Steam Stuff - What Has the Digital Distribution Giant Done Lately?


I love these guys.


This is good!


That change can be described easily: we’re going to identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score.

On DRM or EULA focused reviews:

We had long debates about these two, and others like them. They’re technically not a part of the game, but they are an issue for some players. In the end, we’ve decided to define them as off-topic review bombs. Our reasoning is that the “general” Steam player doesn’t care as much about them, so the Review Score is more accurate if it doesn’t contain them. In addition, we believe that players who do care about topics like DRM are often willing to dig a little deeper into games before purchasing - which is why we still keep all the reviews within the review bombs. It only takes a minute to dig into those reviews to see if the issue is something you care about.


Filtering out the “political” stuff is good, filtering out issues with the software (and DRM in particular is a software issue) is very bad.


I appreciate that they’re doing something about this problem, but I absolutely don’t agree that DRM and EULA complaints should be excluded - they’re put there via developer/publisher decision and are still very much a part of the product you’re buying.


I don’t agree with the DRM or the EULA.




Well the reviews are still there, they just don’t count towards the score. And you can opt-out:

Finally, we’ve also enabled you to opt out of this entirely, if that’s your preference - there’s now a checkbox in your Steam Store options where you can choose to have off-topic review bombs still included in all the Review Scores you see.


I would hope, and frankly expect, that negative reviews due to predatory monetization aren’t considered off-topic.


Being able to leave in people getting mad about random shit is not the same as Steam not filtering relevant shit.


As I’d agree DRM ad EULAs are valid concerns revolving around games, maybe have a second set of data attached specifically to DRM? A review score wouldn’t work because most people won’t leave a positive review for a DRM service, but maybe link to a forum discussing any related issues gamers are having with it.


Valve needs to moderate and put humans in the loop instead of relying on algorithms.

Wait! Don’t moderate like that! That’s not how I want it done!

I’m just over here cackling.


It’s also key to note that this only pertains to review bombs. Meaning a large group of people organize on Reddit or whatever to collectively purchase, review, then return a game because it features a female protagonist, Denuvo DRM, or whatever. Reviews that don’t look anomalous to their presumably bayesian algorithm shouldn’t trigger any action.


Netflix ditched user reviews some time ago I thought?


Yeah, Valve’s not going to develop a solution that can’t be governed by an algorithm. Hundreds of one-way reviews come in on the same day? A computer can monitor that and act accordingly. Need to read through a hundred reviews to figure out which ones are actually about the game and which ones were submitted because the protagonist wasn’t white? Good luck getting a software company to agree to do that.




👍👎 66% Match


You read the article right? They’re using algorithms, that’s why all reviews during a period will be removed, not just the ones that violate their new policy. It’s in the FAQ. They see a spike, remove it all, no human.

Their current review system is mostly fine. Lots of games break mods, but not all of them get reviewed poorly for it… wonder what the difference is.