Steam is updating its user reviews to show player a video game's most recent reviews and review scores, in order to give a clearer picture of how people feel about the game at the current time.
The changes are in response to customer feedback, Steam said, and it better reflects the fact that games can change from their launch-day or even month experience thanks to post-release support, downloadable content and expansions, and title updates.
"That review score that appears at the top of a product page didn't always reflect the dynamic nature of the game," Valve wrote."We'd previously only been compiling an overall score using a simple calculation of the percentage of all reviews that were positive. This let us be really transparent in how the score was being calculated, but didn't accommodate cases when a game has changed a lot (for better or worse) over time."
A "Recent review score" has been added that uses the same calculation over the past 30 days, provided the game has been on Steam for 45 days or more and that there are enough reviews in that 30-day window to generate a useful score. The overall score will still be presented.
A good example of this is Tom Clancy's The Division, which on PC has been dogged by glitches, exploits and bugs that have come to light in the weeks since its March 8 launch. Its overall user review score on Steam is "Mixed," with 60 percent of those reviews being positive. In the past 30 days, its recent review score is still Mixed, but with 40 percent of those reviews positive.
In another change on Steam, recently posted reviews will get increased visibility on a product page, not only to help inform users but also to give these reviews a better chance to be voted on as helpful. Until now, "the most helpful reviews presented on a store page would often describe an outdated view of a game that might have changed dramatically over the course of Early Access or post-release development," Valve explained. Going forward, the product page will default to recent helpful reviews.
Other changes include a checkbox to help users more easily declare they received their copy of the game for free when writing a review. More information on the changes and discussion of why they were implemented can be seen at this link.