Review aggregation site Metacritic has introduced a 36-hour delay to the publication of user scores, after a number of high-profile releases were deliberately flooded with negative user verdicts.
When users visit a Metacritic page for a new game, they’ll now see the message, “Please spend some time playing the game.”
The Last of Us Part II was the latest title to be targeted by a ‘review bombing’ campaign, which is when users submit a large number of negative scores on-mass, regardless of whether they’ve played the game, with the aim of dropping its overall average.
In the case of The Last of Us, developer Naughty Dog had received harassment and threats from people citing issues with the game’s story. The people in question then seemingly targeted the game’s Metacritic page with a flood of negative reviews.
Riot Games‘ Volarant was also targeted by review bombers this year, with users citing displeasure with the game’s anti-cheat software.
In a statement, Metacritic told its partner site GameSpot that the decision to implement a delay on user reviews was not based on the reaction to any game in particular.
“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,” a Metacritic spokesperson said.
“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.”
Launched in 1999, Metacritic says it curates reviews from only “the world’s most respected critics.”
Metacritic’s Metascore is a weighted average it comes to by assigning more importance, or weight, to some critics and publications than others, based on “their quality and overall stature.”