BioWare Employee Busted in Dragon Age 2 Review Scandal - UPDATED

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danpascooch:

InevitableFate:
I'd be surprised if just about every other developer and publisher out there haven't done this at one point or another. Probably before realising how pointless it is since Metacritic reviews aren't exactly reliable as people tend to rate a game 0 for the slightest flaw.

Yeah, that evidence-less assumption totally makes this ok.

Metacritic user scores are valid when comparing to the user score to the user score of other games, since every game on Metacritic deals with the same disadvantages because they are all using the same user scoring system.

Oh yeah, I'm talking about the user reviews only, not the actual ones from critics who won't give a game 0 because they've decided Bioware have done... something (I honestly do not know why DA2's got so much negativity around it at the moment).

Just go and read some of them. I'm convinced at least 80% of them are trolls and the other 20% people who seem to have taken umbrage at some particular fault (most of which don't even exist).

My "Evidence" is that website. Even if every single complain there was valid, it still wouldn't warrent a 0.

stranamente:
You know who else gave this game a 100% in its review?
The escapist.
I'm pretty sure Greg Tito wasn't paid for it, and doesn't work for bioware.

I think it's an important distinction that we didn't in fact give it 100%, this is a common failing disconnect between aggregate sites and sites that don't give reviews on arbitrary 100 point scale.

We even acknowledge that a 5/5 is not in fact a perfect game, see - What Our Review Scores Mean. I do however feel strongly that a 5 point scale is a better way to recommend games though as it gives a better feel for the game as a total experience without getting buried in the minutia of a number between 1-100 or even 1-10. I've made this example before - Are Baldur's Gate, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Half Life all 10's, or maybe they are 9's or are they just simply games that should be recommended for everyone to at least try once?

Way to discredit the fans guys, by doing this you've giving your attackers ammunition, and took the guns from your defenders while you were at it....Officer Bell if you would so kind:

Funny, almost as strange as giving DA2 it's only perfect score on metacritic.

edit: ahh someone beat me to it.

It's pretty bad that you would review a game that you made, but honestly can you blame him? I'm sure he's pretty angry about a game he worked on for a long time's metacritic page got bombed by trolls and wanted to try to get the score up.

Oops. Understandable wanting to do this seeing as how much hate this game is getting (I agree with the statement that it's overraction from people's preferences), but to actually go out and do that is just a wee bit stupid.

I like Dragon Age 2. I give it an 8 out of 10. Some things are better in it than in Origins, some things are worse. Still fun though.

plikis1:
Did say that this could be a pretty smart troll attempt.

Nobody said one 10/10 is going to change the world, but this is not an honourable practice. Make a shitty game, deal with it. If you don't and lie to the public in the most pathetic way, you deserve to be named and shamed, if only to discourage further attempts at this charade.

I hope the guy gets sacked.

Freedom of speech my ass, the guy was covering his employer's ass by trying the game look better. Besides, the review was just so... Moronic, I guess, is the word, he just does not deserve anyone's sympathy.

I agree, if it does turn out to be true (and it seems likely), people will slam the guy for doing it and more attention will be brought to the issue. But in all likeliness it's just the one lowly developer who is pissed with all the overinflated negativity that the game is getting. When an artist gets passionate about something they might have poured everything they had into a game it's not surprising they've acted this way. He's been pretty stupid and unethical about it, but it's not surprising.

Bioware will have to shoulder some additional flak, but it's nothing they or EA can't handle. And for the reasons stated above, it's unlikely they sanctioned the "review" in the first place. Marketing Directors for those companies aren't that stupid contrary to popular belief.

Therumancer:

Such are my thoughts, thank you for those who read this far (whether you agree with me or not). I take the time to express my thoughts, and I know a lot of people gloss over them due to me saying too much or going into too much detail. I appreciate people taking the time to read what I write.

Ha, I was scrolling up through this thread and thought this looked like a Therumancer post. Your input is always appreciated and I agree with you for the most part. Any developer, even Bioware will suffer under that much corporate pressure. I believe we have already seen the peak of what Bioware will produce in their lifetime.

