Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 16, 2020
arrowPress Releases







If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


 

Our indie game KUNAI got review bombed to a 1.7

by Benjamin de Jager on 02/19/20 10:38:00 am

1 comments Share on Twitter    RSS

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

We are TurtleBlaze, a small indie studio behind metroidvania KUNAI for Switch and PC. On February 17, our Metacritic PC user score dropped from 8.1 to 1.7. We got review bombed.

As we started investigating the why and how, we learned that review bombing is a known issue. It has struck many games recently, however, it has generally impacted well-known games of large publishers such as Warcraft 3 Reforged, Death Stranding and Astral Chain.

Review Bombing is simple, says our bomber

The bomber that struck Insurgency Sandstorm also hit our game KUNAI. He explained on Reddit how he went about. The original post has been deleted, but here’s a screen grab:

Click here to read the Review Bomber's full statement

Another recent bombing was against AI The Somnium Files. The video One Man Single-Handedly Review Bombed A Game Over a Character Crush by youtuber YoungYea points towards the absence of certain security measures on Metacritic’s side that are also exposed by the KUNAI review bomber:

  • Game ownership is not verified, like it is with Steam user reviews
  • E-mail aliases such as Gmail are allowed, making it easier for bombers
  • Fake domains used in constructions such as mailinator are not blacklisted
  • Reviews coming from the same IP address are not flagged
  • There’s no check on the lifespan of these accounts

Why KUNAI was hit

This was no coordinated strike by a group of unhappy players wanting to make a statement of any wrongdoing on our side. KUNAI was randomly targeted by a single person claiming to be high and in a state of anger.

“I wanted to review-bomb a random game [...]. I have also done this to KUNAI, where I got it to a 1.2 on Metacritic”

Next Steps

We’ve discussed what steps we could take, as there are but a few.

First and foremost, we’ve reached out to Metacritic and shared all information we have about the absence of security measures in the user review process. We hope this may lead to a situation where review bombing can be prevented in the near future.

We also wanted to inform gamers that the current user score is not genuine. KUNAI has had favorable reviews from critics, fans and players all around. So go ahead and enjoy the game, and if you do, leave us a review on metacritic to counter the current score ^^.

Cheers,

Benjamin, Richard and Bram


Related Jobs

Klang Games GmbH
Klang Games GmbH — Berlin, Germany
[07.16.20]

AI Engineer (f/m/d)
Futureplay
Futureplay — Helsinki, Finland
[07.16.20]

Senior Game Animator
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States
[07.15.20]

Character Artist (Blendshapes Focused)
Insomniac Games
Insomniac Games — Burbank, California, United States
[07.15.20]

VFX Artist





Loading Comments

loader image