|Bioware caught using a sock puppet to boost reviews|
|Posted: 15.03.2011 23:49 by JonahFalcon||Comments: 3|
Bioware and Electronic Arts have gotten caught using a sock puppet to shill Dragon Age II. When browsing MetaCritic scores of Dragon Age II, Reddit user GatoFiasco spotted a suspicious sounding review by a user named Avanost, who gave it a perfect score of 10.0 and raved, “The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you’ll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining.”
GatoFiasco decided that the review was a little too positive, and did some searching on users named "Avanost". The search brought up the social networking site Plurk, where one user's handle was Avanost - none other than , who happens to be a Bioware employee.. This attached a real name to Avanost – Chris Hoban. The review was removed, but the Google cache still exists .
Kotaku picked up the story and tried to get a statement from Electronic Arts, who glibly replied, “Of course the people who make the game vote for their own game. That’s how it works in the Oscars, that’s how it works in the Grammy’s and why I’m betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election.”
Sony attempted this with their and were $1.5M (£850,000). Writing reviews for your own game is what we like to call in the industry "conflict of interest" and "a violation of trust". No voters have to spend money to vote.
In other words, fraud.