Which is a great shame obviously.

GrandmaFunk:

danpascooch:
...You don't blame the guy for committing fraud...

while it's not a very ethical thing to do, this isn't fraud.

Fraud: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".

This reviewer gained a dishonest advantage by attempting to deceive people into thinking he was an impartial customer of the game. That is fraud.

It is also in violation of the Metacritic terms of use, which say you cannot:

" Impersonate any person or entity or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation or the origin of materials you transmit; or"

Misrepresentation by the omission of information this important is generally fair game in a court of law, the wording in both the definition and terms of use give this enough room for interpretation to make it to court.

I'm sure nobody is going to pursue this legally, but in my opinion it's definitely fraud, and even if you disagree the legality of his action is questionable at best, it certainly can't be said that this definitely isn't fraud.

InevitableFate:

danpascooch:

InevitableFate:
I'd be surprised if just about every other developer and publisher out there haven't done this at one point or another. Probably before realising how pointless it is since Metacritic reviews aren't exactly reliable as people tend to rate a game 0 for the slightest flaw.

Yeah, that evidence-less assumption totally makes this ok.

Metacritic user scores are valid when comparing to the user score to the user score of other games, since every game on Metacritic deals with the same disadvantages because they are all using the same user scoring system.

Oh yeah, I'm talking about the user reviews only, not the actual ones from critics who won't give a game 0 because they've decided Bioware have done... something (I honestly do not know why DA2's got so much negativity around it at the moment).

Just go and read some of them. I'm convinced at least 80% of them are trolls and the other 20% people who seem to have taken umbrage at some particular fault (most of which don't even exist).

My "Evidence" is that website. Even if every single complain there was valid, it still wouldn't warrent a 0.

I'm not saying the score is valid in and of itself, I'm saying it can be used to generally rank games by quality in comparison to each other.

Since Bioware's games traditionally score high (such as Mass Effect 2's 9/10, remember all the rage on the lack of inventory? Still got a 9) and this scored low, and all variables were constant besides the game being reviewed, it's more than fair to say that the general public found this considerably worse than ME2.

Am I saying the score is a valid standalone indicator of quality? No, but it is valid in comparing to other games that also deal with the problems of Metacritic.

Anyone who thinks this is organized trolling on this scale are deluding themselves, that's entering the realm of conspiracy theories.

Glaive_21842:
everyone who posts on metacritic has an "obvious conflict of interest", otherwise they wouldn't be stating their opinion.

Damn, got us there. Except going by your logic it's perfectly justifiable for the tobacco companies to put out bogus research statistics, as they have for decades and decades up until fairly recently. This was a bogus review, if you didn't see that from the first 4 words, you're blind.

rsvp42:
The problem is that it's not a "shitty game." As a sequel to DA:O, I can see why it might upset, but there is so much bile from parts of the community it's absurd. It's simply a different game and people can't take that for some reason. And this is from someone who liked DA:O on the PC. DA2 isn't as good in some areas, but much better in others. At the very worst, it might deserve a 5. Some of these reviews are just insulting to the people that worked on it.

Critically worst rated game ever by Bioware, as far as I'm aware, and given how much of a sweetheart Bioware is in the gaming community, it's not a huge stretch to say that that's saying something. The game is not only different, it's worse, and it's -again- that way because it's a rushed out the door cash-in. Small scale of the story, terrible graphics, terrible animations, terrible environments, constantly rehashed environments, much less dialogue - these are all things that should be taken into account on a purely objective level before even going towards preference or comparing it to the predecessor.

And I don't think the game deserves a 3.5, it deserves a 4. For the complete lack of effort on Bioware's part. Oh, it actually is 4.2 now. Yeah, perfectly fine with this.

The truth is, who cares. He wrote a review of a game his company made. Maybe he actually thinks what he wrote. It's not actually a scandal of any sort unless it will a.) affect the sales or overall review of the game or b.) Bioware put them up to it.

It's not fraud unless they misrepresented the game (which is pretty good, but not worth $60).

