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Everyone is entitled to an opinion but, when it comes to leaving a five-star review of a game you helped make on a site like Amazon, it’s probably not the smartest move. And that’s exactly what happened recently with several Harmonix employees and its latest game, Rock Band 4.

The folks over at Destructoid picked up on these questionable tactics earlier today, reporting on a rumor and subsequent confirmation that Harmonix employees were leaving five-star reviews for Rock Band 4 on Amazon, some of which did not bother to go the extra step and at least change their name before leaving glowing praise for the recently released rhythm game.

Rumors of these reviews being tied to Harmonix employees first popped up on reddit, where one user called out the developer for being so shady. Many of those reviews have since been deleted, with others amended to include the fact that they are, indeed, tied to the development of the game.

In case you’re wondering why this is a big deal, you have to understand that a lot of folks base their purchasing decisions off a user reviews on sites like Amazon or Metacritic. If we receive a review copy of, say, Halo 5 or Fallout 4, you better believe that the review we run will include that fact in a disclaimer. It’s an important piece of information that might have an impact on someone’s buying decision. So when a bunch of folks who made a game start dropping off glowing reviews for their own game without mentioning all of those important details, it comes off as gross and extremely manipulative.

One of the questionable reviewers states that their review was originally posted “half in jest,” which doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense, adding that it was “probably important that I not I worked on th game and work for Harmonix.”

Again, we’re not saying someone shouldn’t review their own product, even though it feels like a bit of common sense that doing so might appear in poor taste. But as Harmonix has now cleared up with a letter to its employees, some steps should be taken to ensure you’re not actively misleading your consumers.

In the statement, Harmonix explains that employees have now been asked to make sure their connection to the product, such as Rock Band 4, is known.
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.

So, what have we learned from this bizarre Rock Band 4 fiasco? Correct! The internet is a dangerous, lie-filled cesspool that should be avoided at all costs.

This article not written by an employee of Harmonix.
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