Gearbox CEO Responds to Borderlands Review Bomb on Steam, "Kinda Happy" With Borderlands 3 Going to Epic

"Steam has no interest in correcting this misuse."

Steam finally tackled review bombing over the weekend. This was after users began flooding the Borderlands games on Steam with negative reviews after Borderlands 3 was confirmed as a limited-time Epic Games Store exclusive.

Last week, 2K Games announced that Borderlands 3 would be the latest game to become an Epic Games Store exclusive. Like almost every other game to announce an exclusivity with Epic Games, players responded negatively. This led to a review bombing campaign where Steam users would purposefully bombard the Borderlands and Borderlands 2 Steam pages with negative reviews that were more about criticizing the Epic Games Store than the Borderlands games themselves.

Borderlands 2's 'Overwhelmingly Positive' review status was hit with over 3000 negative reviews following the announcement over Borderlands 3's exclusivity. Many of the new comments specifically mention Borderlands 3, rather than the quality of Borderlands 2.

Review bombing is not new to the Steam platform, and Valve has taken steps to address the practice without outright banning reviews. Previously, Valve introduced a graph that charted the user reviews of a game to help highlight when the direction of a game's reviews changed to isolate a reason. But Valve recently introduced a new policy that would exclude "off-topic" reviews from a game's overall rating entirely.

You can see the new policy in action right now if you head to Borderlands 2's Steam page. The review status is still 'Overwhelmingly Positive' and the off-topic reviews have been sectioned off from Borderlands 2's overall user review score.

"Off-topic" reviews highlighted in white. | Steam,Valve

Despite the recent efforts by Valve, the hassle with dealing with review bombs might have already done some damage. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford tweeted that, following the review bombing, he was "kind of happy" about 2K's decision to take Borderlands 3 exclusively to the Epic Games Store (the Epic Games Store doesn't have user review features yet). What's more, Pitchford said the incident might make Gearbox reconsider its own decisions to put games on Steam made through its Gearbox Publishing division.

This recent episode is a collision of two different issues Valve has had to deal with in recent years: review bombing and the Epic Games Store. Developers and publishers have criticized review bombing as a practice, as it creates a negative public image of their games based on unrelated reasons. In the past, users have review bombed games for everything, from bugs or monetization to political motivations.

As for the Epic Games Store, Steam's new rival continues to snatch exclusives away from Valve despite being unpopular for it. Though Steam's dominance in the digital PC market space doesn't seem to be waning anytime soon, it goes to show that the digital PC retail space is changing drastically from even just a couple of years ago.

Tagged with Epic Games Store, FPS, Gearbox Entertainment, News, PC, Shooters, Steam, Valve Software.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Read this next

Borderlands 3 Wants to Give Loot Ninjas Fewer Excuses

Loot stealing is thankfully becoming a thing of the past.

Borderlands 2 New DLC - How to Access the Borderlands 2 Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary DLC

This is how you access the new Borderlands 2 DLC, known as Commander Lillith and the Fight for Sanctuary, right now.

Borderlands 3 Release Date, Prequel DLC, Gameplay, Characters - Everything we Know

Here's our complete roundup of info on Borderlands 3, including a release date, gameplay, prequel DLC, characters, weapons, and more.

Borderlands 2 DLC Leading Into Borderlands 3 Leaks on Steam

We'll be getting a good reason to return to Sanctuary before September comes around.

PlayStation Plus Free Games For June Gives You a Chance to Catch Up on the Borderlands Series

Sonic Mania and Borderlands: The Handsome Collection headline June's free PS Plus games.

More News

Twitch Plays Teamfight Tactics Takes Out Quite A Few Unsuspecting Human Players

It's not quite as chaotic as the Pokemon one, though.

Sigma, Overwatch's Newest Hero, is a Gravity-Bending Mad Scientist

I guess one mad scientist was not enough for Talon.

The Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Is Drifting Into a Class-Action Lawsuit

Trials and tribulations ahead for Nintendo.

More on PC

Twitch Plays Teamfight Tactics Takes Out Quite A Few Unsuspecting Human Players

It's not quite as chaotic as the Pokemon one, though.

Sigma, Overwatch's Newest Hero, is a Gravity-Bending Mad Scientist

I guess one mad scientist was not enough for Talon.

Elsinore Review

What a piece of work is a man.

Stardew Valley Fish Guide

Fishing is one of the best ways to make money in Stardew Valley. Here’s all of the info you need to know.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Release Date - Platforms, DLC

Call of Duty Modern Warfare is a re-imagining of the 2007 classic. Here’s what you need to know.

NBA 2K20 Top Shooters - Best Shooters, Highest Shot Rating

If you want to put together a great team in NBA 2K20, you’ll need great shooters. Here are the best Shooters in NBA 2K20.

More FPS Games

Sigma, Overwatch's Newest Hero, is a Gravity-Bending Mad Scientist

I guess one mad scientist was not enough for Talon.

Tim Willits Leaves id Software After 24 Years Working On Quake, Doom, And More

The studio mainstay is moving on to new projects after QuakeCon.