Baneat:

GrandmaFunk:

danpascooch:
...You don't blame the guy for committing fraud...

while it's not a very ethical thing to do, this isn't fraud.

Is there an ethical distinction between a misleading truth and a lie?(No idea btw, I think it depends on if you're lawful or chaotic)

I just came to realise what DA2 is missing the most, and that's the D&D aspect of the game. The first game to me felt like a D&D campaign, with that overhead chess-piece style gameplay, mana, elves blah blah, and most importantly, you could play in most of the 9 areas of morality.

Now you have "Good","Evil","Dick", and they're not even properly fleshed out.

I agree, the D&D style was possibly one of the best parts about the game. Also, I had to roll a d20 to come to that conclusion. All kidding aside though, the dialog wheel is easier for navigating a conversation, but you are way more limited in responses this time around. So, no good really. And I don't appreciate the new version of paragon/renegade. It's still a good game, but not nearly as good as the first game.

I'm still kinda hoping that all this mess is the most epic marketing stunt ever performed.

You know after they were teasing us with the "AAA-Awesome things are gonna happen when you push buttons" and "easy is the new hard" statements and doing all those crazy publicity maneuvers, they come out of their hideouts and show us their 120h+ RPG made with Infinity Engine 2.0 with a tactical depth that brings tears into the eyes of even the most diehard Armchair General subscriber...

Still not buying this game until the ultimate edition is released, I learnt my lesson with the first game and wasting money on DLC only to have it all in the UE version six months later.

uppitycracker:
what a coincidence. i swear, not 20 minutes ago, my buddy was linking me the metacritic site, talking about how it seemed like EA employees were throwing 10 reviews out there... man, what a crap game. so glad i didn't pay for it.

So... you haven't played it, yet feel you can call it crap? Goodo...

danpascooch:
I'm not saying the score is valid in and of itself, I'm saying it can be used to generally rank games by quality in comparison to each other.

Since Bioware's games traditionally score high (such as Mass Effect 2's 9/10, remember all the rage on the lack of inventory? Still got a 9) and this scored low, and all variables were constant besides the game being reviewed, it's more than fair to say that the general public found this considerably worse than ME2.

Am I saying the score is a valid standalone indicator of quality? No, but it is valid in comparing to other games that also deal with the problems of Metacritic.

Anyone who thinks this is organized trolling on this scale are deluding themselves, that's entering the realm of conspiracy theories.

I doubt it's organized trolling, but to use your example, compare ME1 to ME2. The differences weren't all that drastic. Skills were simplified, inventory was dealt with, etc. ME1 was a hit on the consoles, as was ME2. DA2 is a much larger departure from its predecessor and as a result, would be more likely to get an overblown response.Is DA2 better than ME2? No, not in my opinion. But nor it is it a 4.2 game compared to the other crap the industry puts out. I suspect that many of DA:O's most dedicated fans were PC players and were upset by the significant changes. These changes don't make the game worse, just different. But alas, people confuse subjective preference with objective evidence of quality.

Of course, this isn't actually conclusive evidence of anything, except that two similar usernames posted things. Though I suppose it doesn't matter at this point. Even if there was concrete irrefutable evidence that Bioware didn't do it, it'll still persist like that whole "Gamespot reviewer got fired for panning Kane and Lynch LOLOLOLOL" thing.

And even if they really did do it, it's not something that major corporations haven't already been doing for years anyway.

Doug:

uppitycracker:
what a coincidence. i swear, not 20 minutes ago, my buddy was linking me the metacritic site, talking about how it seemed like EA employees were throwing 10 reviews out there... man, what a crap game. so glad i didn't pay for it.

So... you haven't played it, yet feel you can call it crap? Goodo...

where did i say i haven't played it? i have, put prolly 15 hours into it. and guess what? it's complete crap.

I like the Mass Effect 2 example that was brought up earlier in this thread. It was also a sequel that was largely different from its predecessor, yet its user reviews are mostly positive. Why? Because it was a good game. DA2, on the other hand, deserves a 6.5-7 at most, and is not worth $60 by any means.

rsvp42:

danpascooch:
I'm not saying the score is valid in and of itself, I'm saying it can be used to generally rank games by quality in comparison to each other.

