Deals? In GAMING?!
Recently, Valve has initiated a crackdown on Steam’s review system. Although the service is relatively helpful in some instances, there’s apparently been problems with developers using review pages to fraudulently boost game scores. In order to combat this, Valve implemented a major change- no reviews made on copies of a game purchased outside of Steam (such as being activated with a key) will be displayed on the game’s store page.
Understandably, this change made developers and quite a few players upset. While the measure certainly reduces the ability of game creators to flood the store with A+ reviews of their own work, it also bars players and legitimate reviewers from making comments on a game that may have been purchased from an outside site like GOG or The Humble Store. Now, Valve has retracted the announcement, and made a concession: reviews written on such copies of the game will be displayed, but not actually factored into the game’s overall score.
Putting an end to fraudulent reviews is a step in the right direction for Valve, but their implementation leaves something to be desired. The number of players who legitimately purchase their games outside of Steam is no small number, and eager reviewers as well as smaller developers who depend on Steam reviews have been left in the dust. Valve admits that reviews are still a “work-in-progress” though, with the “helpful/unhelpful” feature headed for changes next. Although the situation is frustrating, all that remains to be done is wait for the next change and hope Valve thinks of a less ostracizing method to prevent fraud.