Epic Games has debuted a new rating system for its Epic Games Store platform that it hopes will curb review-bombing efforts.
As reported by PC Gamer, Epic wants to emphasize users’ thoughts and opinions on games while preventing them from using the technology against itself to tear down a game. To aggregate reviews, the new system will randomly ask some users to rate games on a standard one-to-five star scale. To receive this post-game pop-up, players must have played a game for at least two hours. Even then, not all players who play a game will receive the opportunity to review it: the system is random, making it difficult for players to organize a coordinated effort to give a game low ratings.
In addition to randomized review opportunities, Epic will also ask random players to respond to polls about games they’ve played. Example poll questions that Epic provided include, “Is this game good to play with a group?” and “How challenging are the bosses in this game?” Players will be able to choose from several preset answers or indicate that the poll isn’t relevant to the game in question. Over time, the answers from these polls will be used to create tags, which will then be used on the Epic Games Store to better direct players to games they may enjoy. PC Gamer compared the system to a customer satisfaction survey that a website or restaurant may ask its customers to fill out.
Competing digital games platform Steam also uses reviews and user-generated tags, but it’s much easier to review-bomb a game there because anyone can write one and assign a “recommended” or “not recommended” tag to their review. Too many “not recommended” reviews will drive a game’s average score down. Epic hopes to avoid this problem through review randomization, though it remains to be seen how effective the system will be.