Since Bioware's games traditionally score high (such as Mass Effect 2's 9/10, remember all the rage on the lack of inventory? Still got a 9) and this scored low, and all variables were constant besides the game being reviewed, it's more than fair to say that the general public found this considerably worse than ME2.

Am I saying the score is a valid standalone indicator of quality? No, but it is valid in comparing to other games that also deal with the problems of Metacritic.

Anyone who thinks this is organized trolling on this scale are deluding themselves, that's entering the realm of conspiracy theories.

I doubt it's organized trolling, but to use your example, compare ME1 to ME2. The differences weren't all that drastic. Skills were simplified, inventory was dealt with, etc. ME1 was a hit on the consoles, as was ME2. DA2 is a much larger departure from its predecessor and as a result, would be more likely to get an overblown response.Is DA2 better than ME2? No, not in my opinion. But nor it is it a 4.2 game compared to the other crap the industry puts out. I suspect that many of DA:O's most dedicated fans were PC players and were upset by the significant changes. These changes don't make the game worse, just different. But alas, people confuse subjective preference with objective evidence of quality.

First off, you can't say it doesn't make the game worse, I couldn't say it does make the game worse, that is a personal opinion that you are treating as a fact (I bolded the statement I am referring to)

The Mass Effect 2 hate was huge, absolutely massive, and it impacted its score by less than one point (since it scored a 9/10 and a 10/10 is max, it is mathematically impossible for it to impact it by more than one point) while DA2 is floating around a pitiful 4.2

I never claimed that it deserves a 4.2, but I am claiming with an almost absolute certainty that that score cannot simply be written off as stupid or trolling and that the game was as well liked by the general public as Biowares other RPGs, that is almost a mathematical impossibility at this point given the sample size and the fact that flaws in Metacritic are irrelevant since all of Biowares RPGs dealt with those same flaws in the system.

If you want my personal opinion the game is pretty broken, at the very front I could barely handle it on hard, but two hours later with a few more abilities I'm on Nightmare because hard is unbearably easy, what kind of difficulty curve is that? Also when I tell my companions to hold position because I want them positioned a certain way, when combat starts about 50% of the time the current action (under their portrait) flickers rapidly between two abilities (indicating an infinite loop) which is really an unforgivable glitch, what did they expect nobody would use that feature? These two major problems combined with the lack of auto-attack on consoles (which Bioware officially stated was a mistake, that option was supposed to be there) and the shamelessly recycled environments, really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

plikis1:
Critically worst rated game ever by Bioware, as far as I'm aware, and given how much of a sweetheart Bioware is in the gaming community, it's not a huge stretch to say that that's saying something. The game is not only different, it's worse, and it's -again- that way because it's a rushed out the door cash-in. Small scale of the story, terrible graphics, terrible animations, terrible environments, constantly rehashed environments, much less dialogue - these are all things that should be taken into account on a purely objective level before even going towards preference or comparing it to the predecessor.

And I don't think the game deserves a 3.5, it deserves a 4. For the complete lack of effort on Bioware's part. Oh, it actually is 4.2 now. Yeah, perfectly fine with this.

--The smaller scale of the story is a creative choice. I'd call it more intimate.
--Terrible graphics, animation, environments? What game are you looking at? The characters and armor are more detailed, better designed and the animation is the same as any BioWare title, which is medium-but-does-the-job. I agree that environments are reused too often, but they don't look bad from a technical standpoint.
--It's true that the dialogue has been pared down, but I like having a voiced character. It's as many options as are in Mass Effect and people like that well enough.

So no, these are not all objective complaints. Some (like graphics) are just wrong. And complaints about dialogue or customization ARE comparisons to the predecessor. I don't begrudge anyone their opinions, but I don't enjoy seeing a decent piece of entertainment bashed as being "bad" because of the subjective preference of some vocal haters. I'm not saying DA2 is Game of the Year or anything, but it's not a 4/10 game either.

plikis1:

Glaive_21842:
everyone who posts on metacritic has an "obvious conflict of interest", otherwise they wouldn't be stating their opinion.

