Life is Strange: True Colors has gotten review bombed on Steam by Chinese players, due to the presence of the Tibetan flag in-game. The game’s Steam page still holds “Very positive” reviews, with the negative ones mostly coming from Chinese players. Life is Strange: True Colors uses the town of Haven Springs as its setting, which includes a shop named “Treasures of Tibet”. A Tibetan flag can very clearly be seen right above the store’s entrance – something that didn’t sit right with a host of Chinese players.
“The game contains elements of Tibetan independence, implying a split of China,” reads one of those reviews. Interestingly enough, more than twenty users flagged the review as helpful, while more than ten labeled it as funny.
Another reviewer goes the extra mile by adding: “Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet have been Chinese territories since ancient times. No matter how the obsolete think, they will eventually return to the mainland. I suggest that NEETs read more books, stop being stupid, and find a job to support themselves. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet is part of China forever”. This last one has gained a fair bit of traction in its comment section.
There’s yet another review that’s gotten a lot of attention, with over 3,500 other users flagging it as helpful. A little bit of Google Translate usage makes it clear that the player isn’t particularly happy about the situation, going as far as calling studio Deck Nine “disgusting” for including the Tibetan flag in their game. All in all, many Chinese users aren’t pleased with the title meddling in their country’s “internal affairs”.
Life is Strange‘s review bombing isn’t the first one with a similar context.
Life Is Strange True Colors Review Bombed: Not The First Time
Steam does try to fight off review bombings, but the methods aren’t always effective. China does represent Steam’s second-largest market, so the voice of Chinese users doesn’t really go unnoticed. Taiwanese horror game Devotion had previously been heavily review-bombed by Chinese players. The title contained a reference to the meme comparing Chinese president Jinping to Winnie the Pooh. The reference was eventually removed after the developers apologized for their misstep.
Review bombing for political reasons has already happened before, and it’s very likely to happen again in the future.