Metacritic, the popular review aggregating website, has decided to delay user reviews for new games until 36 hours after they’ve been released in a defense against “review bombing.”As reported by GameSpot, this decision comes only a few weeks after the release of The Last of Us Part 2, which is one of the most recent examples of games targeted by negative reviews, many of which come only hours after a game is completed.
Considering The Last of Us Part 2 can take 20-30 hours to complete, many early reviews were assuredly from those who had yet to finish it.
“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,” a Metacritic spokesperson said in a statement to GameSpot. “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.”
Metacritic stated the decision was not directly linked to any particular game, but was a move in the fight to stop these “review bombers” from bringing down a game’s overall user score as soon as it’s released.
In addition to the user review issues, online harassment and death threats were also targeted at The Last of Us Part 2’s Laura Bailey and director Neil Druckmann. Fortunately, many came to their defense and, as Bailey put it, “I’ve always believed that good people far outweigh the bad. Thanks for reminding me of that today.”
Despite these issues, The Last of Us Part 2 still led June 2020’s video game sales and had the biggest first month of any 2020 game in the U.S.
Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.