BioWare Employee Busted in Dragon Age 2 Review Scandal - UPDATED

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Labcoat Samurai:

plikis1:
You're not a Bioware employee, so your opinion is much less suspect when you say you love it because of the lack of conflict of interests,

Ah, so it's not impossible that he could genuinely like it, and that he is therefore being honest. So you can't have logically deduced that. You are actually speculating... and calling for a man to lose his job based on that speculation.

I'm not going to go as far as saying he should be fired, but whether or not that is his honest opinion is irrelevant to whether or not he should do it.

Pots:
I think this pretty much sums up DA2.

Photobucket

If I may go on a tangent based on this gif, is that bad? Jade Empire was more or less the same. There's just no block button.

And yes, I have DA2 myself. Seems all right to me save save a few immediate gripes that I won't get into.

On topic: Hmm... I just remembered, does anyone else here know that Metacritic is simply an amalgam of most most major review sites? Not to mention that a few user reviews from one isn't all that damaging? Now, if the influx of negative reviews came from several sites - GameSpot, IGN, OXM, GameInformer, X360A and its equivalents just to name a few - then there'd be some issues. It was a bad move on BioWare sure (or rather, on the one employee), but I don't see why everyone's so concerned about this.

either way...people need to just chill
whenever people get so heated up I just look out the window and think about life outside of gaming and it becomes trivial and I stop caring

which works fine until outsiders come into joint the fray (most recently...again with king d-bag jack thompson lol)

Rooster Cogburn:
I don't know what to say. I'm not going to continue to argue that lying to people is bad.

Could you at least dispute my claim that he wasn't lying? He omitted a fact, and that is not a lie, by itself. You could argue that it was misleading, but even that's a spurious claim. If he didn't think it was relevant that he had bias, then he did not intentionally mislead anyone. And you can't lie without intent to deceive.

He's not being rewarded in dollars, he's being rewarded in careers.

So you think that he will be rewarded by EA for posting a user comment on metacritic. That's absurd.

Anyone who wants to line up a job at any point in the future has a huge incentive to say they worked on a highly successful vidja-game.

Sure. On a resume. And I'm sure he will say so on any resumes he fills out. But this is a metacritic user review. Employers are not going to look here...

Realistically, making a product that actually moves units is good for everyone involved.

And the effect of a drop in the ocean metacritic review on sales is, once again, negligible at best. I find it an enormous stretch to argue that there's any substantive gain to be had here.

He is not being held to the standard of a "professional journalist." He lied, possibly for personal gain. Everyone, journalists and engineers included, is expected not to break that meager standard.

That's equivocation. People shouldn't lie, yes, but divulging bias is something journalists do because there is an *expectation* that journalists will not be biased, and therefore, any bias they *do* have violates the trust that readers/viewers put in those journalists. I don't expect a random person on the internet to report without bias. I don't think most people do. You can't violate trust that isn't there.

If I knew you were trusting something I said because you believed me to be an unbiased source, it would be unethical of me to allow you to continue trusting me on that basis despite bias (still probably not that big of a deal, depending on what exactly it was I was reporting on, but unethical nevertheless). But if I don't know that and assume that you have no such trust in me, I have no particular reason to point out all my biases to you. That's the distinction. In anonymous user reviews, I don't even trust that people will give their honest opinion, much less an unbiased one.

Online user reviews are less trustworthy and more bias prone simply because of the anonymity. We accept that Xbox fanboys are going to give biased reviews of Killzone 3 without divulging that they are massive Xbox apologists, so why do we care about this?

Gamers are the only consumer group I'm aware of who always seem to shit on their own interests as consumers.

How about brand loyalty in vehicle ownership? There are chevy owners out there who would never even consider buying a ford under any circumstances, even though competition is what is supposed to keep quality reasonable.

Andy Chalk:
I am honestly surprised and appalled at the number of people here who see this as no big deal.

The point isn't whether or not he honestly believes the game is worth a perfect score, or that it's just one score among many. It's that he, an employee of BioWare, is giving the game a glowing, "best game ever" review and doing his part, small though it may be, to bump the score without disclosing his obvious conflict of interest. It's greasy as hell.

I have no problem with BioWare employees offering their opinions in a public forum, but there must be disclosure - especially when that opinion involves assigning a score that impacts the overall rating that people use as a quick-and-dirty scale by which to judge the game.

Incidentally, this argument has a massive flaw. If people are just going to glance at the overall score to use as a quick-and-dirty scale, how will they see whether or not you've disclosed your bias?

Man, I'm with you. Not only are gamers apparently OK with being treated like brainless wallet-control-devices, but I'm supposed to suck it up and take my medicine, too? No way man.

