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Metacritic Takes Step To Remove Spam User Reviews

Major review aggregator Metacritic has banned a group of users that seemed to be coordinating to flood games including Bastion and Toy Soldiers: Cold War with negative user reviews.
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. "A publisher of a different game let us know that he noticed that his game had been 'bombed' by a bunch of zero ratings in an unusually short period of time," Doyle told Giant Bomb. "While investigating those ratings, we noticed a group of user accounts and activities that were clearly illegitimate and violated our terms of use." 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.

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