Apparently, The Last of Us Part II’s recent review bombing was the last straw for Metacritic, one of the world’s most popular film, music, and video game review aggregators. Going forward, armchair reviewers will have to wait 36 hours before publishing their heated, expletive-fueled opinions regarding any new game release.
“We recently implemented the 36 hour waiting period for all user reviews in our games section to ensure our gamers have time to play these games before writing their reviews,” a Metacritic spokesperson told Gamespot. “This new waiting period for user reviews has been rolled out across Metacritic’s Games section and was based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts.”
Who are these “experts,” exactly, and why do they believe that a 36-hour waiting period will deter review bombing in any way? If someone wants to troll a game bad enough, they’re definitely going to exercise enough patience to do it anyway.
A better way to go about it might be implementing some kind of purchase verification system to ensure that reviewers have actually played the game, but that would obviously be a bit of a technical and/or logistical problem for an entity like Metacritic, which doesn’t operate any kind of storefront.
Gamespot also noted that Metacritic’s decision “was not based on users’ reaction to any game in particular.” Uh-huh…