So it looks like gamers are none too happy with Deep Silver after it was announced that the newest entry into the Metro franchise would have a one year exclusivity deal with Epic Store.
Looking at the Steam reviews for both Metro Last Light and Metro 2033 Redux, the review-bombing is remarkably similar. Around 700 negative reviews, many using the same asinine ASCII art or phrases, and involving many of the same accounts, have been dropped so far. Most of them are barely even relevant to the game series itself, instead attacking the publisher, Deep Silver.
Remember that toxic influence I mentioned that Steam has on the gaming scene? This is a direct example of it. The ability for gamers to negatively attack a publisher or developer for biased reasons, whether their intentions are good or bad, has a net negative effect. The platform used to attack becomes less trustworthy, in the case of Steam reviews the sudden shift makes it harder to new players to judge quality, and then there’s the matter of what happens when the intentions of the mob turn sour.
The trend can be seen in response to other developments as well. After Firewatch developer Campo Santo issued a DMCA takedown against Pewdiepie for using racial slurs, an angry mob of gamers screeched “SJW!” and review-bombed the title. After indie developer Amanita Design changed a character design which some compared to a racist caricature, the exact same thing played out with their game CHUCHEL.
Anyone who can look at these and the litany of other review-bombings and fails to see the negative impact, either financially or psychologically, might want to take another look. Valve could take charge of these situations and eliminate the practice almost completely by creating a simple system to flag these kinds of spam “reviews”, but that kind of moderation has long been something Valve refuses to do.
Whether or not this act of protest forces Deep Silver to reconsider this exclusivity deal or prompts Steam to offer better, more competitive services remains to be seen, but it is clear that this deal will remain controversial.