It’s About Ethics: Harmonix Employees Caught Reviewing Rock Band 4 on Amazon

Reddit user Documental38 originally discovered that employees of Harmonix were posting glowing reviews on Rock Band 4 on Amazon, finding seven whose posters matched the names of those who worked at the developer known for its rhythm-based expertise.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, It appeared as though these were perhaps rogue reviewers or maybe a ploy by fake users having a laugh, but Harmonix went ahead and honorably admitted to Destructoid that, yes, those reviews were indeed posted by its employees:

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 relationships with our fans seriously.

I'm glad that Harmonix has addressed these unethical practices, as these positive reviews can certainly sway purchasers and reviews made by other users in the future. Harmonix has since "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.

As a result, some employees have either deleted their reviews entirely or modified their reviews on Amazon to mention that they worked on the game itself, with Matthew Nordhaus adding to his review that "in hindsight, it's probably important that I note that I worked on the game and work for Harmonix." Actually, it's very important, sir, not just "probably" important.

There's an unspoken practice of game developers, let alone companies in general, asking its employees to post five-star reviews on retail sites and other places like Glassdoor. They can also "purchase" five-star reviews on these sites by eager participants, so if you're skeptical about certain product reviews, you should be.