Diablo IV receives a sudden wave of positive reviews on Steam by suspected bot accounts

But it's probably not Blizzard's doing


There are some strange things going on at the Steam page of Diablo IV. According to the eagle eye of a Redditor by the name of Nodimax, the game has been getting a wave of positive Steam reviews from what appear to be bot accounts: The Steam users in question simply put one-word reviews of D4 on November 23rd, which is about the time when the game was running its free demo promotion, and many of them have thousands of hours’ worth of playtime in multiple free-to-play games in just two weeks, which raises several red flags.

The immediate supposition was that these bots were deployed by Blizzard in order to manipulate the OARPG’s score on Steam, but additional digging suggests that’s probably not the case: First, as one reply on Reddit points out, accounts that have gotten a Steam key for free (like the allegedly discovered bots) don’t actually affect a game’s user review score. Second, Blizzard would likely want to see people use its own Battle.net platform to get its games instead of only Steam specifically, so changing the user review metric doesn’t make much sense.

What’s potentially happening instead – at least by VG247’s assumption – is that one or multiple Steam users are running these presumed bot accounts in order to show off their ability to provide a Steam user rating “business” that lets them sell their review-boosting services to unscrupulous publishers.

Redditors in the original thread are otherwise dragging Nodimax for the post, either decrying the whole thing as a bit of tinfoil hat-wearing rambling or expressing indifference about another story of Steam’s review system being abused. Regardless of the reason, it’s all a rather intriguing series of events.

source: Reddit and Steam via VG247
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