According to Gamespot, Metacritic, the popular review score aggregator site, has just implemented a change many had been asking for – a timed-delay for User Review scores. Specifically, these reviews will only be enabled 36 hours after the release of a game. As included in the Gamespot article a Metacritic spokesperson explained the decision:
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… 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.Gamespot
This seems to be a direct result of recent events… Several games of late have seen the site’s User Review section used as a tool of protest and the practice of ‘review bombing’ games (scoring games as ‘0’ (or at least ‘Negative’) moments after the launch especially while commenting on specific aspects of a game that one has not had the time to actually play and experience) is becoming more and more common. Of course, while some of the concerns raised against those games (and associated developers etc) could be valid and may have some merit, bombing reviews seem to have little effect on sales, leave many interested players confused and uninformed about the games themselves and worst of all, too often seem to incite comment sections filled with toxicity and much abusive speech.
This action is clearly a move to curb that side of things. It will be interesting to see if it has the desired effect or is simply a move that delays the inevitable.