Valve has been re-jigging Steam user reviews, adding in a new sub-section taking into account scores from more recent reviews. It means the likes of Batman: Arkham Knight, which was a broken mess and removed entirely from Steam at launch, now has a Recent user reviews score of 'Very Positive'. This is designed to take into account post-launch updates and optimisations.
These days games can fundamentally change between the day of their release and six months later, with new content, features and fixes, in particular with regards to Early Access titles, although of course the reverse may indeed be true. Valve reckons these changes to Steam "better describe the current customer experience in those games."
Now there’s two sides to this coin. On the one hand it provides reason for developers to provide plenty of post-launch support. It holds them to account for dodgy patches or abandoned games. On the other, however, it means it’s less damaging for a game to launch in a broken state, provided it’s fixed at a later stage. Case in point - Batman: Arkham Knight. Warner Bros could push their next game out as quick as possible, safe in the knowledge that eventually it wouldn’t be totally broken.
Is this a necessary step for Valve to take to adapt to the changing landscape of game releases? Or could this be another excuse to release broken games? Let us know what you think!