Metacritic bans 'bombing' user reviewers

Problematic reviewers targeting games with low scores

Metacritic has begun identifying and banning user reviewers 'bombing' games with overly-negative verdicts.


The problematic users have been targeting certain games and branding them with 0% review scores without a written review, it's claimed.

The developers of Bastion and Toy Soldiers: Cold War are among those affected by the practice, and considering some publishers determine bonus payouts based on Metacritic ratings (though currently not user ratings), the review aggregation firm's expectedly been barked into action.

"A publisher of a different game let us know that he noticed that his game had been 'bombed' by a bunch of zero ratings in an unusually short period of time," Metacritic co-founder Marc Doyle told Giant Bomb.

"While investigating those ratings, we noticed a group of user accounts and activities that were clearly illegitimate and violated our terms of use."

Metacritic said it found a group of users had been coordinating attacks on various games within its database before fixing the 'bombings'.

Toy Soldiers dev Signal Studios proposed a fix for the problem; having user reviewers' account verified.

President Douglas Robert Albright argued: "The way to fix Metacritic user reviews is to simply require a written review and verify user accounts. If it was just some random blog I'd say whatever. But this is a major news review aggregator that should have better oversight and some standards."

[ SOURCE: Giant Bomb ]