In the cut-throat music industry, you’ve gotta do anything you can to stay ahead of the curve. So it is with the plastic music industry, too.
Perhaps that’s why Harmonix employees have been posting a whole bunch of positive Amazon reviews for their own game, Rock Band 4, as discovered by Redditors last night. “Loving this game!” wrote one Harmonix staffer. “It brings back the core Rock Band gameplay experience we all know and love.”
Some of them are hilarious to read with the knowledge that they’re written by Harmonix employees, like this gem: “I’m excited that Harmonix is committed to the game as a platform, and can’t wait to see what the team adds to the game in the months to come.”
Harmonix sent us this statement about the whole snafu:
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. 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.
This is the type of thing we assume happens all the time, of course—every single system that supports reader reviews is likely full of astroturfing and rating manipulation. It’s just that usually the employees at least make fake accounts when they do it.