The Epic Games Store is improving its functionality over time, and with the latest update, the company has introduced a rating system for its online store.
The system adds ratings and polls to the store, which players see at intervals after playing games. The collected information is used to populate the game store page with more information about it.
The system has been designed in such a way as to prevent waves of negative user feedback from occurring all at once in an attempt to harm sales or popularity, a practice more commonly known as review bombing.
The phenomenon is that a large number of people – or in other cases, a small number of people with multiple accounts – leave negative ratings.
The significance of this update is how Epic Games designed functionality related to the coordinated behavior issue.
Customer reviews are now just as important, if not more so, than professional critic reviews, across many areas. But online dynamics can see them used in unintended ways.
Rather than letting anyone review their own game, it asks random players who have played a game for more than two hours to review it on a five-star scale. These results are then combined to create an overall rating for each game.
Review bombing campaigns can sometimes indicate legitimately harmful consumer practices. But it is often used in bad faith to protest that a content creator has taken political positions or if the media in question features people from marginalized backgrounds.
Epic Games has introduced a new rating system
Movie sites like Rotten Tomatoes have had to make changes to deal with trolls launching review bombing attacks to achieve moderate success.
Disney Plus’ Obi-Wan Kenobi recently came under review bombing attacks when Disney and Lucasfilm condemned the racist attacks on cast member Moses Ingram.
And Valve had to deal with the issue, too, announcing in 2019 that it was hiding rating points off-topic.
Epic Games believes that its implementation of revisions may prevent revision bombing attacks and would not be too stressful for players.
She says: Because these requests are random, we won’t send spam emails to our players, nor will we ask for every game or app used. This approach protects games from revision blasting attacks and ensures that the people who determine outcomes are actual game players.
But fighting review bombing campaigns is a huge challenge for many tech companies. Google has systems in place to get rid of bad faith reviews.
Epic Games also polls random players about their last gaming session. This is to help create product tags across the Epic Games Store.