With Epic Games' newest user rating feature, review bombing should be a thing of the past. With this new rating system, not just anyone can review a game, but gamers will need to play a game for at least two hours to be eligible to rate the game on a five-star scale.
Even after meeting these requirements, players still might not get a chance to vote as the offer to rate the game will be random. The idea in and of itself is not exactly terrible, but the random nature behind who gets to vote could cause some problems. Perhaps those who are asked don't want to vote or those who would like to give their honest opinion may never have the chance. Also, by only allowing those who have played the game for a minimum of two hours, this could shift the score to a more positive side, as someone really didn't like the game after 30 minutes will not be able to share their score at all.
These ratings will create an overall rating based on all player reports and will appear on a title's Epic Games Store page. While they claim this is to help users figure out whether a game’s worth playing, it still feels like shifting the narrative to where most games will receive a more positive rating with the two hour base line voting scale.
Epic Games will not ask for ratings on every game and will continue to use the randomization approach to avoid spamming players with ratings, polls, and broad range questions.
Epic will use all the data gathered from players to then create tags for store pages. These tags will be used to create tag-based categories for the home page and to help all players find games that they are interested in more easily.
While the tag-based categories seem helpful, this new way of rating may or may not be the best course of action. While review bombing can hurt games, it is also the way for the community to speak out openly about a game and how they feel. Usually review bombing isn't done randomly, usually occuring after players feel cheated and/or lied to. To take that ability away by adding a two hour minimum play time to vote, along with a randomized scale, seems like there may be an alternative motive by Epic Games Store.
About the Author
Aspen is an avid gamer and Twitch streamer currently residing in Japan. She is most attracted to games narrative design and is a huge fan of player choice in games. If Aspen is not playing games, she is most certainly writing about them.
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