How Desperate Is Harmonix For Rock Band 4 To Be A Success? Apparently Very Desperate [Update]
Publishers and developers go to some crazy lengths to ensure that their games are met with favourable reviews and lots of money. Sometimes that crosses into the realm of unethical behaviour but Harmonix may have just taken the cake on this one.
You can tell a lot about a game from its Amazon reviews in the same way that you can tell a lot about the people playing said game in its Steam reviews. Of course, with Metacritic of dwindling importance and Harmonix not having the pull of Activision behind it anymore, it seems the independent developer has devised a budget means of boosting Rock Band 4’s image on retail sites like Amazon. Posting favourable reviews of the game of course.
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Update: Harmonix has confirmed these were indeed the company’s employees posting the reviews in a statement sent to VG247..
“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,” reads the statement.
Some reviews have now been updated to reflect that. Original story follows below.
We can’t speak for the quality of Rock Band 4 but it seems the game is being met rather favourably albeit somewhat in the shadow of Guitar Hero Live right now. Nonetheless, it would appear that Harmonix is desperate enough for its game to succeed to do something this insane.
Amazon reviews are a big go-to zone for people looking to buy something but unsure of its quality. Especially with holiday shopping no doubt ramping up. According to a Reddit post Harmonix is tapping into that zone.
It appears as though some of the reviews have been deleted but there are still enough to cast suspicion on just what the fret Harmonix is doing.
There is a lot riding on Rock Band 4 and Guitar Hero Live is doing it no favours but with the ethics police patrolling the internet this is a good way to attract the wrong kind of attention. One has to wonder what the thinking was here if these reviews did indeed come from Harmonix employees.
Unless they were posted by Activision employees to cast disrepute on Harmonix and then we’d have a good ol’ fashion conspiracy on our hands.