Following a number of poor user reviews, especially when Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us Part II first released, review score aggregator Metacritic has instituted a side-wide change to their user score system.
This change now prevents user reviews from being submitted or accepted prior to a piece of media’s given release date.
As a result of this new attempt to discourage false reviews, users visiting the Metacritic page for a given piece of upcoming media will now find that the typical ‘User Score’ box has been replaced with a button counting down the amount of time until release, preventing the user from publishing any review without having first experienced the product.
This new system was personally tested by Bounding into Comics staff, who found that this change was present on numerous Metacritic pages for various examples of upcoming media, including Marvel’s Black Widow film and the debut season of Showtime’s ‘Love Fraud.’
Upon navigating to the User Reviews page for a video game, television show, or film (the Metacritic system for albums does not currently provide pages for upcoming releases), users will be met with a message stating that “it is not possible to submit a review prior to this game’s official release/season’s premiere (No specific message is provided for film entries).”
Not only do they appear to be preventing reviews prior to release, but PlayStation Lifestyle reports they are preventing user reviews even after the game has been released encouraging people to play the game.
PlayStation LifeStyle shared a screenshot of Metacritic’s Superluminal page which has a message encouraging users to “please spend some time playing the game.”
It adds, “Come back to review it starting at 12:00 PM PST on July 9.”
Superluminal released on July 7, 2020.
As of writing, this new system appears to have been stealth implemented, as Metacritic has not yet formally announced these changes.
This move by Metacritic comes a year after fellow review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes announced significant changes to their platforms in the wake of the release of Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel.
Those changes included a verified score and removed the percentage of individuals who indicated whether or not they were interested in seeing a film or not.
This interest score previously showed up where the User Score was before the film came out. That interest indicator is now just a lump sum that shows up underneath the film’s poster as you can see below.
What do you make of these changes by Metacritic?