You will never hear developers saying they are happy to see bad reviews after working so much on the games. But Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford said that the review bombing on Steam is confirming his opinion on releasing Borderlands 3 as an Epic Games Store exclusivity.
Recently, previous Borderlands titles were flooded with bad reviews that were aimed at the future game, making Pitchford use these reviews to defend his decision of moving to the Epic Games Store.
While developers have a lot to win when it comes to moving to the Epic Games Store – the better fees and deals, gamers face a lack of features, poor security, regional pricing, no offline play option, and more.
Considering Borderlands 3 is one of the most anticipated games this year, the PC gaming community didn’t see the six-month Epic Game Store exclusivity as a good move from Gearbox. And you can see for yourself all the opinions at the negative reviews in the previous Borderlands titles.
Meanwhile, Pitchford took this war on Twitter:
Ironically, that this misuse is possible and that Steam has no interest in correcting this misuse makes me kind of happy about 2k’s decision and makes me want to reconsider Gearbox Publishing’s current posture on the platform.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) April 5, 2019
However, Steam has reacted as soon as possible, announcing that the recent negative reviews were removed from the rating calculation:
Borderlands 2 is the first game on Steam to make use of the "off-topic reviews" marking. Over 4000 reviews are excluded from the rating calculation. pic.twitter.com/kUMN0Lqdx3
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) April 6, 2019
Communication With Developers
The thing is, explained DualSHOCKERS’ Lou Contaldi, using the negative reviews “as a basis for switching to Epic doesn’t seem like a defensible claim.” Moreover, it actually says a lot about the communication between the developers and the community, as pointed out by Chet Faliszek, the co-founder of developer Stray Bombay:
Counterpoint: Review bombing is making it clearer and clearer that players have no effective means of communication with developers where they feel their voices will be heard so they use the one avenue available to them.
We can throw out reviews or we can fix communication.
Borderlands 3 is available for pre-order and will launch on PC (via Epic Games Store), PS4, and Xbox One on September 13 this year. It will also show up (supposedly) on Steam six month later.
Agnes is a technical writer, being in touch with reports to come up with the latest tech leaks.