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GOG warns users over review bombing after Hitman sparks DRM row

"We will not tolerate review bombing and will be removing posts that do not follow our review guidelines."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 27, 2021

2 Min Read

Digital marketplace GOG has warned users it won't tolerate review bombing after shoppers began hurling negative ratings at Hitman: Game of The Year Edition over its use of DRM.

GOG has specifically positioned itself as the place to shop for "DRM-free games," which means they can be played offline. As some users have pointed out, however, Hitman: Game of the Year Edition requires an internet connection to access certain single-player features like Escalation missions, Elusive Targets, and the mastery system that powers the game's many unlocks.

Despite this, GOG is advertising the title as "DRM Free" and notes that "no activation or online connection" is required to play. Ironically, that message is displayed directly alongside another that explains an "internet connection is required to access Escalation missions, Elusive Targets or user-created Contracts. Story and bonus missions can be played offline."

That paradoxical messaging (pictured below) has resulted in Hitman being review bombed into oblivion, with the title currently boasting a 1.4 star rating (out of five) on GOG. Many of those negative reviews specifically call out the use of DRM, and brand the GOG page as misleading.

Screenshot_2021-09-27_at_12.38.17.png

"This is completely shameful, on both the side of the publisher, for not working an actual DRM-Free version and on the side of GOG, for selling this as a 'DRM-Free' version, when its clearly not the case," reads one user review from Neurus_Ex. "This game should've never gotten past GOG's curation," claims another from ZireaelPC.

Addressing the issue on the community forums, GOG said it was looking into the matter and would offer an update in the coming weeks, before calling out review bombers and indicating it will be removing posts that don't follow its guidelines.

"Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention," said a GOG spokesperson (as spotted by Eurogamer). "We're looking into it and will be updating you in the coming weeks. In case you have purchased Hitman and are not satisfied with the released version, you can use your right to refund the game. At the same time, while we’re open for meritful discussion and feedback, we will not tolerate review bombing and will be removing posts that do not follow our review guidelines."

At the time of writing, the Hitman: Game of the Year listing still contains reams of negative user reviews and continues to tout the title as "DRM free."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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