Telltale Employees Caught Reviewing Their Own Game

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Telltale Employees Caught Reviewing Their Own Game

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Telltale games employees have been caught reviewing Jurassic Park on Metacritic. They gave it 10/10, naturally.

Jurassic Park, the latest adventure game from the guys behind the latter Sam and Max games and the excellent Hector: Badge of Carnage, hasn't been fairing too well with the critics. The three professional reviews it's received start at 60 and get lower from there, and the Metacritic user reviews were even worse. That is, until a series of four positive user reviews cropped up in quick succession, each giving the game a solid ten and lathering on the praise.

" In true Telltale form this company decided to take on the task of adding new stories onto a beloved franchise that first came out almost 20 years ago," said one review. "I'm happy to say, I'm glad they did! The best way I can describe this game is if Steven Spielberg decided to direct Heavy Rain."

A quick bit of Google sleuthing from the people at Gamespot revealed that each of the reviews came from users who had failed to mention they were currently working for Telltale Games. One was a user interface artist, and another a cinematic artist; both were relatively new to the company. Gamespot says it was tipped off to the fact the reviews weren't entirely on the level by the "complete sentences, proper punctuation, and paucity of spelling errors."

When questioned about the reviews Telltale responded:

"Telltale Games do not censor or muzzle its employees in what they post on the internet. However, it is being communicated internally that anyone who posts in an industry forum will acknowledge that they are a Telltale employee. In this instance, two people who were proud of the game they worked on, posted positively on Metacritic under recognizable online forum and XBLA account names."

The internet is always quick to dispense vigilante justice, however; several Metacritic users have begun review bombing the game in retaliation, because one breach of ethics naturally deserves another. Jurassic Park's current user score stands at 3.8.

A Bioware employe were caught doing pretty much the same thing earlier in the year, and a Modern Warfare 3 developer recently came under fire for encouraging fans to combat review bombers. Leave those user review scores alone, folks, they're not worth it.

Source: Gamespot

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Seriously Telltale? Haven't you learned anything from the past devs who was caught doing this? Even if it wasn't "official", you might wanna make sure everybody gets the memo that says "don't screw up our public relations please".

The only time I find people worthy of reviewing or critiquing their own stuff, are people who are their own worst critics.

Even then, word gets out how people actually feel about games, this was just idiocy.

After all these stories of metacritic scores being pushed one way or the other unfairly, I have to ask :
Does anyone take these MC scores seriously anymore?
I can't speak for myself, as I'd rather read reviews written by people who do that kind of stuff for a living rather than the general populace, but I'd if there's still anyone out there who decides whether or not to buy a game based on it's MC score ...

MC score sucks in general in my experience, been so many games Ive loved that have been slamed on the MC scores.

BREAKING NEWS: Company promotes own products, baby Jesus "just won't stop fucking crying" upon revelation. More at 6.

Good thing I don't take MetaCritic seriously to begin with.

Grey Carter:

Gamespot says it was tipped off to the fact the reviews weren't entirely on the level by the "complete sentences, proper punctuation, and paucity of spelling errors."

It's a sad state of affairs in this day and age when writing competently smacks of professionalism.

is it wrong for a the programer to write a user review. He is a user of the game. I mean alot review on that site are just flaming, so

Naturally, one form of bias is easily acceptable while the other one is STOP RIGHT THERE CRIMINAL SCUM

(the joke is that they are all wrong)

I find it very amusing that they were tipped off because the reviews were in proper english with no spelling errors. Such a wonderful back-handed compliment.

Don't they ever learn!?

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I've Had it with these mother fucking developers on this Mother Fucking review site!

So they recognized that these were Telltale employees by how badly the reviews were written? This does not bode well for the game.

DVS BSTrD:
So the recognized that they were telltale employees by how badly the reviews were written? This does not bode well for their games

Quite the opposite in fact, gamespot is saying because they were written properly, they couldn't have been from random users.

Maybe all these developers reviewing their own games are part of a larger conspiracy by game developers to discredit Metacritic as a valuable tool in gauging how well a game does and remove the pressure some publishers put on developers to get a good Metacritic score.

