So Valve had has updated it’s customer review system, and the predictable outrage occurred, as it always does whenever Valve changes anything about steam, or doesn’t release Half Life 3. And I have to admit, I kind of got caught up in the moment and spent a bit of time reacting when I should have been thinking. So I’ve done a little thinking, and things aren’t all bad.
The main thrust of the problem is that reviews from player who got a game from a vendor other than steam (Such as through a KickStarter or a bundle, maybe from itch.io) but I’m not going to get into the negatives here, that’s been covered and discussed a hell of a lot since this morning when the news went live, but I do understand that it’s happening and having an impact.
One of the great things about the changes, as I see it, is that it should put a stop to key giveaways for reviews and a lot of the shady business that goes on around that. And that can mean less devs being preyed upon by these characters and hopefully a healthier marketing environment for the devs who maybe don’t know better
And overall it is a better environment for customers, especially those who don’t realize that all the shady business goes on which I suspect is a large percentage. A lot of folks don’t care about all this stuff and just want to get on with playing games. A better environment for customers, generally means more customers, which means more space for more types of games, even games small devs, like me (Even though I’m not on steam yet, I’m still hopeful).
There’s definitely still a lot work to be done around the system but I’m glad Valve are trying to improve it rather than just leave it as it is. I doubt Valve are finished with the customer review system, here’s hoping the next steps bring in the honest external reviews like KS/itch/direct sales reviews again somehow. It seems Valve plan to address misrepresented reviews next, and no doubt have further plans in the offing.
Of course there’s plenty more to dig into, but I’m up early tomorrow so gonna leave it at that for now!