Metacritic is making some changes to its website in order to combat user review bombing. From now on, any game on the site will be locked down for 36 hours and won’t allow users to post any positive or negative reviews.
According to a statement by Metacritic’s representative, this should help to combat fake reviews and review bombers.
“We recently implemented the 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.”
While the statement doesn’t mention any specifics, we can assume that The Last of Us Part II was a final instance that pushed Metacritic to implement this change. Just a few hours after the game’s launch, the game received thousands of bad reviews from users who haven’t played the game themselves.
In recent years, review bombing became one of the most common forms of protest on the internet. These negative reviews usually don’t have much to do with the overall quality of the game. Campaigns against a game are usually organized by certain individuals who didn’t like a specific portion or detail of the title. Previous review bombing campaigns targeted games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (because Russians in a game are portrayed as antagonists), Death Stranding, Warcraft III: Reforged, Pokemon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and more.