After that anger that greeted its recent changes, Valve has further tweaked Steam's user review system.
It was announced last week that buyers who purchase a game outside of Steam would no longer have their review scores contribute to a game's overall store average. This was designed to curb the practise of developers handing out free codes in return for (often positive) reviews.
However, for crowdfunded games or developers who rely on direct code sales from their own websites, the feeling was that the system was unfair. And some scores underwent radical shifts as a result of the changes.
Now Valve has said that while said buyers will remain locked out of the scoring system, their reviews will no longer be treated differently.
One frequent piece of feedback we've heard regarding the recent changes is that it has become more difficult to find and read the helpful, articulate reviews written by customers that obtained the game outside of Steam,” the company said. We want to make sure that helpful reviews can be surfaced regardless of purchase source, so we're making a change to the defaults.
Starting today, the review section on each product page will show reviews written by all users, regardless of purchase type. By default you'll now see reviews written by all players of the game, including Steam customers, Kickstarter backers, bundle customers, streamers, and other users that acquired the game outside of Steam.
Regardless of the default, you may prefer to see only reviews by Steam customers. So we've also made it so that Steam will remember the last 'purchase type' you selected to view in the review section. As you move between game pages, Steam will remember your preference and display only those reviews.
This change doesn't impact the review score. Each game's score will continue to be calculated based only on customers that purchased the game via Steam.”
Valve also stressed that the whole system is still developing, with further tweaks being entirely possible.