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Metacritic promises better moderation post-Horizon DLC review bombing

Going forward, Metacritic will use new tools to try and curtail games from being review bombed by its users.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

April 26, 2023

1 Min Read
Key art from Guerrilla's Horizon: Burning Shores showing Aloy running from a FARO machine.

[Note: This story contains small spoilers for Guerilla Games' Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC.]

Review aggregate site Metacritic said it planned to "evolve its processes" for user reviews to prevent

from flooding the site with negative reviews as a form of retaliation. The change has been brough on due to review bombing of Guerrilla's recent Burning Shores expansion for Horizon Forbidden West

In the game's new content, players can choose to have protagonist Aloy enter a romantic relationship with Seyka, a character introduced in the expansion. Upon the expansion's release, players gave it a a low user rating on Metacritic, using the comment section to call out the DLC for choosing to portray a queer relationship.  

In a statement given to Eurogamer, Metacritic said it was "aware of the abusive and disrespectful reviews...and we have a moderation system in place to track violations of our terms of use. [...] We are currently evolving our processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months."

It's worth noting that reviews from Metacritic previously resulted in developers losing bonus pay for their efforts, as we learned with Obsidian Entertainment after Fallout: New Vegas released in 2010. It's not known how much user reviews play into that, but the negative reaction may have affected Guerrilla all the same. 

At time of writing, the user rating for Burning Shores is at 4.0 out of 10. Multiple reviews of the expansion that have violated the site's terms of use have been removed. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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