Steam users review bomb Borderlands in response to Epic exclusivity deal

Steam users are review bombing past Borderlands games in response to the PC version of Borderlands 3 being a six-month Epic Games Store exclusive.

While review-bombing isn’t uncommon, this instance is particularly significant, as it’s the first real test of Valve’s recent pledge to curb Steam review bombing. Valve said last month it would identify and discount “off-topic” game reviews.

Yesterday publisher 2K announced Borderlands 3 would be heading to Steam in April 2020, six months after it launches exclusively on the Epic Games Store.

Some fans took the news less well than others, and have decided the best way to voice their outrage is to post disparaging reviews of Borderlands 1, Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel on Steam, leaving the trio with recent ratings of ‘mixed’ or ‘mostly negative.’

A lot of those reviewers posted ASCII art that depicts two hands flipping off the Epic Games Store, making their motivations crystal clear.

Review bombing may be less of an issue on Epic Games Store. The marketplace hasn’t launched its user reviews yet, but when it does they’ll be opt-in for developers, allowing them to sidestep the issue entirely. 

“We think [an opt-in system] is best because review bombing and other gaming-the-system is a real problem,” said Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney, explaining his company’s approach. 

Reviews for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel since launch. Note the recent spike in negative feedback.

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