Leading online reviews aggregation site Metacritic is to introduce fresh registration measures and crack down on pre-release user reviews following a spate of fanboy attacks that resulted in a number of top titles receiving disproportionately poor user reviews.
At the time of writing, 3671 users had left scores for Microsoft's Gears of War 2, despite the fact that it is released in the US today and in Europe this Friday, resulting in an average reader score of 3.5/10 – a number at odds with the 94/10 average granted by professional critics.
A note on the Gears of War 2 page from the site's Marc Doyle reads: My advice for our faithful users is to focus your attention on the Metascore for this game and not the thousands of user votes, most of which have been submitted before said users have played the game. This is a gaming community, and if people want to stuff the ballot box, there's not much I can do at this point.
When we upgrade the registration requirements for participation on the site in the near future, this type of thing won't happen. We'll post the full legitimate user reviews upon the game's release.”
Other titles suffering at the hands of fanboys include Resistance 2, which currently boasts a Metascore of 89 but a user rating of 5.3, and LittleBigPlanet which has a 95 Metascore and a 6.1 user rating.
The founders were really interested in not having people sign up for a really huge registration process just so they can participate on the site," Doyle explained to 1UP. Obviously that's been exploited.”
The site intends to implement stricter registration requirements, and will also ban the submission of reader scores prior to a title's release.