Harmonix has a lot riding on the success of Rock Band 4, so it naturally wants the game to land in as many homes as possible. The problem is that many of us in the gaming community have moved way past the prime of the plastic instrument fad, so how are else are we going to get interested in it other than by reading good reviews?
Well, if you want the best insight and opinions for a video game, why not get it from the people who know best? The developers themselves!
Several key members of Harmonix have been found writing 5-star reviews for Rock Band 4 on Amazon, and shouts of “ethics” have started up a frenzy on reddit. It’s probably the same voices who coughed up “ethics” back with the whole GamerGate fiasco, and they are once again out for blood with their own brand of digital justice.
At any rate, the whole situation is suspicious from the get-go since some of the posters use their actual names to write the reviews. It could be a prank from a fake user, it could be a coincidence that these people have the same names, or the most likely situation of them all, it could just be that a few individuals didn’t think twice about writing about a game they really like, even if they worked on it.
Naturally, the cynicism has kicked in throughout the gaming forums, believing there is a grand scheme at Harmonix to sell a few more copies and make the game a success by “flooding” Amazon with “fake” reviews, all seven of them. My favorite conspiracies are the ones where gamers accuse Mad Catz of orchestrating the whole thing because it could go out of business if Rock Band 4 doesn’t sell.
Unfortunately, the reality is not that exciting. A few individual bozos forgot to read Amazon’s policies about reviewing products you have a financial investment in, and Amazon reacted appropriately by deleting them. If you did it, it’s wrong. Don’t do it again. We wouldn’t want to hurt the impeccable esteem of Amazon user reviews, and if you do decide to do it again, for the love of Pete, do a better job hiding it, please. This just looks silly.