Valve has reportedly added a new feature to its Steam beta branch, encouraging users to revise old reviews once they've put in an extended amount of additional playtime.
The feature, which doesn't appear to have been documented in Valve's most recent Steam Client Beta patch notes, was highlighted by Steam subreddit user Mk1Md1 (as spotted by PCGamesN), who shared a screenshot showcasing their discovery in action.
As shown below, the new module appears at the top of a game page in a user's Steam library, politely informing them how many more hours they've played since initially leaving a review. It then asked if they'd like to revise that original review, providing a couple of response options.
Although Valve hasn't commented on the feature as yet, it seems reasonable to assume that it's primarily intended to combat situations whereby games are still saddled with unfavourable user sentiment badges, caused by earlier negative reviews, even after developers have taken time to update and address community complaints.
As Steam currently operates, potential customers may be deterred from purchasing games, even if reviews no longer accurately reflect the quality of the experience.
This wouldn't be the first time Valve has tinkered around with Steam's review system to make the feature more valuable for customers and fairer for developers, of course.
Recently, it implemented changes designed to combat the increasingly widespread practice of review bombing, which, Valve explained at the time, could sometimes results from issues not directly related to the quality of a game.
I've asked Valve for official comment on its new Steam feature and will update the story should one come a-sailing in.