News

Bioware caught using a sock puppet to boost reviews
Posted: 15.03.2011 23:49 by 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 youll 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 Chris Hoban, 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 here.

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. Thats how it works in the Oscars, thats how it works in the Grammys and why Im betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election.

Say what?

Sony attempted this with their fake reviewer and were fined $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.
Source: Reddit
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Comments

By PowerJack (SI Elite) on Mar 16, 2011
PowerJack
“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.”

Well the difference is that when you vote on games you're giving them a value and on the other votes you are just choosing.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Mar 16, 2011
djole381
Meh, nothing new...
By JonahFalcon (SI Elite) on Mar 16, 2011
JonahFalcon
The RIGHT answer, EA, would have been to say, "Chris got a little too excited over the game, and just felt the need to brag about it. It was out of line, but we can't fault him for loving his own game, can we? It was a mistake, it won't happen again."