Review-bombing has become a serious problem on the review aggregate website Metacritic. Over the past few years, we’ve seen user scores for a number of high profile Nintendo Switch games plummet on release.
This happened to Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! in 2018, Astral Chain in 2019 and most recently Animal Crossing: New Horizons earlier this year. A lot of the time, these zero out of 10 user scores are dished out by people who haven’t even played the games yet.
Metacritic is seemingly fed up with this and has decided to take action against these disgruntled gamers by implementing a 36-hour delay to all user-written video game reviews – after seeking advice from data-driven research, critics, and industry experts.
Here’s a statement about the new “waiting period” from a Metacritic spokesperson (via GameSpot):
“We recently implemented the 36 hour waiting period for all user reviews in our games section to ensure our gamers have time to play these games before writing their reviews. This new waiting period for user reviews has been rolled out across Metacritic’s Games section and was based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts.”
As noted by Eurogamer, this new waiting period went live earlier this week. Before user reviews open, there’s now a message – asking players to “please spend some time playing the game”.
It’s hard to say how effective this will be against review-bombing. Nintendo’s new release Paper Mario: The Origami King is one of the first games to test out this new system, and at the time of writing, its user score is 6.1 out of 10.
What do you think about the delay Metacritic has placed on user reviews? Do you think this will be enough to stop review-bombing? Share your thoughts down below.