Damn, got us there. Except going by your logic it's perfectly justifiable for the tobacco companies to put out bogus research statistics, as they have for decades and decades up until fairly recently. This was a bogus review, if you didn't see that from the first 4 words, you're blind.

rsvp42:
The problem is that it's not a "shitty game." As a sequel to DA:O, I can see why it might upset, but there is so much bile from parts of the community it's absurd. It's simply a different game and people can't take that for some reason. And this is from someone who liked DA:O on the PC. DA2 isn't as good in some areas, but much better in others. At the very worst, it might deserve a 5. Some of these reviews are just insulting to the people that worked on it.

Critically worst rated game ever by Bioware, as far as I'm aware, and given how much of a sweetheart Bioware is in the gaming community, it's not a huge stretch to say that that's saying something. The game is not only different, it's worse, and it's -again- that way because it's a rushed out the door cash-in. Small scale of the story, terrible graphics, terrible animations, terrible environments, constantly rehashed environments, much less dialogue - these are all things that should be taken into account on a purely objective level before even going towards preference or comparing it to the predecessor.

And I don't think the game deserves a 3.5, it deserves a 4. For the complete lack of effort on Bioware's part. Oh, it actually is 4.2 now. Yeah, perfectly fine with this.

As for your stab at me, its Metacritic. Please don't tell me you take Metacritic as seriously as a scientific study, fake or not. Metacritic is a place that collects the often baseless opinions of its users. It is, in effect, almost like wikipedia without quality control. Also, a bogus review? I have a hard time seeing how the creator of a game wouldn't hold it in the limelight even if it didn't deserve it. All i see is one disgruntled employee taking a stab at the impossible-to-please fanbase that is disparaging is magnum opus grand-omega-super work. He probably didn't even get paid to do that...or at least i fucking hope Bioware doesn't take Metacritic user reviews seriously enough to actually pay people to shill them.

As for your stab on rsvp42, a developer who makes regular AAA games doesn't deserve this kind of idiotic backlash just because the made a game that is worse than usual. If anything, that is to be expected. Outliers happen, quality rises, quality sinks, etc. Seriously, it seems to be that people give this game a 3-4/10 only because they expected to be 9-10/10, like the only things that exist in their world is dog shit and ambrosia. Why can't this game simply be a filling steak and potatoes if you catch my drift? Hell, i think Bioware is fucking awesome if DragonAge II is actually the worst of their games to come out in a long while.

NOTE: I'm not actually pissed or anything...I'm just having fun ^_^

danpascooch:

Sephychu:

danpascooch:

Because it's strong evidence of DA2's shortcomings.

People can yell that Metacritic is flawed all they want, but that doesn't change the fact that every other Bioware game on Metacritic had to deal with the exact same set of flaws, and don't have a score like this one.

One could argue that it's stronger evidence of Metacritic's flaws.

This doesn't seem like the kind of thing everyone should get uppity about. It's so easy it has almost definitely been done before. Just stupid to get caught.

Didn't I just say that's not valid because all of these games are on Metacritic? They all deal with the same set of flaws so the playing field is level, the only difference is the game being reviewed.

It is valid though, and this is because of said flaw with Metacritic. You cannot possibly account for the sample of people that will get off their asses to score a game. It seems to me that this is more likely to be people who are angry that they've spent money on a game they don't like. Maybe that's a dim view of people, but I don't know.
The point I'm making is that low scores like 1 and 2 can be attributed to a game that is, for most intents and purposes, pretty damned good. The visuals are very nice, the gameplay is at the very least engaging, and the writing is not terrible.
Standards vary from person to person, and a person who feels angry at a company for being betrayed by them is likely to think more in hyperbole than a rational scoring system.

Anyway, I don't see these flaws that everyone is pointing out, I'm just saying you cannot possibly state that metacritic is a wide, fair sample.

danpascooch:

Irridium:

danpascooch:

Because it's strong evidence of DA2's shortcomings.