18,000 people have voted the Shawshank redemption at a 1 on imdb.com. Do you think all 18,000 of them legitimately thought it was not possible to make a worse movie? Or do you think, as I do, that they voted it a 1 in an attempt to drop it off the number 1 position? Or what do you think of the practice of amazon-bombing? After that silly Mass Effect Fox News debacle, Cooper Lawrence's book was amazon bombed into oblivion by people who never read it. Some of them mentioned that they never read it. Others likely left that fact out. Either way, the "quick and dirty" score is in the toilet.

If it's the score that matters, then it doesn't matter if you divulge bias or not. It affects the aggregate in exactly the same way. If it's the review text that matters, then I guess you're saying we have an expectation that anyone who ever discusses something related to their employment, even anonymously on the internet, must always divulge their bias, or they are unethical liars.

Andy Chalk:
It's that he, an employee of BioWare, is giving the game a glowing, "best game ever" review and doing his part, small though it may be, to bump the score without disclosing his obvious conflict of interest. It's greasy as hell.

I quoted this already, but I'm going to add a bit more. I'm a software engineer myself, and I currently do contract work for a major Fortune 500 company. I tend to prefer not to mention them by name for a few reasons, but I can personally attest to the fact that I feel I have no particular conflict of interest regarding them. I am happy with the work I do, and I have seen people complain about things on the internet, and I have even felt a desire to argue about it, but I genuinely don't believe I'll see one extra dollar by doing so. Would a cashier at McDonald's think it would be a boon to his career to say nice things about McDonald's on internet forums? It's the same thing. Huge company, lots of people, lots of money, a few comments on the internet don't make any substantive difference.

Labcoat Samurai:

Andy Chalk:
It's that he, an employee of BioWare, is giving the game a glowing, "best game ever" review and doing his part, small though it may be, to bump the score without disclosing his obvious conflict of interest. It's greasy as hell.

I quoted this already, but I'm going to add a bit more. I'm a software engineer myself, and I currently do contract work for a major Fortune 500 company. I tend to prefer not to mention them by name for a few reasons, but I can personally attest to the fact that I feel I have no particular conflict of interest regarding them. I am happy with the work I do, and I have seen people complain about things on the internet, and I have even felt a desire to argue about it, but I genuinely don't believe I'll see one extra dollar by doing so. Would a cashier at McDonald's think it would be a boon to his career to say nice things about McDonald's on internet forums? It's the same thing. Huge company, lots of people, lots of money, a few comments on the internet don't make any substantive difference.

It is a little different. A comment from someone on a forum =/= Meta critic review.

A few perfect 10's CAN make a difference on the combined average score. Plus, if someone goes to actually read some of the reviews, they may see a load of 10/10 ones and get a false idea.

Though, I do still have sympathies for the Devs, despite this incident, and the Sneaky SecurROM, and the Banning of Critics from the game, and the lack luster game itself.
The 0/10s, the 1/10s are not deserved, its still an above average game, a solid 7/10.
Though I understand why they might have done it, they should know that its just not right for them to actually do so. It IS a conflict of interests, even if it is only a silly user review.
They could have been the bigger man. But now they look like children, and give more ammunition to their critics.

Generating bad will and PR before the launch of an MMO is generally not a good idea Bioware. More so when its failure is could break the back of the company.

Canadish:
It is a little different. A comment from someone on a forum =/= Meta critic review.

A few perfect 10's CAN make a difference on the combined average score. Plus, if someone goes to actually read some of the reviews, they may see a load of 10/10 ones and get a false idea.

Except that 10/10 has exactly the same effect on the aggregate score no matter what you say in the review, whether you divulge your bias or not. And if they actually decide to read the reviews, I don't see how that's different from reading comments on a forum.

Though I understand why they might have done it, they should know that its just not right for them to actually do so. It IS a conflict of interests, even if it is only a silly user review.
They could have been the bigger man. But now they look like children, and give more ammunition to their critics.

Generating bad will and PR before the launch of an MMO is generally not a good idea Bioware. More so when its failure is could break the back of the company.

Which is all assuming this was some calculated ploy by the company and not just an employee finding a way to waste some of his free time. I mean, I guess I don't know, but applying Ockham's Razor leads me to conclude that an employee got annoyed at the user reviews and felt a drive to answer them. Maybe he even hoped the aggregate score would be incrementally increased, like he was doing his part as a fan of the game in the same way that people give 10s to movies they like on imdb. But I find it unlikely there was anything more insidious going on than that. If I were in his shoes, I'd be reluctant to divulge who I work for. It invites people to start treating you as a representative of the company you work for, and maybe you don't feel like putting on your work hat while in your off time. I know I don't.

