Valve Stops Borderlands Review Bombing Over BL3 Epic Store Exclusivity
Mayhem comes to the store wars.
The Epic Games Store has been snatching up exclusivity deals as a shot against the bow of Steam, the biggest digital PC game storefront. The company's latest score is Borderlands 3, and some fans are not happy about it. So not-happy, in fact, that they've resorted to review bombing the older games that made them fans in the first place.
Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel have all suffered a spate of negative reviews on Steam. Each is rated as "Positive" or "Very Positive" for overall reviews, but "Mixed" or "Mostly Negative" in hundreds or thousands of recent reviews. Many of the negative reviews explicitly mention the Epic Store. Tales from the Borderlands, which was developed by Telltale Games instead of Gearbox, has been mostly spared.
The bombing was enough to prompt a response from Gearbox head Randy Pitchford, who lamented that Steam wasn't doing enough to stop the flood of negative reviews. Shortly after, and possibly in response, Valve made its first use of an anti-bombing tool it had recently announced. The resulting user review pages maintain the negative reviews, but don't count them in the aggregate score, and warns potential viewers that the scores may be impacted by outside events.
Borderlands 3 will be exclusive to the Epic Store until April 2020, giving it a six-month window that is shorter than many of the year-long exclusivity periods. The release date of September 13 had leaked before the official announcement, and in that leak a video also showed an Epic Store logo, conspicuously without a Steam logo.
As part of the suite of announcements surrounding Borderlands 3, Gearbox also announced a remastered Game of the Year Edition for the original game, and a 4K texture pack for the other two. Borderlands 2 also had its various pieces of DLC brought into Borderlands VR.
The latest in the loot-shooter series from Gearbox appears similar to prior entries, right down to having a cast of four diverse Vault Hunters with different abilities. Whether you pick it up on PC or elsewhere, Gearbox is looking into supporting cross-play. For more details, including the loot you can gain by putting down your money early, check out our pre-order guide.
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