Metacritic, the video game review and rating aggregator website, recently deleted about 6,000 negative user ratings for Death Stranding, bumping up the score for the latest Hideo Kojima game.
The deleted user ratings were spotted by a Redditor who goes by the handle argandg, and who posted his discovery on the Games subreddit.
Between December 4 and 5, argandg found that negative user ratings for Death Stranding on Metacritic had decreased from 9,335 to only 2,906. In comparison, positive user ratings over that same period increased from 8,368 to 8,446. The deleted negative user ratings significantly increased the game’s score from 5.1 to 7.4.
As of the time of writing, there are 8,809 positive user ratings and 3,186 negative user ratings for Death Stranding on Metacritic, with a score of 7.3.
Metacritic did not make an announcement before removing the negative user ratings for Death Stranding. However, it was widely believed that the move was made to address the issue of review bombing, which is when people gather together to post negative ratings and reviews against a game in order to push an agenda.
A spokesperson for Metacritic later confirmed that the negative user ratings were removed because they were flagged for suspicious activity.
“Metacritic takes issues of potential score manipulation seriously and has a number of policies in place to maintain score integrity,” the spokesperson told IGN, adding that moderators regularly go through user ratings and reviews, as well as those flagged by other Metacritic users, and removes those that violate the website’s terms of service.
It should be noted, however, that Metacritic only deleted number ratings. User reviews were not affected, as players may submit ratings without writing a review.
Death Stranding was a prime target for review bombing, due to its high profile as the latest game from legendary video game designer Hideo Kojima. According to a review by Digital Trends’ Giovanni Colantonio, the game is “a technical marvel with an excellent, though slow, story.”
Kojima, meanwhile, hinted that for his next project, he may be diving back into the horror genre. A recent tweet mentioned P.T., the playable teaser for the canceled Silent Hills that is already regarded as a horror masterpiece on its own.
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