If I had to guess, I would imagine his reaction to this thread would be more one of genuine surprise that people feel this way than one of shame for being called on his unethical conduct. I suspect that a lot of this outcry comes from the fact that people just like a good controversy, and in the absence of a good controversy, they'll have to make do with inflating a minor controversy.

Who cares, really. It's one Metacritic review. Now, if you haven't noticed, there's going to be multiple review for a game resulting in a total score.

And there's a difference between what a website said and what a user said. What a website said, that aggregate score is given to Steam, resulting in the Metacritic score you see on the.. Right hand side. User reviews don't make it. And there's retards who go through voting 0's for each game, or voting a 0 simply because they saw someone vote a 10. So two 10's don't really matter that much.

So, summing up how insignificant two Metacritic user reviews are, we go back to my original point.

Who. Cares.

I dunno about scandal, I mean, painters are aloud to show off and critique their own pieces; so why can't an employee review their own work? Cause is might be bias? As oppose to all those perfect scores for Call of Duty and poor scores for games that are CoD with a different skin. I say no harm done, considering it's just someone trying to defend a product they worked hard on.

I'm sure a lot of developers do this. Not really a big deal for me.

I don't care about reviews or what other people say about this game. I'm gonna play it because from what I've seen so far things have actually improved since DA:0. I mean, the dude has a fuckin' VOICE now!! and the fact that they took the wheel from the Mass Effect makes it even better...I think that people shouldn't be influenced by reviews and stuff like that in playing a game. Also, don't start accusing me that I work for BioWare (I'd certainly wish!!) or stuff like that.

1 caught, 999 to go?
I'm shocked that the escapist actually posted this article, what happened to the being biased?(*cough* the review *cough*)

solidstatemind:
heh. There have been some boneheaded PR maneuvers lately, but this one is going to overshadow them all...

You are joking aren't you? this is what I would call this a, "Genius PR decision, EA is finally making better choices." with the recent incidents.

Dawkter:

Mr. Moonshine:

Dawkter:
You guys are so slow; saw this on 4chan 2 days ago.

But your birthday is February 13, 1997...

What the hell does my birthday have anything to do with my post? Is that just a bad insult towards how young I am.... please respect me and treat me by my behavior, not by my age.

You have to be 18 to go on 4chan...

Mr. Moonshine:

Dawkter:

Mr. Moonshine:

But your birthday is February 13, 1997...

What the hell does my birthday have anything to do with my post? Is that just a bad insult towards how young I am.... please respect me and treat me by my behavior, not by my age.

You have to be 18 to go on 4chan...

... lol no one really follows age rules in general. You think there's never been a drinker under 21?

I'm surprised at all the negative rreviews I'm seeing on here. I think this is even better than DA:O. I've yet to play a Bioware game that doesn't immediately go onto my list of favorite games, and this one has been no exception. And no, I'm no Bioware employee, although I'd love to be.

Loved Kotor, loved Mass Effect, loved Dragon Age Origins. Dragon Age 2 has better combat than DA:O, better interface, and better designs. And still it was not even worth buying, let alone pre-ordering (don't get me started on the pointless promo character and items). The story sucked, all the characters were one-dimensional (not even two-dimentional, which is still pretty bad), the bosses sucked, and there was no single (or even collective) antagonist (at least for 98% of the game!). But the WORST part is that it's glitchy as hell!!

I'm convinced that they only got half-way done with the game before they knew it: "oh shit! we're not going to finish in time!" and just patched things up to look like it was finished.

Imagine DA:O where instead of being recruited into the Wardens, you're a dwarf in Orzammar and the entire game revolves around that setting. Then the Warden comes in, makes one or two mentions to the real plot, and then the final battle in Orzammar happens and the credits roll. THAT is DA2 metaphorically speaking.

Carnagath:

tofucyborg:
What a non-issue. 1) He is an individual. 2) He may actually be enthralled with the game, ESPECIALLY after working on a small part of it (apps are far from level design, sorry). 3) He posted a USER review.

This article is an overreaction and a blemish on the Escapist name.

How you find nothing wrong with a developer reviewing his own game with a perfect score and under an alias is beyond me. I understand that you like Bioware and stuff, but surely that doesn't filter all the logical processes of your mind...?

I'm just saying it doesn't matter. Who cares? He is one out of about 3000 user reviews. It's completely irrelevant. In addition, he's entitled to his private opinion in his private time (and otherwise, but especially so in this case) and Bioware shouldn't own the right to prevent him from saying otherwise or be held liable for what he says.

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