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  • Steam reviews tweaked again to highlight feedback from Steam key users [09.21.16]
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    Valve has made some more tweaks to its Steam game reviews after some developers expressed concern at the last set of changes. 

    The previous update saw Valve alter the review system so any feedback from players using Steam keys wouldn't count toward's a game's overall or most recent review scores. 

    Valve said it was forced to implement the change to halt the influx of fraudulent reviews being submitted by devs trying to boost their review scores. 

    Some smaller developers, however, were caught in the crossfire by the change-up -- with those who'd dished out legitimate keys through Kickstarter or third-party stores suffering the most. 

    With that in mind, Valve has modified its own default review settings to better display the "helpful, articulate reviews written by customers that obtained the game outside of steam."

    "Starting today, the review section on each product page will show reviews written by all users, regardless of purchase type," reads a Steam blog post.

    "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."

    Despite those changes, the review scores themselves will remain untouched, and will continue to be calculated based purely on reviews submitted by customers who purchase their games via Steam. 

    Valve says it's also working on some "longer-term updates," and plans to adjust the system again "to better identify and highlight helpful reviews while hiding or lowering the prominence of unhelpful reviews."

    For a full breakdown of the latest changes, head on over to the Steam blog.

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  • Supercell buys 51 percent stake in Badland dev for $7.8 million [09.21.16]
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    Mobile juggernaut Supercell has picked up a 51 percent stake in Badland creator Frogmind for a reported $7.8 million.

    Writing on the Frogmind website, studio CEO and co-founder Johannes Vuorinen described the move as a "long-term partnership," and said it will help the company realize its free-to-play ambitions. 

    The studio currently has three freemium titles in development, and it seems the Clash of Clans creator took a keen interest in all of them. 

    "[Supercell] liked our new upcoming games and the teams behind them, and we have the utmost respect for them and their gameplay, production values and elegance in solving difficult design challenges," wrote Vuorinen.

    "With Supercell’s backing, we can think much more long term and be more ambitious with our games than ever."

    Frogmind will remain operationally independent, and will retain the ability to publish its own titles and choose which projects to pursue. 

    On paper, it's a similar deal to the one Supercell struck up with Chinese internet giant Tencent, with the main benefits being financial and creative security. 

    "We’ll be able to focus fully onto our games, worry less about finances and continue being an awesome place to work for our employees," added the CEO. 

    "Supercell also understands our culture and the way we make games.

 

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