Harmonix Employees Posted Positive Rock Band 4 Amazon Reviews

Harmonix Employees Posted Positive Rock Band 4 Amazon Reviews

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A number of positive Amazon reviews for Rock Band 4 were submitted by Harmonix employees.

Rock Band 4 developer Harmonix has confirmed that a number of Amazon user reviews for the game were posted by Harmonix employees.

The reviews, which all ranked the game five stars, were first pointed out by Reddit users, with Destructoid finding more - with one claiming to be a "new fan."

A statement provided to The Escapist by a Harmonix spokesperson reads:

"Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we've asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely. While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don't believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously."

Several of the reviews that were spotted have been amended to reflect the correlation of the reviewer with Rock Band 4. Harmonix project manager Matthew Nordhaus clarified "I added this review half in jest (as you might be able to tell from the tone of the original). In hindsight, it's probably important that I note that I worked on the game and work for Harmonix. That being said, I'm confident that if I didn't I would still give the game five stars. It's a beautiful, peaceful, cooperative game, rare enough already in today's landscape, that I can play with my wife and kids. Music discovery, playing with your family and friends, and cooperation make Rock Band my favorite."

The Escapist's Joshua Vanderwall reviewed Rock Band 4, writing "Like many, I've been a fan of Rock Band for years, and Rock Band 4 fills all of those gaming inclinations. The several minuscule issues coupled with the primary, yet still small concern of ambiguous song difficulties mean it's imperfect, but not by much," rating the game 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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A "new fan?" If I were in his shoes, I'd watch out for bosses asking why I wasn't a fan before.

This sort of thing happens quite a bit on sites like Metacritic. User reviews can be just as slanted and deceptive as professional reviews, especially considering just how open they are in nature.

Disappointing to read. Harmonix is good enough in their development process where they don't really need to do this kinda thing.

When will they learn? This sort of thing ALWAYS comes out in the wash these days, and it NEVER helps. Just let the product stand on its own merits.

Yeah, game companies employee should stop making bias reviews wheather they were paid/ force to or not. They always get caught sooner or later.

Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

Steve the Pocket:
Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

Well if you aren't a part of such a movement, you'd likely not see that reaction.

Steve the Pocket:
Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

The people doing it got caught.
The game journalists (Escapist, Destructoid, at least) are actually reporting on it instead of hand-waving it away.
The company responded and is taking action to stop it.
Edited reviews are reflecting the employees standing for transparency, and showing the company's response had effect.

Hmm...yeah, I think we're good here.

People can feel free to talk shit about Harmonix about it though, but I see no reason for outrage. That's just me.

That is so ghetto, real companies pay other people to post positive reviews for them. I mean can't they even afford to do that?(Judging by the massive marketing campaign I've seen everywhere and am rapidly growing tired of for Rock Band 4, yes they can)

I'm glad the company admitted it and took steps to rectify the situation. I can't imagine wanting to give any game I worked on a high rating, though. It's hard for me to comprehend properly reviewing a game I spent a lot of time developing and testing, as opposed to looking at it from the perspective of an outsider who's just started playing it.

Steve the Pocket:
Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

So, a company gets caught doing something bad, it gets reported on and then actioned, and you still thought it was a good idea to come in here and do your movement a disservice by trying to draw all the attention and glory to GG? Well done.

Comparing to EA employee's 5 star rating for Dragon Age 2 when the fans were going apeshit about its quality, this is really nothing.

At least I can understand why: Their company needs this game to succeed or they will be bankrupt. They've sunk so much time and money into this one game that if it doesn't do well, they all loose a job. If I was an Employee at Harmonix, I too would post a Positive Review of the Game under the Pretense of being a regular fan of the series.

Doesn't make it any less despicable or desperate, I'm just saying I understand why they'd do this. It seems like Harmonix accepted responsibility and fixed the reviews, though, so that's good.

ffs-dontcare:

Steve the Pocket:
Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

So, a company gets caught doing something bad, it gets reported on and then actioned, and you still thought it was a good idea to come in here and do your movement a disservice by trying to draw all the attention and glory to GG? Well done.

I don't think it was intended as a complement toward GG, but rather, as a stale jab at GamerGate for their supposed silence on the subject. Either way, it's a rather stupid point to make. Why would GG be out in "full force" to combat a problem that was apparently fixed as soon as it was identified? It's a bit too late to combat a problem when the first thing you hear about it is that it's been fixed. Beside which, it's not like GG is in favour of this. I don't think anyone is in favour of this, so I don't really see what any movement could possibly do to stop anonymous people on the internet from posting shitty reviews.

Coincidentally, I read in the paper that Amazon is going to be suing a large amount of people who post illegitimate positive product reviews.

