Review bombing is the practice of providing wave after wave of negative user reviews within a short period of time, a practice more commonly known as review bombing.
Epic Games has announced that it will no longer allow anyone to submit reviews for their own games but instead will ask random players after playing a game for more than two hours to provide a five-star rating. After these scores have been collected, the 'Overall Rating' of each game will be calculated.
Review-bomb campaigns often point out legitimately harmful consumer practices, but they're typically used in bad faith to protest political stances, or where marginalized groups are featured in media.
Review-bombing trolls have forced movie review sites like Rotten Tomatoes to make changes to mitigate the problem.
Following Disney and Lucasfilm's condemnation of racist attacks on Moses Ingram, Disney Plus' Obi-Wan Kenobi received negative reviews. Similarly, Valve announced in 2019 that it would hide scores for off-topic reviews.
As Epic's implementation of reviews proves, it isn't going to burden players too much and will prevent review bombing. Due to the randomness of the requests, we won't spam our players, and we probably won't ask about every application or game-used.
We will have to wait and see whether Epic's approach to safeguarding games from review bombing and ensuring those assigning scores are actual players of the game.
Fending off review bombing campaigns is a major challenge for many tech companies - even Google has systems in place to catch bad faith reviews - so let's wait and see how its approach works in the real world.
To generate tags for products on the Epic Games Store, Epic will also poll players at random about their most recent play session.
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