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posted by chromas on Wednesday April 10 2019, @03:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the epic-protest-from-the-comfort-of-my-spinny-chair dept.

Off-topic review bombs are something I've really noticed taking place on Steam over the last year. Steam is working on ways to counteract the off-topic reviews, while also trying to let people's opinions be heard. It seems to be working somewhat, but it's far from perfect. Off-topic review bombing isn't helpful in the slightest, when trying to decide whether the current product is any good. Yet, how else should a consumer let others know that a company is going off the rails?

Personally, I would love an option to also rate the developers/corporations behind games as well. Perhaps a second rating for a game is needed? One rating for the game, and one rating for the publisher.

Borderlands review bomb triggers Steam’s “off topic” fix


Original Submission

Related Stories

Embracer Group Lets Go of Borderlands Maker for $460M After Three Years 1 comment

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/03/embracer-group-lets-go-of-borderlands-maker-for-460m-after-three-years/

Embracer Group has been backing away from its all-encompassing position in the games industry lately. The latest divestment is Gearbox Entertainment, the studio behind the Borderlands series it bought in early 2021 for a deal that could have been worth up to $1.37 billion to Gearbox had it stayed inside the Swedish conglomerate's grasp.

The buyer is Take-Two Interactive Software, which had previously partnered with Gearbox on publishing Borderlands and other titles. Take-Two will issue new shares of its common stock to pay $460 million for Gearbox, to be completed before the end of June this year. Embracer paid $363 million in cash and stock for Gearbox in 2021 but promised up to $1 billion more should the developer hit earnings goals over six years.

[...] Gearbox has studios in Texas, Montreal, and Quebec City, Canada. The firm had 550 employees at the time of its acquisition, but divisions of the company had seen layoffs in January.

[...] Embracer had been acquiring properties in 2021 and 2022 with an understanding that a planned $2 billion investment from the Saudi-government-backed Savvy Games Group would give the new mega-conglomerate some runway.

[...] Once the Saudi deal fell through in May 2023, however, the firm announced that it would undergo a major restructuring through March 2024. That included the shutdown of Volition in August 2023 and deep cuts at Eidos that took an unannounced Deus Ex title with them.

Gearbox and its Borderlands franchise were the biggest get, however. The looter-shooter series, struck through with (often exhausting) "edge-y" humor, has reportedly sold more than 77 million copies and earned more than $1 billion in revenue throughout its run, according to Bloomberg. Take-Two noted that a Borderlands game was "in active development" at Gearbox in its acquisition announcement.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Snow on Wednesday April 10 2019, @03:48PM (5 children)

    by Snow (1601) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @03:48PM (#827477) Journal

    People say EA sucks. Oh, Bethidisa is demon spawn. Blizzard is trash!!

    I don't know any more and I don't have the energy to care. The only thing I care about is: Is the game good/fun? Do I have to pay extra to get a good experience from the game?

    I really don't care if a company is evil because they implemented micro transactions and/or pay-to-win on game ABC when I'm looking to buy the Foobar game.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday April 10 2019, @03:50PM (3 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday April 10 2019, @03:50PM (#827478) Journal

      Knowing about a company's reputation can help you avoid wasting money. See Buggy Bethesda and Fallout 76.

      But if you don't care to keep track of that shit, just do the smart thing and not pre-order or buy in the initial months. Wait 6 months, or 1 year, and the game will be a fraction of the price, better patched, and more thoroughly reviewed.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ilsa on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:00PM (2 children)

        by ilsa (6082) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:00PM (#827482)

        This. And it's not limited to video games. I've learned the hard way that you do NOT trust what a company says about their product prior to release. The only thing that matters is what that product can do when it's in your hands, and that thing can end up being wildly different from the pre-launch promises. If it doesn't do what you want out of the box, do not trust that it will in the future, especially if it's a consumer level product.

        I don't pre-order anything. Same goes for kickstarter, et al, unless it's from a name I recognize as having a proven track record of following up on their promises, and that list is very small indeed. (Props to The Oatmeal and Christopher Tin!)

        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:08PM (1 child)

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:08PM (#827487) Journal

          I'm willing to throw a small amount of money (≤$25) into Kickstarter/Indiegogo for games that look interesting (2 so far), with the acceptance that the game may be delayed, bad, or money will be pissed away. Insert Star Citizen meme here.

          But as far as pre-ordering AAA games from established publishers? Nah. And if there are exclusives (game content) only available to pre-orderers, that would just turn me off even more.

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:56PM

            by Freeman (732) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:56PM (#827538) Journal

            I recently helped KickStart, Dungeon Defenders: Awakened. What they say sounds good, but yeah Kick Starter is very much a hope and see.