Yes, I read the paper still.

Dirty pool Harmonix, very dirty pool.

FirstNameLastName:

ffs-dontcare:

Steve the Pocket:
Gee, it's a shame there isn't some kind of movement dedicated to stamping out unethical practices in regard to reviews of video games. Otherwise I'd expect them to be out in full force over stuff like this.

So, a company gets caught doing something bad, it gets reported on and then actioned, and you still thought it was a good idea to come in here and do your movement a disservice by trying to draw all the attention and glory to GG? Well done.

I don't think it was intended as a complement toward GG, but rather, as a stale jab at GamerGate for their supposed silence on the subject. Either way, it's a rather stupid point to make. Why would GG be out in "full force" to combat a problem that was apparently fixed as soon as it was identified? It's a bit too late to combat a problem when the first thing you hear about it is that it's been fixed. Beside which, it's not like GG is in favour of this. I don't think anyone is in favour of this, so I don't really see what any movement could possibly do to stop anonymous people on the internet from posting shitty reviews.

You make a very good point. It was rather hard for me to tell whether or not he was making a jab or a compliment toward GG in the first place. But this isn't the first time I've seen those sort of comments made on this kind of subject.

BX3:
Disappointing to read. Harmonix is good enough in their development process where they don't really need to do this kinda thing.

Too true! I always thought the timing in Rock Band games was far superior to any Guitar Hero title. Felt more intuitive.

Frezzato:

BX3:
Disappointing to read. Harmonix is good enough in their development process where they don't really need to do this kinda thing.

Too true! I always thought the timing in Rock Band games was far superior to any Guitar Hero title. Felt more intuitive.

I always felt the UI was a lot more easy on the eyes as well. I mean, I know that GH has been going for the "fuck yeah, rock and roll!" color scheme and style since its inception, but something about the cool blue base with those rigid colored notes that crack apart when you hit them lends to a smoother and better feeling experience IMO.

The artstyle of the avatars are preferable as well, but that's neither here nor there.

Oh look. I wonder if EA will sue them now for stealing their ideas.

My god, you would seriously think people would be above this bullshit by now, do they have a bonus at stake if they don't get a certain amount of positive reviews, how desperate can they get.

Not so bad. They did something silly, owned up to their mistake, and made steps toward correcting it. Had this come from a larger company, there would first be denial, then finger-pointing, then all that other political malarkey until everyone forgets about it, ultimately resolving nothing in the end, and they would keep on doing it.

This kinda thing is the norm it seems judging by how frequently this seems to come up, which according to tip of the iceberg theory means a lot more must be slipping through the cracks.

Heck, how do you even get caught doing this anyways? Let's say I was a harmonix employee, I'd just go to someone elses house/computer, make a bogus account there and write the review. Good luck tracing it back to me unless I was stupid enough to brag about it. Also I'd make my review a little less glowing but tbh people really do write reviews like that on metacritic so it should probably be ok on that front too.

Shouldn't matter. Authors give their books positive reviews all the time. Unless they have thousands of people on their teem doing it, it really wouldn't effect the score.

Well there's no actual rule that those who are attached to the company can't play or review the game. If you're an owner and player well your review is just as valid.

MonsterCrit:
Well there's no actual rule that those who are attached to the company can't play or review the game. If you're an owner and player well your review is just as valid.

"i've been developing this game for a year or so but it looks like i'm a new fan of my own game"

weirdee:

MonsterCrit:
Well there's no actual rule that those who are attached to the company can't play or review the game. If you're an owner and player well your review is just as valid.

"i've been developing this game for a year or so but it looks like i'm a new fan of my own game"

Perfectly valid, but here's the thing, in a system where all players can review therein lies the balance. an overwhelming glowing review will be compared against others and if the details do not add up...there lies a red flag. You can give a positive review but if you don't make not of any flaws or problems while everyone else does... that is suspicious.

You can recommend something highly while still acknowledging it's flaws and you can be totally against something but still acknowledge what it did right.

My conspiracy senses suggest me that it was done for publicity. I'd like to know how many people heard about this and thought "wait, Rock Band 4 is already out?"

Unfortunately, a lot of people have contracts that include pay/bonus scales based on Metacritic scores. That's unfair.
Otherwise this is completely stupid because it's like a person complaining that Hillary Clinton is going to vote for herself.
OOOHHH! Bias Hillary Clinton! SLAM! Democracy is fundamentally flawed!

Get over it, only so many people work at Harmonix and the entirety of internet should balance it out as a whole on a AAA release. This is like complaining that there's Yelp reviews by the restaurant's owner. Of course there is.

This is news story sensationalism trolling us. I'm also with Frankster, how the hell did this news story break?

 

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