Some people don’t trust reviews and usually would rather find out for themselves if it is something they like or don’t like. Others trust reviews completely, sometimes opting to watch/not watch, buy/not buy a movie, video game, product, and so on, based entirely on reviews. Safe to say that reviews do play a strong role in helping a customer reach their decision.

This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that Valve will be giving Steam’s review system an overhaul. According to a blog post on the Steam website, this is done to combat spam bots, who are going about marking reviews as helpful or unhelpful. Valve notes that typically players rate a few reviews as help or unhelpful, but they’ve also been discovering some accounts are marking reviews on an inhuman level.

“However, we found a small set of users on the far extreme that are clearly trying to accomplish something quite different from normal players, and are rating more than 10,000 reviews as helpful or unhelpful on a single game. This behavior is not only humanly impossible, but definitely not a thoughtful indication of how ‘helpful’ each of those reviews were.”

Valve adds that this can distort how reviews are displayed, which in some cases is unfair for developers. “This can result in a confusing appearance where the default set of reviews shown are negative, even when most players have posted positive reviews and clearly enjoy the game.” To that end, Valve will be making some changes to its review system, such as how they go about calculating the helpfulness of each review.

They will also display positive and negative reviews in a similar proportion, where if a game received 80% positive reviews, 8 of those positive reviews will be displayed, followed by 2 negative ones.

Filed in Gaming >General. Read more about Steam (Valve) and Valve.

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