A current loophole in the Xbox review system is the ability to review games that you have pre-ordered but not actually played yet. A post by Reddit user “funinsungorun” pointed out this flaw regarding the pre-order of Star Wars Battlefront 2 and the slew of five-star reviews given to the game. This causes the score of the game to be artificially boosted or lowered despite nobody having played it yet. This obviously is not a good thing to see a score for a game that isn’t available yet.
This has been a problem dating back to at least 2014, as shown by this thread that criticizes the ability to rate games just because you pre-order them.
A different user on Reddit pointed this out to Major Nelson and he mentioned the team was aware of the problem and was meeting about it today. Major Nelson then got back to the thread and told users about the meeting.
Quick update: Had the meeting…the team is aware. They also have a plan to address this and make reviews more meaningful. I can’t say much more but it could include some suggestions from this thread ;)
This has been a known concern for quite some time so it’d be surprising if the system doesn’t get changed to only allowing reviews on games you’ve played but we will have to wait and see. An article by Kotaku last year pointed out this flaw and how it plagues both the Xbox One and PS4 stores. The article showed Halo Wars 2 had 901 five-star ratings despite being months away from release.
There aren’t any clear-cut statistics on people who base their decisions to buy a game solely on these reviews but it does seem counter-intuitive to allow this type of reviewing to continue. Major Nelson makes it sound like a fix is on the way since the meeting was already scheduled.
Major Nelson has had a Reddit account for a year and a half now and has been listening to the community and has actually been active in it as well as evidenced by his comment history on the social media platform.
The Xbox team encourages users with concerns to voice them using the Xbox Feedback program which allows users to ask questions and get responses from the team. Users are also able to use the program to vote on which backwards compatible games they’d like to see next.