            --
            Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:01PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:01PM (#827572)

      I don't know any more and I don't have the energy to care. The only thing I care about is: Is the game good/fun?

      It's obvious, Snow, that you have to stop dating more than one game at a time. No wonder you're exhausted.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by negrace on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:04PM (2 children)

    by negrace (4010) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:04PM (#827484)

    We need "dissenter extension", but for reviews. So that Amazon/steam/google/etc could not even touch them.

    • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:22PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:22PM (#827524) Journal

      Apparently there's a setting in your Steam preferences to include the fake reviews.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:51PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:51PM (#827621)

        Apparently there's a setting in your Steam preferences to include the fake reviews.

        Your "fake reviews" characterization is not accurate.

        The user postings are simply categorized into "Recommended" or "Not Recommended". Users indicate whether they would recommend or not recommend the product, with the option to include text explaining why that is.

        Just because you happen to disagree with the reasoning behind their recommendation (or lack thereof) does not mean that it is "fake" -- which would imply the user actually recommends the product when selecting "Not Recommended" (or vice versa), or is being compensated in some manner to express a specific viewpoint (like being given a free game in exchange for recommending it or not recommending a competing product).

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:33PM (4 children)

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:33PM (#827497) Journal

    I mean we could be talking things of real importance. Instead we're talking about other things and all we can do is suggest maybe the submission isn't quite on topic. Why should anyone have the right to introduce things that aren't really relevant to the immediate subject at hand. It's as if people don't understand and intentionally go on and on and on and on about things that really aren't on the point at hand and this leads to frustration because things are not then correctly modded and what about where in China if things do not stay on topic they arrest you and put you in a work camp where you then have to write dissenting posts on foreign countries' boards where the results of which may influence elections and then the next thing you know someone else calls someone else and then you have a flame war instead of reasoned discussion I mean come on really but the problem is that one has to keep away from not discounting subtle or not so subtle intimations or else the entire world will lose its freedom of expression and you know how important that is uh-huh!!!

    --
    This sig for rent.
  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:34PM

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:34PM (#827499) Journal

    Interesting story, BTW.

    --
    This sig for rent.
  • (Score: 2) by Alfred on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:46PM (12 children)

    by Alfred (4006) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @04:46PM (#827503) Journal
    We all know Portal is great as are many other mainstream games. I would like to hear what the Soylent community loves. What are the odd ball non-AAA titles that you love?

    My shortlist usually includes:
    Factorio
    SpaceChem
    Braid

    You can probably do a good psychological profile on me from that list.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:16PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:16PM (#827519)

      Factorio definitely. Rimworld is a similar premise, but much different game.

      Recently, I found Baba Is You, which is short but fun. Play it if you liked SpaceChem.

      Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection is free/open source and included in Debian, but also can be played on the website, or on Android.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:33PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:33PM (#827587)

        Rimworld is a similar premise, but much different game.

        Not to mention a very different website and acquired taste.

    • (Score: 2) by bryan on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:40PM (1 child)

      by bryan (29) <bryan@pipedot.org> on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:40PM (#827532) Homepage Journal
      • Kerbal Space Program
      • Subnautica
      • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:56PM

        by ikanreed (3164) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:56PM (#827539) Journal

        Subnautica is such a weird game that's good too. Why the heck is swimming around trying to grab a floppy weird fish and eat it before a giant eel eats you so compelling?

    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:52PM

      by Freeman (732) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:52PM (#827536) Journal

      Terraria - Co-Op/Multiplayer, RPGish, Platformer/Minecraft like 2D clone in a good way, Tower Defense tie in with a special event, I really have no idea how to classify this game, but it's really fun. Kinda steep learning curve, make use of Wiki for help, no good help in game. Need wiki for things recipes / crafting ingredients. Dig, build, hunt for treasure, fight bosses, make houses for NPCs to move into, some NPCs are also vendors, and tons of fun with a friend. Very much sandbox like, because there's no story line, but there's definitely progression. There's normal mode and expert mode (tougher, but bosses drop unique loot bags). Then there's a thing called hard mode. Hard mode is unlocked after you beat the boss at the bottom of the world. Once that's unlocked. It peppers the world with 2 new biomes and you get a hammer to go smash some altars with. Smashing them unlocks 3 new ores that you can dig for, while also spreading/expanding the 2 new biomes a bit. Guess, I'll stop here, as this is getting to be too long of a description.

      7 Days to Die - Open World Sandbox with Zombies FPS (Co-Op/Multiplayer. Early Access, still I think.)
      100% Orange Juice - Anime Board Game (Co-Op/Mutliplayer)
      Dungeon Defenders - Tower Defense/RPG/FPS/Hack'n'Slash/Shop Keeper (Co-Op/Multiplayer)
      In Your Face TD (VR) - Tower Defense (Free, "abandoned" by creator.)