I short.

Metacritic sucks and I don't like it.

I guess it makes sense. Video games are dependent on reviews for sales, at least some of them, so faking reviews on a site is the next step. It's not right, obviously, but their motives are understandable.
However, I think that's a bad sign for a game, if the employees are so concerned that they have to go to review sites and give their own games a 10. Not exactly a sign of confidence!

Metacritic is shit anyways. Who cares if people jack up the scores. Anyone who uses MC under the impression that it gives usable reviews and scores deserves to get duped.

Soundchekz:
I guess it makes sense. Video games are dependent on reviews for sales, at least some of them, so faking reviews on a site is the next step. It's not right, obviously, but their motives are understandable.
However, I think that's a bad sign for a game, if the employees are so concerned that they have to go to review sites and give their own games a 10. Not exactly a sign of confidence!

Or they genuinely liked the game they worked hard on. No game (in my opinion) deserves a 10/10, but 7-9 are like...average scores. So they think their game is at least above average. And it might be! Haven't played it, so I couldn't say.

Honestly, I'd be more concerned if they didn't give themselves a 10/10. If it wasn't perfect to them, the only excuse I could think of for not improving it is time constraints.

Daymo:

DVS BSTrD:
So the recognized that they were telltale employees by how badly the reviews were written? This does not bode well for their games

Quite the opposite in fact, gamespot is saying because they were written properly, they couldn't have been from random users.

I guess that was just wishful misreading on my part. It would have been funnier that way, but now it appears that just because a review is well written it can't be trusted. That's kinda sad.

Now, to be honest, would this have been any better if they flat out admitted they worked for Telltale? People would have only flipped out more at the idea of a company boosting it's own score. To be honest, why bother with inflating a score (Metacritic user ratings) no one in their right minds cares about?

CpnChaos:
Now, to be honest, would this have been any better if they flat out admitted they worked for Telltale? People would have only flipped out more at the idea of a company boosting it's own score. To be honest, why bother with inflating a score (Metacritic user ratings) no one in their right minds cares about?

They did kind of say they worked for Telltale.

Or at least, they made no attempt to hide it.

Can someone explain this to me:

Why does anyone give the slightest fuck about a metacritic score? Anytime I visit the page for some stupid reason I notice that something like Skyrim only has about 40 of those stupid Facebook "likes" so the site cant be that fucking popular.

Who the hell uses it? Why do developers use it to measure the success of their games? I just dont understand.

Kopikatsu:

CpnChaos:
Now, to be honest, would this have been any better if they flat out admitted they worked for Telltale? People would have only flipped out more at the idea of a company boosting it's own score. To be honest, why bother with inflating a score (Metacritic user ratings) no one in their right minds cares about?

They did kind of say they worked for Telltale.

Or at least, they made no attempt to hide it.

Not really, hey were found out by Googling around. Not exactly saying outright that they worked on the game.

It's a good thing I don't put any stock into what the users say on metacritic.

OT: If you're going to do something wrong (or considered wrong, as the case may be), go to better trouble not to be caught in the act.

The only part that really amazes me is the fact that writing a review there using proper punctuation and proof reading for typos makes it suspicious. Come to think, the fact that majority of such "reviews" are poorly written, for me, is much bigger issue than singular, overly positive reviews from developers.

Also, it's MetaCritic, like the user review scores had any validity to them to start with between the raging haters and zealous fan-boys...

Unsurprisingly, Strong Bad went on to blast their games, citing that "it's revengance for hosing me in that licensing agreeement!"

Keava:
The only part that really amazes me is the fact that writing a review there using proper punctuation and proof reading for typos makes it suspicious. Come to think, the fact that majority of such "reviews" are poorly written, for me, is much bigger issue than singular, overly positive reviews from developers.

I agree, it is quite concerning. I mean, givng a perfect score on a horrific game might be a bit of a tipoff, but not being a garbled mess of speling or puntuatin and w/e shuldnt mean its from teh develpors. it shuld meen u can spel an dspeak good elgish!!1~! this is sad

Is there any evidence that a significant amount of people actually care about the Metacritic user score?

