Several Amazon user reviews (opens in new tab) for Rock Band 4 (opens in new tab) were written by employees, developer Harmonix admitted today. While Harmonix stated that it believes the actions were "sincere and without ill intentions," the statement also calls out these reviews as inappropriate.
"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," Harmonix wrote. "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."
Though many of the offending reviews have since been deleted, it's clear that blowback is coming. A Reddit thread that brought the situation to light has many decrying (opens in new tab) Harmonix and Mad Catz for "unethical and extremely disappointing" behavior, while the game's Amazon page is now receiving 1-star reviews from users clearly trying to tip the scales. "Worst game of all time. Not a Harmonix Employee," reads one such review.
And that's why the perception of misconduct can be just as damning as the real thing. Ill intentioned or not, those employee reviews have planted a bad seed in the audience, and Harmonix has to now deal with the consequences of that mistrust.
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