[Column] Bulkhead Interactive Asks Community To Manipulate Steam Reviews

Bulkhead Interactive is playing with fire, and I have a feeling they’re going to get burned.

World War 2 shooter Battalion 1944 currently stands at a 31% “Mostly Negative” rating on Steam, with 115 currently playing users and an all time peak of 16,341. Earlier today, Bulkhead’s community manager posted a thread on the game’s Reddit page asking the community to review, which can be very easily interpreted as “review positively,” especially given the explicitly stated goal of this campaign is to improve the game’s recent review score from mostly negative to mostly positive.

The statement very coyly tries to avoid any guaranteed accusations of review manipulation by telling players that their reviews can be positive or negative, it doesn’t matter as long as they’re giving their feedback. I have to wonder who Bulkhead thinks they’re fooling by trying to play dumb, especially when comments like the one below are being made to players who say that they enjoy the game, but don’t want to give a positive review because the player base is so small. Since Battalion is an online-only multiplayer game with no bots, the low player base can make the game nigh unplayable at off-peak hours.

“Player numbers are not the game that you’re reviewing, is the game good is the question.”

So give the game a positive or negative review, it doesn’t matter, just remember that you’re not to review the game based on criteria that we (Bulkhead) don’t approve of. Specifically criteria that would make the game look bad, like its low player count. Bulkhead even went so far as to dangle an incentive for getting the review score up, noting such feat as a prerequisite for the company to hold a sale.

“Any player who would like to leave a review, please do so as soon as possible. The reason being is that we would like to see the ‘Recent Reviews’ change as soon as possible, so that we can do our first sale. It’s a very achievable task but one that requires the community, new players, devs, and old players to work together.”

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