Is this a possible smear attack for my game?

SomaelCK

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I have released a commercial RMVXA game called DarkEnd back in 2014. It's pretty much a text-book dungeon crawler, receiving mixed reviews overall. It was staying at 50% positive until Steam voided the key-activated reviews from the overall score with latest policy changes and the rating actually went up to 61%. (Thanks Gabe).

Today, a negative review (Form a key activator) turned up, claiming someone is bribing him to change his negative review to positive to change overall score.
Source : https://postimg.cc/image/dq81bbho5/

I may have given out free promotional keys, but I have never bribed anyone for good a review (You'll see that many negative reviews come from keys). Besides, why would anyone bribe a key-activated user's review to change to positive. It won't effect the overall score anyway (As the screenshot claimed). This get me worry. Was it an attempt to smear the integrity of my games (A new way of negative review bombing)? Do any of commercial RPG Maker developers here had a similar experience like this? What would be the best course of action? Many thanks in advance!

This is my game's steam page:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/292370
 

Kes

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I had all sorts of accusations for my Game The Tale of a Common Man that someone had been paid to open multiple Steam accounts and do several good reviews.  None of the people who were supposed to have done this came forward, it was all from other Steam users.  The fact that the supposed false accounts had been open for a long time, with differing numbers of games in them etc. etc. had no effect.


I suspect that it is another attempt by RPGMaker haters to trash any game that looks like it might be a success.  If you engage with them it makes no difference, and it keeps that thread at the top of the list, so more people see it.  My suggestion would be to do one clear, unambiguous refutation, so that no one can say "oh, they didn't even bother denying it", and then nothing else.  All you can do is ride out the storm.  But it is deeply unpleasant.
 

Shaz

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That's interesting.  HAVE you agreed to give someone a good deal on your game to include in a 6 for $1 bundle?  If you have, then you probably know who it is already.  Post back in the thread and state that you don't support bribing people for reviews.  If you haven't made a deal like that, make it clear that there is no such arrangement.
 

SomaelCK

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That's interesting.  HAVE you agreed to give someone a good deal on your game to include in a 6 for $1 bundle?  If you have, then you probably know who it is already.  Post back in the thread and state that you don't support bribing people for reviews.  If you haven't made a deal like that, make it clear that there is no such arrangement.

No, I haven't make any deal with anyone at all. To be perfectly sure, I even contact my publishers to check whether they'd made such arrangement. Confirmed no. I have already made announcement everywhere that I am in no way affiliated with such person and urged people to report.
 

I had all sorts of accusations for my Game The Tale of a Common Man that someone had been paid to open multiple Steam accounts and do several good reviews.  None of the people who were supposed to have done this came forward, it was all from other Steam users.  The fact that the supposed false accounts had been open for a long time, with differing numbers of games in them etc. etc. had no effect.


I suspect that it is another attempt by RPGMaker haters to trash any game that looks like it might be a success.  If you engage with them it makes no difference, and it keeps that thread at the top of the list, so more people see it.  My suggestion would be to do one clear, unambiguous refutation, so that no one can say "oh, they didn't even bother denying it", and then nothing else.  All you can do is ride out the storm.  But it is deeply unpleasant.


I have the same suspicions as well. Hating knows no bounds :( Unpleasant indeed.
 
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Euphony

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That's BS. Sorry you had to deal with this.


It's likely this Kamba person is just another biased Steam user who's tired of seeing RM games on Steam and trying to make RM users look bad. Then again, he could be just the opposite - some zealous RM supporter who's actually going around trying to boost the scores of RM games. Either way, he doesn't seem to know how the scoring system works. And he needs to get a life. Very strange that he would spend his time doing this.


It also bugs me that even after you explained yourself to this Tartrazine guy, he didn't bother to update his review. It would have been nice if he had edited it to say, Hey I was bribed but it wasn't the developer. Sadly, based on him calling your game "just another ugly RPG Maker game" with no further explanation, I doubt he cares if his review makes you look bad, even though you were nothing but polite to him. Honestly both of these guys, Kamba and Tartrazine, sound like walnuts.
 

Andar

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I haven't read through everything here (and didn't even follow the links to steam), but I would like to remind the people here that several months ago (or was it a year ago?) there was a publishing company aggressively searching for indie developers not only here on this board but also on non-RM development sites, to offer them guaranteed greenlit on steam etc by trading votes on steam.


It was shot down here extremely fast, but I know it got several projects on steam where they did bribe people with free keys of other games to get their votes and reviews.


Most of the ones when I checked were primitive FPS games done by basic assets of Unity or other free engines, but I think one or two inexperienced RM-Developers also signed on before learning what that company really did.


From the posts above that was not the case here, but I want to use this opportunity to remind everyone that there are indeed bad publishers out there who are trying to circumvent regular "quality control", but no one should use them because this always gets detected sooner or later and usually backfires.
 

Matseb2611

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I am sure you have nothing to worry about regarding your integrity. The screenshot shows that the person in question wasn't affiliated with you and was pursuing their own interests. How did you come across this screenshot anyway? Did screen-taker show it to you? If the person who is putting this bundle together someone you know or spoken to, it might be best to contact them again and find out what's this all about. If not, then you can probably safely ignore them. I wouldn't think that a legitimate bundle provider would be so unprofessional.


And yeah, as others said, it might be a good idea to leave a comment on the review itself, stating that you as a developer of the game do not condone bribery, and the person in question was acting out of their own interest.
 
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