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A Revised Strategy For Reviewing VR And Mixed Reality Games From Our Reviews Editor

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Hello everyone! For anyone unfamiliar with me, I'm Henry. I started as a freelance contributor, joined UploadVR in late 2022 and you'll best know me for my news coverage with VR gaming.

Since our former Senior Editor, Harry Baker, left the team in January, we haven't posted as many reviews on the site. Coverage remains a juggling act for any small team, but as the newly appointed Reviews Editor, I've heard your feedback and we'll be back on track soon. Alongside our staff, we're working with a fantastic team of freelance writers who will further assist us in the coming months.

My current plan goes beyond simply putting out more reviews. What we're re-evaluating is the way we approach some titles. Video games aren't like films or music; they can be easily updated days and weeks after launch, creating unique considerations with reviews. Changes are rarely revolutionary, even if sometimes they are, and any update could be the difference between something fun and something not. We also can't assess what isn't yet there. We can only review what's in front of us, not a potential update that may, or may not, improve a particular game. And this is before considering games with wider post-launch roadmaps.

I'm aiming to address this by overseeing more reviews-in-progress. Games assessed as a review-in-progress will see our writers return to the game after an agreed period of time to re-assess and revise their impressions. We won't do this for all games because some titles, like ports of older releases that already had updates, won't need it. Instead, there are some games where it's often clear there's unrealized scope to an idea that is also communicated clearly to early buyers. We'll assess these on a case-by-case basis. Early access games won't usually get reviews until full release, though we'll look to provide early impressions as we've done for years. Previews, post-launch VR mode updates and smaller experiences will likely see shorter hands-on articles, alongside round-up coverage where we can highlight these interesting and innovative works in our shows and lists.

This approach also extends to live service and online multiplayer games. Our new strategy will see reviewers publish their initial impressions when a game launches and later revisit their review at agreed intervals over a longer-term period, noting those expectations in our initial assessment. Those updates may also consider average player count and matchmaking quality in a collapsible segment, similar to comfort settings. Maintaining a consistent player base is a challenge every matchmaking-based multiplayer game faces, so we think it's important to note some of these experience aspects before purchasing a game months after launch.

While my colleagues and I have slowed down to consider how best to review VR content, we’ve also started seeing major innovations in mixed reality game design, too, even as decade-old VR games are still debuting on brand new platforms in 2024. When games like Job Simulator continue reappearing on new platforms, and other established hits like Microsoft Flight Simulator receive further updates, we're working to better break down for our audience why games feel certain ways on particular platforms.

To be clear, we're not changing our current scoring system again and we'll continue using the five-star scale. Reviews and subsequent scoring remain subjective, and individualized to the author, but we're looking to extend our work with reviews over time to better hone them toward more useful context alongside their updated first-hand accounts. If you have any relevant questions about this new approach, I'm happy to answer those in the comment section below. Thanks for listening.

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