Major review aggregator Metacritic has banned a group of users that seemed to be submitting a flood of negative reviews for games including Bastion
and Toy Soldiers: Cold War
The site, a subsidiary of CBS Interactive's Gamespot, has removed the "zero" reviews, which started appearing last week, from its user review averages, according to a report from Giant Bomb
While the motivations for the attacks remain unclear, internet users often use public reviews on major sites to register their displeasure with certain aspects of games. A large group of users flooded Amazon with negative reviews of EA's Spore
in 2008 to protest the game's use of what they saw as overly restrictive DRM.
Publishers and developers often use Metacritic's primary metascores -- which are determined by professional review scores posted on other sites -- to determine performance bonuses for developers. Many consumers and journalists also use these scores as a quick reference to determine the overall critical consensus on a game.
Earlier this year, the site removed a feature
that showed averaged metascores for individual developers, after users complained about the implementation.