Metacritic Brings Down The Hammer On ‘Review Bombers’
The war for trust in reviews and other things on the internet continues. More and more sites are learning that subversion and spam can be purchased. New tools and methods are needed to keep things real. You can see a perfect example of review and tag bombing at Amazon by visiting the LGF kindle subscription page where the blogstalkers and booted lizards have panned LGF.
“Review bombing,” for the uninitiated, is the act of posting very low score user reviews on sites like Metacritic or Amazon in order to bring down the review average. It’s an oft used tactic in the ongoing war between the console fanbases, with platform exclusives, particularly in the more competitive genres, getting hundreds of negative reviews from grumpy fans or iconoclasts who deem a title “overrated.” While this causes bigger publishers to simply tut, roll their eyes and light up another cigar with a flaming fifty, it can be a devastating blow to a smaller developers. Both Supergiant Games and Signal Studios saw the Metacritic scores of their latest games, Bastion and Toy Soldiers: Cold War respectively, drop sharply overnight, without a clear reason why.
Metacritic seemed content to let the reviews, many of which were straight zeroes with no written content whatsoever, stand, at least prior to an editorial on Giant Bomb. Metacritic has since pulled some of the negative reviews, and banned the users responsible, returning Bastion and Toy Solidiers: Cold War’s Metacritic scores to something more in line with the opinions of sane people.