involving race these days. And tries too hard to look righteous. There was that one company that hired JonTron to do voice acting, but then he made some Nazi comment on Youtube and they pulled him...

But the ridiculous thing is that JonTron is an Iranian-American immigrant.
Your logic is beyond me. Why is that ridiculous? Given the fact that JonTron is Iranian, it is no surprising that he made pro-Nazi or anti-Semitic comments. And no, I am not Jewish.
Posted on Reply
#20
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
LFaWolf said:
Your logic is beyond me. Why is that ridiculous? Given the fact that JonTron is Iranian, it is no surprising that he made pro-Nazi or anti-Semitic comments. And no, I am not Jewish.
Because they don't limit their hatred to Jewish peoples. Catholics, blacks, asians, Muslims...the list is quite long. Also just because he is Iranian does not mean he is necessarily of any particular religion. Many peoples of Persian background are Christian, as well as Zoroastrian.
Posted on Reply
#21
LFaWolf
rtwjunkie said:
Because they don't limit their hatred to Jewish peoples. Catholics, blacks, asians, Muslims...the list is quite long. Also just because he is Iranian does not mean he is necessarily of any particular religion. Many peoples of Persian background are Christian, as well as Zoroastrian.
Huh? So then it is ridiculous to pull him? They should still let him do the voice over? We are talking about ethnicity here, not religion right? What does religion have to do with it? I don't get it.
Posted on Reply
#22
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
LFaWolf said:
Huh? So then it is ridiculous to pull him? They should still let him do the voice over? We are talking about ethnicity here, not religion right? What does religion have to do with it? I don't get it.
You brought it up by mentioning Jewish. You might be interested to know many convert to Judaism, it is not just limited to an ethnic group.

You said just because Jon tron is Iranian it is not surprising he made anti Semitic remarks. I pointed out he might easily be Christian, which group of believers are in modern times normally not haters of Jewish peoples.

Thus: Iranian background is not automatic anti-Semite.
Posted on Reply
#23
StrayKAT
LFaWolf said:
Your logic is beyond me. Why is that ridiculous? Given the fact that JonTron is Iranian, it is no surprising that he made pro-Nazi or anti-Semitic comments. And no, I am not Jewish.
He's just an immature gamer. I bet he tosses around the word "fag" and "retard" a lot too.

And he's a millennial. Even when they're not hipsters, they're ironic smartasses anyways.
Posted on Reply
#24
LFaWolf
rtwjunkie said:
You brought it up by mentioning Jewish. You might be interested to know many convert to Judaism, it is not just limited to an ethnic group.
I said anit-Semitic, meaning anti Jews, not the Jewish religtion. I said I am not Jewish. I should say I am not Jew either.
Posted on Reply
#25
LFaWolf
StrayKAT said:
He's just an immature gamer. I bet he tosses around the word "fag" and "retard" a lot too.

And he's a millennial. Even when they're not hipsters, they're ironic smartasses anyways.
I see. Then I think they did the right thing to pull him then. He did say the wrong thing and probably offended a lot of people.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment