Earlier this month, Metacritic users spotted a new user review system on the rating aggregator’s website that prevented players from leaving reviews for newly-released games right away.
“Please spend some time playing the game,” read a note on Superluminal‘s Metacritic page, which users quickly realized stemmed from the high-profile review bombing of The Last of Us Part II. Although Metacritic has come under fire numerous times for making it easy for bots to mass vote, response to the Naughty Dog title became an industry-wide debate, which many believe led to the website finally snapping into action.
“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,” Metacritic told Kotaku. “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.”
Interestingly, Metacritic denies that its new user review policy was the direct result of The Last of Us II‘s review bombing. In its statement to Kotaku, the website said that its new system wasn’t implemented “in light of any particular game,” implying that the changes were in the pipeline for a while.
The timing of the change might cast doubts on this statement but, as mentioned above, Metacritic has been called out a number of times over this issue and in February this year, the website was forced to address review bombing. Considering this, it’s possible that the aggregator was working on its new user review policy for a while.