      --
      Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:54PM (2 children)

      by mhajicek (51) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:54PM (#827537)

      MechWarrior 4 Mercs. It's free now BTW.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:39AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:39AM (#827774)

        Free as in? (beer vs liberty)

        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:48PM

          by mhajicek (51) on Thursday April 11 2019, @01:48PM (#827917)

          Both, I think. A group called Mektek was patching it for a while.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 1) by negrace on Wednesday April 10 2019, @06:27PM

      by negrace (4010) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @06:27PM (#827559)

      Desktop Dungeons. Single-player resource management puzzle game styled as a dungeon crawler.

    • (Score: 2) by Taibhsear on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:57PM

      by Taibhsear (1464) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:57PM (#827592)

      Terraria
      Don't Starve Together (can be infuriating if you don't tweak the game settings to your liking first though)

      I find that the games I spend the least amount of money on I play for the longest amount of time.

    • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:06AM

      by Magic Oddball (3847) on Thursday April 11 2019, @04:06AM (#827760) Journal

      Here's the indie/non-AAA games I've enjoyed in the relatively-recent past:

      Pumped BMX+ (try to perform bike tricks or find new ways to "kill" the kid)
      Fez (puzzle adventure where a seemingly 2-d world can be rotated like a cube to reach ladders etc.)
      Journey (interesting artistic adventure, for lack of a better description)

    • (Score: 2) by Webweasel on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:31AM

      by Webweasel (567) on Thursday April 11 2019, @08:31AM (#827813) Homepage Journal

      Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead. Free game, ascii/tileset, survive the zombie apocalypse. Great fun, brutally difficult to get started.

      --
      Priyom.org Number stations, Russian Military radio. "You are a bad, bad man. Do you have any other virtues?"-Runaway1956
  • (Score: 2) by mobydisk on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:09PM (3 children)

    by mobydisk (5472) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:09PM (#827514)

    How much does Epic pay Gearbox in exchange for exclusivity rights? Doing this pisses-off customers and makes them lose sales. How much is that worth to you? It didn't save them anything in development costs since both Steam and Epic are PC-based.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:32PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:32PM (#827528) Journal

      https://www.thegamer.com/epic-store-2-million-sales-exchange-exclusivity/ [thegamer.com]

      Epic guaranteed a crowdfunded indie developer at least $2 million, essentially enough to cover every preorder that was made for the game, even if everyone asked for a refund. For just 1 year of exclusivity.

      Epic is making bank off of Fortnite and using that money to try to break into Steam's turf.

      We can conclude:

      1. Epic is anti-consumer trash due to the exclusivity deals and giving publishers the ability to completely disable reviews on their titles.
      2. Steam needs to lower the 30% cut it takes so that it can stem the tide of Epic exclusives. Although that doesn't stop Epic if it is also giving multi-million dollar payouts.

      If I had to pick an online "store", I would go with GOG anyway. But Steam is better than Epic.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:43PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @07:43PM (#827590)

        Valve has done a good job of earning my business.

        1. Proton is very nice, and I'm glad they send patches to upstream WiNE. I happily deleted my Windows partition the day it came out.

        2. "Family sharing" is great. I can share nearly my whole library with up to 10 of my buddies, and they can share with me. Whenever they get new games, so do I (and one of my buddies is subscribed to Humble Monthly. Woohoo!).

        3. Steam Controller is pretty damned good. Additionally, they have great support for other gamepads too, including many of the features of the Steam Controller, so you can use a regular gamepad with mouse/keyboard games.

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:49PM

          by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:49PM (#827620) Journal

          "and one of my buddies is subscribed to Humble Monthly. Woohoo!"

          Can I be one of your 10? Hey Buddy?
          :)

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 10 2019, @05:24PM (#827525)

    "Personally, I would love an option to also rate the developers/corporations behind games as well. Perhaps a second rating for a game is needed? One rating for the game, and one rating for the publisher."

    mystery solved. iow, steam's website is a pos.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:44PM (1 child)

    by Gaaark (41) on Wednesday April 10 2019, @08:44PM (#827616) Journal

    ...how about 'trailer' videos that ACTUALLY show you how the video game plays, instead of showing me flying dragons shooting flames at knights in 3D, when the game is some shitty side scroll game with awful graphics, so I have to then go to YouTube to watch a real play-through.

    Show me the game, not an advertisement.

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11 2019, @05:41AM (#827777)

      They don't want you to know how bad the game actually is. They only want your money.

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