Otherland devs deny buying positive Steam reviews

    
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Drago Entertainment has today denied allegations that it paid for positive Otherland reviews on Steam.

Website MMOs.com accused the developer of directly paying for fake reviews, suggesting the company is “trying to boost sales in an incredibly shady way” and “trying anything and everything to get people to try the game.” “[I]f you’re going to try to trick your customers into buying your game[,] you might as well spend a little bit more and get your fake reviews written by native English speakers,” wrote the site, calling for Steam to take down the reviews.

On the Steam forums, Drago acknowledged the suspicious reviews but denied responsibility for them:

We know this is a serious issue and we are looking into it. To be clear: Drago did not buy any reviews. We did give keys to a bunch of people as part of sweepstakes or promotions including partners, testers, friends (as is common in the industry)… we are investigating this and will have questionable reviews (about a dozen as we can see) removed.
However, I also still like to point out that we got many negative reviews in a similar manner, that is from accounts with limited playtime and no other reviews.

In a followup post, Otherland rep Alpha noted,

I agree some accounts look suspicious. But pls also take into account that a) many bad reviews look the same way (bad English, same games that are available for free, close to zero play time) and b) could someone actually want to put us into bad light… because yes, it is very obvious that these reviews are not based on quality playing time and even dumb people like us would know that.

As mentioned before we are investigating. In the meantime I hope you are still enjoying our game. Many people do as you could see from reviews with dozens of hours played.

Massively OP took a look at Otherland back in September, arguing that “the gameworld’s idea feels fresh, but the execution and quest dialogue are hard to get into.”

Source: Steam via Reddit
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karmamule
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karmamule

Radfist Wild_Phil So true.  Some of the most sophomoric “funny” reviews have a high “helpful” rating, and some long serious looks at a game don’t because people equate that with OMG TL;DR

karmamule
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karmamule

dragonherderx I definitely take the # hours played into account when deciding whether or not a particular reviewer’s opinion matters to me.

If they say it is great but have played less than a couple hours, or say it’s terrible, but have put in hundreds of hours, I’ll read their reviews with a VERY skeptical eye.

Valkyriez
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Valkyriez

Give me a free copy, $20 in my steam wallet and I’ll let the client run for 10 hours and I’ll say your game is amazing.

josefreaksalem
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josefreaksalem

I think mmos in general is a shady genre. Shady devs, shady publishers, shady websites, shady community. It’s the “free to play” genre as well as the “pay to win”. It’s all slim shady.

Radfist
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Radfist

Wild_Phil To me that just says that the ‘helpful’ flag is just biased in the other direction.  Disgruntled individuals will just sit there deeming all other negative comments ‘helpful’ out of spite.
Other peoples reviews usually mean nothing to me anyway, as people have very different criterion about what makes a game fun or interesting.

kgptzac
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kgptzac

Wild_Phil Damonvile tanek_09 Even with games that have tons of reviews (though i’d rather call them up/down votes), the final score (derived from the votes) are still rather useless for making a purchase decision.  The votes are generally inflates towards Yes.

The productive way of reading Steam reviews is to look at top positive and top negative reviews with actual substances.

schlag sweetleaf
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schlag sweetleaf
Wild_Phil
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Wild_Phil

Rumm Good point since I think that’s easily twice the number who have even logged in to play in the last month.

dragonherderx
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dragonherderx

It really is a nightmare that there is any sort of review allowed without a certain amount of actual playtime listed through steam itself. We have come into a situation where you have people that troll games with negative posts frequently and a situation where some devs do pay middlemen for positive spin who will then go out and put up fake positive reviews in an misguided attempt to make the game look better. Then we also have people that try and make fake positive reviews for either malicious or non malicious reasons (Valve will boot people off steam if they feel they are trying to gain the system unfairly so fake reviews that are positive may lead to… issues). I don’t know of a way to solve this other than locking reviews of games to particular set time frames of hours played (varying on the game of course cuz obviously something else could be shorter etc)

Rumm
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Rumm

Line of Defense has 22 positive reviews on Steam. I think it is fair to say that you can’t trust steam reviews.