Metacritic now has a waiting period for user reviews to prevent people from scoring a game as soon as its released and before they’ve had a chance to actually play it. The new policy implements a 36-hour restriction on any reviews from users starting from the time a new game is officially released. The section of the page where you’d typically see the user review score will now ask players to spend more time with the game and gives them a date and time at which they can come back to post their review. This policy is in effect now starting with Ghost of Tsushima and Paper Mario: The Origami King which both released on Friday.
In a statement provided to GameSpot (Metacritic, GameSpot, and ComicBook.com are all owned by ViacomCBS), a Metacritic spokesperson confirmed the change and explained the reasoning behind it.
“We recently implemented the 36 hour waiting period for all user reviews in our games section to ensure our gamers have time to play these games before writing their reviews," the Metacritic spokesperson said. "This new waiting period for user reviews has been rolled out across Metacritic's Games section and was based on data-driven research and with the input of critics and industry experts.”
Visiting either the Ghost of Tsushima or Paper Mario: The Origami King pages on Metacritic will present users with a page that says “Please spend some time playing the game” and asks people to come back on July 19th at 12 p.m. PT to share their thoughts on the games. Metacritic added that there wasn’t one specific game which led to the new policy.
Those following the release of The Last of Us Part II will recall the game was hit with waves of user reviews as soon as they could possibly be posted on Metacritic. This was before the policy went into effect which meant that unless the thousands of users who shared reviews somehow broke the street date and completed the game early, they hadn’t beaten the game let alone gotten more than a few hours into it. Many users gave the game a “0” score, the lowest Metacritic will let ratings go for users, while others gave it a “10” as soon as they could to swing the review bomb to the other side. Neither practice was beneficial for the user score overall and drowned out legitimate praises or complaints about the game.
As for the newest releases which users will soon be able to review themselves, we’ve played both of them. You can check out our review for Ghost of Tsushima here and Paper Mario: The Origami King here to see what they’re like.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.