NBA 2K20 the latest in the annual basketball franchise from publisher 2K, came out late last week and is now getting a review bombed by Steam and Metacritic users. This marks the third consecutive year that the latest record of the series has received extremely negative reviews for consumers, with NBA 2K17 being the latest release to receive even a marginal rating.
Examples of review bombardments in games can be found in early 2010, but the phenomenon seems to be disappearing, starting in 2015, when Bethesda introduced paid mods in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Angry players responded by smearing the game with negative results. Since then, an increasing number of players are apparently beginning to view viewing bombs as valid tactics, bombing games for any number of reasons, from letting players change if they go on sale shortly after launch or become free to play, to just started as a platform of exclusives. Lately, computer games that have signed deals with exclusive Epic exclusivity deals have led to outraged gaming mafias.
Click the button below to get started this quick review article. Free play and fans rebel through Review-Bombing it
In the case of NBA 2K20 the review bomb is largely a response to the aggressive use of the game by microtransactions. As of this text, the game has a Metacritic user rating of 0.5, and nearly 85% of its Steam reviews are negative, with most criticizing its microtransactions or calling NBA 2K20 a "gamble" and "literally" casino. "Others call it adding too little to the game from the previous year (with some reporting that it even uses the NBA 2K1
Bomb reviews are often a clear answer to something other than the quality of the game, but cases like NBA 2K20 make it difficult to say how much of the worry is legitimate. Even NBA 2K20 marketing campaign was based on a strong reliance on microtransactions, in particular the scandalous casino trailer, but the pure vitriol around it in consumer reviews questioned whether reviewers were actually experiencing other issues or writing just looking to throw away the game as much as they can.
Consumers often use review bombs to try and punish publishers by reducing sales, but there is conflicting evidence as to whether this actually works. While the practice can obviously damage the reputation of the game – at least among potential players whose first exposure to it is through the affected storefront – it does not necessarily mean a loss of sales. As PCGamer reported in 2017, the creator of SteamSpy stated that the publicity generated by the bombing review campaign actually increased sales for Payday 2 and Ark . Nevertheless, companies like Steam and Rotten Tomatoes have taken steps to try to limit the practice.
Whatever its effect on game sales like the NBA 2K20 review bombs seem to really poison the public to some extent. When players use ratings to retaliate against publishers rather than share game reviews, this reduces the value of getting consumer feedback in the first place and creating a competitive relationship between developers and players. In the worst cases, it can pave the way for harassment, abuse and even threats against developers. It's easy enough to ignore the viewing bombs as a potential player, but the damage done behind the scenes can be far more serious.
Next: Valve Has No Idea What To Do About Positive Review Bombs
Source: Steam, Metacritic
Why did Chris and Ann leave Parks and Recreation?