I think aggregate scores are incredibly stupid, but at least there's a bit of a proven correlation between them and sales. I don't know anyone who gives a shit what the heavily-trolled and childish user scores say. Example: Portal 2 got dozens of zero star reviews because it said "do not turn of console while saving" for a fraction of a second when you quicksaved on the PC version. Metacritic users are morons.

When you're reviewing your own game, all it can do is generate ridicule (unless you're thrashing it, which would be... interesting); Telltale come across as either desperate, or just stupid. Not played it, won't play, wasn't going to play it before this; it looked pretty meh to begin with. Until they bring out a Jurassic Park game that plays like Farcry 2 or something, nah...

Oh my god!

Junior employees who likely made their first professional game are immensely proud of that and give it glowing praise!

What is this industry coming to?

The only place I have a problem with it is that they should acknowledge their relationship as part of the review.

Having said that, anyone who reads online reviews and doesn't anticipate large numbers of "fake" reviews is fooling themselves.

Daymo:

DVS BSTrD:
So the recognized that they were telltale employees by how badly the reviews were written? This does not bode well for their games

Quite the opposite in fact, gamespot is saying because they were written properly, they couldn't have been from random users.

I'd actually be tempted to go post a review of the game there, just because of that. No, it is not a 10/10 game, but I'm enjoying it. The story is interesting (even if they just killed my favorite character), and the pacing solid enough. But the "game" portion is almost all QTEs, so Yahtzee would likely have an aneurysm. Considering the nature of the game (you're being attacked by DINOSAURS), though, it seems to me that your only real hope for survival is quick reactions and hoping your instincts work out for you. 10/10? No. But I'd say a solid 7. And that's a real 7 on a 10-point scale. Not this nonsense where "8" is average and everything else goes up by fractions of a point.

This just shows me that the whole metacritic system is deeply flawed. I will trust the professional reviews by reading several from different magazines and make a judgement if the game is for me.

On another note, review scores mean nothing. Bastion got really good scores. I bought it on steam and played through the whole thing. I just don't really like it so much. It is a very well put together game, but its not my taste. Same thing with Modern warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. They get high reviews, but I am not a fan of military shooters. I think they are boring and repetitive. But I love Left4Dead 2. Some indy games get less than stellar scores that I found really fun and worth the few dollars asking price. Solar 2 and Terraria are a couple of examples.

Ok time for more Skyrim.

From what I understand from the few videos Ive seen....this is not a redo of the SEGA Genesis Jurassic Park game so....it doesnt deserve a 10/10...

Also is this "Metacritic" I read about some sorta Messiah of the industry?

And on the weekend of the release....Metacritic came down and blessed our game with a 9 and User Review of 6 and yeah we wept...for we had tried our best

Is this why Gamespot no longer displays its user-review average? Although I think that had more to do with review bombing rather than inflating.

Gamespot says it was tipped off to the fact the reviews weren't entirely on the level by the "complete sentences, proper punctuation, and paucity of spelling errors."

That's just fucking embarrassing. Not that they should have been able to get away with it, but to be caught because you wrote proper English? People need to learn to start writing properly on the internet, and Metacritic needs to enforce some kind of grammar and spelling rules on their user reviews.

Aris Khandr:
I'd actually be tempted to go post a review of the game there, just because of that. No, it is not a 10/10 game, but I'm enjoying it. The story is interesting (even if they just killed my favorite character), and the pacing solid enough. But the "game" portion is almost all QTEs, so Yahtzee would likely have an aneurysm. Considering the nature of the game (you're being attacked by DINOSAURS), though, it seems to me that your only real hope for survival is quick reactions and hoping your instincts work out for you. 10/10? No. But I'd say a solid 7. And that's a real 7 on a 10-point scale. Not this nonsense where "8" is average and everything else goes up by fractions of a point.

u beter maek shur two right liek dis so no1 thinks ur a dev lol

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