After quietly rolling out the ability for Switch owners to leave reviews on games in its digital storefront, Nintendo has decided to roll things back to how they were and remove existing reviews. The company did not say what motivated the decision, only that it needs time to "evaluate this feature and its functionality." It's a somewhat surprising move, considering that Nintendo's implementation for leaving user reviews was actually pretty good.
User reviews are not always helpful, especially if there is a concerted effort by angry gamers or mischief makers to manipulate the system. Nintendo may not have been immune to abusing the review system it put in place, and perhaps it saw something that raised a red flag. However, the process seemed well though out to us.
Nintendo's review process was based on a five-star rating system. Users had to have a registered account, which Nintendo would verify when mashing the "Review This Game" button, and could only leave evaluations for games after spending a minimum of two hours playing. Nintendo also provided a handful of tags, such as "Challenging," Fun to play," Great value," and so forth.
As part of the review system, users were asked to identify themselves as a "Nintendo fan," "Core Gamer," "Casual player," or "Parent." Users also had to indicate if there were any spoilers in their review. Overall it seemed like a solid system, but apparently Nintendo has some concerns.
"Customer reviews have been taken offline as we evaluate this feature and its functionality. We currently have no estimated date on when an update will be provided. We appreciate the positive response and thank the reviewers who provided such thoughtful commentary on the games," Nintendo states on game pages in its eShop.
For those who are fans of user reviews, Nintendo at least left the door open to the possibility of restoring them at some point. If and when that happens is anyone's guess.