On November 15th 2013 Steam users were given the ability to write their own opinions on their growing games libraries. At first, it just seemed to be yet another way for trolls to breed. But as the months progressed, Steam User Reviews opened a new door for the future of gaming. Not just for Steam’s gaming community but for its thriving developers.
Before Steam User Reviews
The games industry is an expensive business. Developing, distributing and marketing a game demands millions. Add a publisher to the mix (forcing the developer to go ‘gold’ and release at any cost) and it’s no surprise that many AAA titles are being prematurely released.
Vampire The Masqurade: Bloodlines is possibly one of the best examples of this. The game had to be released in an unfinished state and got massacred by major critics on release. At that point, no one had a clue it would go on to become one of the PC’s greatest RPG’s.
Not only were too many developers falling victim to tight publisher deadlines, but post-release updates were having little effect. Once the major critics published their original reviews online, that was it. There were no ‘review updates’. No matter how well post-release patches plugged the holes, rebalanced and enhanced, gamers were only ever going to judge the products by their original launch reviews.
After Steam User Reviews
Whether you’re new or well acquainted to Vampire The Masqurade: Bloodlines, heading to the games Steam store page will greet you with ‘Overwhelmingly Positive’ Steam User Reviews (the highest score available). This is because those very reviews have advised players to download patches that rid bugs and enhance the game, allowing players to experience the RPG as it was meant to be, all those years ago (we’re pretty sure it’s still being enhanced, now!).
This may seem strange to some but with the cost of game development and the desperate need for publishers to hastily make their money back, it’s an unfortunate guarantee that very few games will ever be released in their true ‘completed’ form. This is the very reason why Steam User Reviews is the future of game development.