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Metacritic changed the user review process for games

Metacritic - The Last of Us Part 2

Metacritic has altered the way that they collect reviews for a game. The big change to the system will see user reviews delayed by more than a day after a game has launched.

Currently Metacritic is one of the places that consumers deem most reliable for rating a game. The site collects review scores from press outlets around the world, giving a game an aggregate critic and user review score.

However, this change means that user reviews, which have been used to artificially drop the review score of a game in the past, can no longer be used to review bomb a game within the first 24 hours of release.

The change was picked up on the PlayStation 4 version of Superliminal. The game’s release date was July 7, 2020, but user reviews could not be submitted until the 9th of July. Ghost of Tsushima had the same change implemented, with the game launching on the July 17, 2020, and reviews being available for posting on the 18th of July, 36 hours later.

Metacritic has reached out to and explained that the change has been implemented as a result of review bombing over the past year. When a game releases that fans are pleased with, but many other people aren’t, it can be subject to artificially bad reviews. If the game gains traction, it was possible to post a user review without having played the game, which is totally pointless, rendering the aggregate score void.

This new rule will make it easier for people to judge actual review scores for a game, and notice when review bombing occurs.

Some believe that this change is the direct result of The Last of Us Part 2’s review bombing. The game was hit with multiple poor reviews, with issues such as the appearance of characters in the game, and the death of a key character cited as the reason. These are opinions of course, but they aren’t critical of whether the game is technically good or bad.

Metacritic insists that the change has nothing to do with The Last of Us Part 2. Indeed, a change like this must have been in the works for some time. It takes weeks to develop and test such an alteration. However, The Last of Us Part 2 was probably the nail in the coffin, and the last straw for Metacritic. It wouldn’t be surprising to see further changes like this made on the site in the future.

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