Metacritic has announced a new policy to prevent bad-faith reviewers from bombing games. Following the release of a new game, users must wait 36 hours before leaving a game review.

Metacritic logo, with new game review policy.
Metacritic logo, the company with a new game review policy.
Image from Metacritic.

Metacritic has seen a lot of review bombing. Review bombing is when users intentionally leave negative reviews on games to lower the score. These negative reviews could be from people who have not finished the game or even people who have not played it at all.

The most recent example was with The Last of Us II. Within the first few hours of the game’s release, the game had thousands of Metacritic reviews – nearly all of which were negative. Since the game’s story takes 20-30 hours on average to complete, there was no way that every reviewer had played the full game. In fact, many reviewers had not even started the game.

To combat similar issues, Metacritic has begun a wait time for game reviews. Metacritic users must wait 36 hours after the release of a game before leaving a review. 36 hours should give ample time for users to play through most games.

Ghost of Tsushima Metacritic page telling users that they must review the game later.
Ghost of Tsushima Metacritic page telling users that they must review the game later.
Image from Metacritic.

Metacritic has added the review wait time to two games: Ghost of Tsushima and Paper Mario: The Origami KingBoth games have no user reviews. Where Metacritic usually displays the game reviews, there is a message telling players to wait, saying, “Please spend some time playing the game.” The message also gives the time when user reviews open.

Many users were supportive of the new policy. However, some did not think it went far enough. Metacritic users could still review bomb games. They would only need to wait 36 hours to do so. Some users have suggested that Metacritic reviewers must provide proof of playtime. Users would need to link their gaming and Metacritic accounts together or supply a photo of their playtime to leave a review.

For now, Metacritic is not taking any further action. Strict requirements could hurt the company. Many users would not be willing to do so much work just to leave a review.


What do you think of the policy? Is it good enough? Should Metacritic go further? Let me know what you think in the comments. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the Aroono newsletter for article updates. Please consider donating to our Kickstarter to help Aroono grow.