Epic Games is the company behind Fortnite and Unreal Engine. It recently announced a new way to publish and promote games on its storefront with self-publishing tools, alongside a higher revenue share and more generous backend services. It’s wading into the treacherous waters of user reviews with a system that will ask players to rate games they have played at intervals after their play sessions. The idea is that the ratings will be more reliable, and will prevent co-ordinated behaviour such as review bombing, where a group of people work together to artificially inflate or deflate a game’s score on a rating website.
The ratings system will be introduced in an update to the Epic Games Store later this week, with feedback requests appearing randomly after a player has finished a game session. They’ll have to have spent at least two hours playing a title for it to be eligible for a rating. It’s not just the ratings, either: the company will also ask players to answer a series of questions after their play session. The results of these polls will then be used to populate a game’s store page with more information about it.
Users will be able to see what others have said about the game they have just played, and can click on a ‘more reviews’ link to view the full results. This should be a valuable resource for gamers and help them make more informed decisions about what games to buy. It’s a good idea, and it could even encourage more players to try out the store, which is currently behind Steam in terms of selection, but ahead of Google Play.
The store is also adding cross-play support to its platform, with a feature that will merge players’ Steam and Epic Games Store friends lists. The functionality will work across PC, macOS and Linux, with additional platforms, including mobile and consoles, to be added down the line. It will also allow players to find friends on other platforms and join multiplayer sessions with them, and Epic has broader ambitions for cross-play in the future. The company is working with developers to build support for the feature into their games, and several titles already have it in place, such as Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.