CD Projekt's troubled RPG Cyberpunk 2077 won the Labor of Love category in the 2022 Steam Awards (opens in new tab), given to the game that "is still getting new content after all these years." But in the wake of the win, it's become clear that not everyone feels that the correct decision was made.
Steam Award winners are chosen by vote, which means that a majority of users selected it over the other entrants in the category: Dota 2, Project Zomboid, No Man's Sky, and Deep Rock Galactic. But in a way, Steam's user review system means the Steam Awards are never really over. And sure enough, a slew of new negative user reviews were posted on Steam following the Labor of Love win, many of them expressing the feeling that it was the popularity of the Cyberpunk: Edgerunners (opens in new tab) show on Netflix, and not the game itself, that put it over the top.
- "Labor of Love my ass, the game is where it should've released at. It only got labor of love cause of the weebs and the dumb anime."
- "This won labor of love because of the show and nothing else. There has been 0 content added to this game over 2 years compared to literally any of the other nominees. The game is still trash, and will continue to be till the company gets their ♥♥♥♥ together."
- "Shocking how a decent animated adaptation can fool so many people into thinking the source material is worth forgiving, let alone awarding it as a 'Labor of Love'."
- "Cyberpunk Edgerunners didn't make this a good game."
It's not a review-bombing in the classic sense. While there was a decided uptick in negative reviews since the Steam Award winners were announced—193 in total so far—by all appearances it's a handful of fans expressing their frustration with the ongoing state of things, rather than a coordinated effort to cause grief for one reason or another. And there were still far more positive reviews posted over the same two days: 836 in all.
In fact, that ratio isn't too far off the user reviews posted in December 2020, when Cyberpunk 2077 first launched and was in its most dire state: More than 63,000 negative reviews, which is an absolutely wild number but still not much more than a quarter of the 227,000 positive reviews posted in the same period.
Despite its rocky history, Cyberpunk 2077 has only ever been "officially" review-bombed on Steam once. That happened in March 2022, when thousands of negative user reviews were posted after CD Projekt halted sales of its products in Russia and Belarus (opens in new tab) to protest Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As noted by The Gamer (opens in new tab), the volume of negative reviews was enough to pull the game's "recent" review rating to "mixed," although Valve later marked those reviews as off-topic, thereby excluding them from the overall rating (opens in new tab).
This one is still in there, though.