Warframe Review Bomb Coming From Chinese Players
Free-to-play co-op game Warframe has come under a “review bomb” recently due to a dispute involving its volunteer localization staff. It appears developers Digital Extremes let go of a volunteer Chinese translator after some infractions, according to posts by the translator himself, who was well-known within the greater Chinese Warframe community.
What’s Causing The Warframe Review Bomb?
Several potential reasons have been presented including the Hong Kong/China divide, bad translations, and server issues. Some reviews address one or more of these topics, so it’s clear that something appears to have upset Chinese player.
First up is complaints about the quality of the Chinese translations. A former volunteer translator laid out the problems in detail on Reddit, highlighting how he believes the Mandarin translation is particularly bad and that Chinese players he has spoken with found it so bad that it’s “insulting”. This is further escalated by the fact the translator has a fan following that is not happy they are no longer working on it.
If it’s not that, it could be an international faux pas that led to the Warframe review bomb — they’ve designated Hong Kong and China as separate countries. As noted on Reddit (first thread, second thread), quite a few of the reviews complain about this.
On the off chance you’ve been living under a rock, Hong Kong is in the midst of heavy protesting over a proposed bill that would allow their citizens to be extradited to China. Protests have been going on for over a hundred days.
Finally, the last possible complaint I’ve noticed is the bog-standard complaint about server quality. Some Steam reviews (like this one) manage to hit all three potential problems in one go:
1. Optimized your server especially in [China]
2. TW and HK is part of China, so please change the “country” in your official website to “country and region”
3. Open the forum of [China], so we can communicate and discuss about our demand
4. Treat every worker/player fairly.
Note: The above quoted review was slightly edited to be more easily readable.
Both have had tensions with mainland China regarding their sovereignty relative to the Chinese government. Hong Kong especially has been caught up in disputes regarding China’s authority over the region, leading to over three months of massive, widespread protests that continue in different forms to this day. (Today marks the 100th day of such protests.) Many who support China, dubbed as “loyal to Beijing,” believe that these regions should stay loyal to China per tradition.
It was also noted on the older Reddit thread that access to the Warframe forums was restricted from mainland Chinese users. Attempts to visit the site are met with “user error 403,” or an “access denied” error.
Whatever the reason for the Warframe review bomb may be, it’s clear that a lot of players are upset. This may be particularly upsetting for Digital Extremes owner Leylou who are based in China.