Steam counters Borderlands 2 review bombing with ‘off-topic review’ marking

Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford has said the developer may reconsider its ‘posture’ towards Steam as the Epic Games exclusivity row rumbles on.

Review-bombing is not a new concept on Steam, but it is becoming a more and more common way for fans to express their displeasure with a particular company or franchise.

All it involves is large numbers of fans getting together and giving over-the-top negative reviews for an existing game, usually to protest a title that’s not out yet or a publisher or developer in general.

Because the protests are so low tech they’re very hard to counter, but Valve has finally introduced ‘off-topic reviews’ marking, following the review-bombing of 2012 title Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 2 was targeted because developer Gearbox decided to make upcoming sequel Borderlands 3 a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store.

But it isn’t just fans that have gotten angry about the situation, as Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford took to Twitter to complain about Steam and said that he would, ‘reconsider Gearbox Publishing’s current posture on the platform’.

The annoucement of using off-topic reviews marking with Borderlands 2 came only hours later, although whether it was a direct reaction to Pitchford’s tweet or not is unclear.

But while Steam’s new review system may satisfy disgruntled publishers and developers, who feel their games are being unfairly targeted, nothing seems capable of stopping the increasing flood of PC games that are signing up for Epic Games Store exclusivity.

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