Borderlands 2 is the First Steam Title to Use the New “Off-Topic Reviews” Marking to Combat Review Bombing
It took the recent announcement of Borderlands 3 being an Epic Games timed Exclusive for Steam to try out it's new "Off-Topic Reviews" system.
Review bombing is nothing new. Steam users have been using the tactic for years now to express their displeasure directly with developers as well as consumers. However, many times the player’s review bombing tactic doesn’t even involve the game. So, Steam has implemented a system to try to separate the fair criticism from the criticism that doesn’t revolve around the specific game and Borderlands 2 is the first title to take advantage of it.
After the recent news of Borderlands 3 coming to the Epic Store as a six-month exclusive, fans of the series went to Steam to express their displeasure on other games in the series. As Kotaku pointed out, quotes range from “Love the game, but I can’t recommend it because the sequel will be exclusive somewhere else,” to “scummy company that insults every single person that purchased the game on this site.” There is even one post with two middle fingers up.
After a couple of days past, the new “Off-Topic Review” system kicked in to separate the criticism. Over 4000 reviews have been excluded from the rating calculation.
Borderlands 2 is the first game on Steam to make use of the "off-topic reviews" marking. Over 4000 reviews are excluded from the rating calculation. pic.twitter.com/kUMN0Lqdx3
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) April 6, 2019
As of right now, the title’s Steam page states that the recent reviews have been very positive, but has an astrict next to the text. If you hover over the text, a paragraph appears stating that the product has received some off-topic reviews recently.
It is worth noting that the new system can be toggle withing your preferences if you would like to see all the reviews regardless of the review bombing.
What is also worth noting is how ineffective this tactic has been. Borderlands 2 peaked a little over 40,000 concurrent users the other day which put it as one of the top ten most played games on the platform that day. On top of that, The Handsome Collection is also currently a Steam top seller. The review bombing tactic might have had the exact opposite result then what some people wanted.