Nier: Automata is an action RPG that was published by Square Enix back in 2017. The hack-and-slash title received highly positive reviews from media outlets and gamers alike, with some criticism being aimed at technical issues related to resolution and frame rates. While a mod that fixes some of these issues exists, they have not yet been officially patched by the developer.
Earlier this week, the Xbox Game Pass version of the game landed on PC, and since then, its Steam counterpart is being review-bombed because it is technically inferior.
The Xbox Game Pass PC version of Nier: Automata arrived on the Microsoft Store on March 18, and apparently, it does not contain resolution-, frame rates-, and controls-related issues that have been plaguing the Steam variant for the past few years. This has not flown well with the Steam community and it has taken to review-bombing the Steam version of the game.
Indeed, if you head over to the title's Steam page here, you'll notice that there have been over 350 negative reviews since March 18. Prior to the launch of the Microsoft Store version, it used to get a couple of negative reviews per day.
One recent review highlights the frustration faced by Steam gamers, saying that:
At this point I feel like I wasted my money, I bought this broken ass version that I couldn't even play because the stuttering was so atrocious, only for them to release a fixed/updated version on Xbox Gamepass (sic) while leaving this one to rot. They deserve the negative reviews on this version, don't buy it.
Other recent reviews echo the same thoughts. As PC Gamer notes, a dedicated thread has been started on the Steam forums, which encourages current customers to review-bomb the game until "Square Enix give a patch fixing this mess". It remains to be seen whether Square Enix can be pressured into releasing an official patch in this way, but the frustration of gamers is understandable given that the title has essentially "launched" on the same platform, just on a different storefront, with the new version being technically superior.
It is notable that the Game Pass port was handled by a company called QLOC, and it explicitly says that the latest version is enhanced due to a "special request" by the game's original developer, PlatinumGames. It is unclear at this time whether these enhancements will also make their way to the Steam version eventually, but until that happens, Square Enix will likely continue to receive backlash from gamers.