BioWare Employee Caught Writing User Review for Dragon Age II
Posted on Tuesday, March 15 @ 15:32:59 Eastern by Nicholas Tan
Reddit user GatoFiasco found something curious on Metacritic, when he found that the top user review (since taken down) by Avanost was a bit too lofty in his praise for Dragon Age II:
Since Avanost only reviewed one game - Dragon Age II - GatoFiasco investigated further and found that Avanost is an engineer for BioWare.
Now, I don't think Bioware is doing any kind of astroturfing or "rent-a-crowd" here where they are having their employees write positives user reviews all over the Internet. It's certainly a question of ethics, though. There's nothing incredibly wrong with writing positive praise for a game that you've worked on (if so, then indie developers would never say anything), but it is a matter of integrity. According to the FTC Publishing Guidelines:
According to some supposed "industry veterans", this practice actually happens all the time; if so, that's injustice to the consumer. Not that we should believe Metacritic user reviews, anyway, but it is a form of deception disguised as personal opinion.
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