People can yell that Metacritic is flawed all they want, but that doesn't change the fact that every other Bioware game on Metacritic had to deal with the exact same set of flaws, and don't have a score like this one.

So then why hasn't anyone used Metacritic to show a game's good points?

Mass Effect 2 has a 9.0 user score on Metacritic, that score highlights all of its good points, and the reviews there are largely positive.

Are you saying the media doesn't freak when games get good scores, only when they get bad? Because that's not a problem with Metacritic, or with the scoring system, that's a problem with the reporters.

The media is giving Dragon Age 2 fantastic scores. Its the community thats freaking out and pointing to metacritic. What I'm saying is that I haven't seen anyone point to metacritic to point out that a game got great review scores, but bad user scores. Or at least done so in a way thats as big as them doing it to Dragon Age 2.

I'm curious as to why this continues to be news? I was always under the impression that this happened anyway, it's this guy was dumb enough to be a little to outgoing with his praise and got caught.

(I said all this back here: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/9.270688.10413272)

Goodness, are we ever touchy these days. The ability to assume that someone can act independently on two different fronts has died, somewhere. Should we now have to declare everything about ourselves when me make a relation, or statement? Will we have to pronounce our affiliations, and state whether we are individuals, or members of a company? Are we now to mention whether we're biased by former knowledge of all of their products or starting anew, with no experience with the matter at all?

We are allowed our opinions, still, are we not? And the idea that we must be fair in our dealings is one of simpleness--not everything requires us to take the stand that all things are level. We are encouraged to consider many positions, but of those options, we only choose one. As there are many, not everyone would see eye to eye. To assume that each choice is on a level field is insipid, at best. Some will be equal. Others will not.

What this leads to, in it's verbose and circumspectral way, is this: it's a fluff review. Everything had fluff reviews. Billy Mays made his fame on fluff reviews. If you, as the buyer or observer, are swayed by a fluff review, then you have not understood how a review works. A perfect score, without a thorough analysis or critique, is not a review. It's fluff.

danpascooch:
If you want my personal opinion the game is pretty broken, at the very front I could barely handle it on hard, but two hours later with a few more abilities I'm on Nightmare because hard is unbearably easy, what kind of difficulty curve is that? Also when I tell my companions to hold position because I want them positioned a certain way, when combat starts about 50% of the time the current action (under their portrait) flickers rapidly between two abilities (indicating an infinite loop) which is really an unforgivable glitch, what did they expect nobody would use that feature? These two major problems combined with the lack of auto-attack on consoles (which Bioware officially stated was a mistake, that option was supposed to be there) and the shamelessly recycled environments, really leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

That glitch only happens for me when my characters aren't positioned well. Usually just moving them into range or giving a better line of sight has helped me. Also, I agree that difficulty jumps in crazy ways. There was one boss in the deep roads that required me to jump down to Normal, even though Hard has been just fine so far. It could have been an issue with my party makeup, but who knows.

I won't tell you this game is perfect. I realize it's not. But I skimmed Metacritic and saw a lot of 0 and 1 reviews, which is crazy. As I said, the game is at worst a 5, realistically, but more like a 7 from me because I actually like a lot of the changes, even if they don't all come together perfectly.

uppitycracker:
what a coincidence. i swear, not 20 minutes ago, my buddy was linking me the metacritic site, talking about how it seemed like EA employees were throwing 10 reviews out there... man, what a crap game. so glad i didn't pay for it.

Except this sort of behaviour (while crap), doesn't mean the game is crap. The game is fine. This kind of stuff isn't. Make sure you are distributing your hate correctly.

Irridium:

danpascooch:

Irridium:

So then why hasn't anyone used Metacritic to show a game's good points?

Mass Effect 2 has a 9.0 user score on Metacritic, that score highlights all of its good points, and the reviews there are largely positive.

Are you saying the media doesn't freak when games get good scores, only when they get bad? Because that's not a problem with Metacritic, or with the scoring system, that's a problem with the reporters.

The media is giving Dragon Age 2 fantastic scores. Its the community thats freaking out and pointing to metacritic. What I'm saying is that I haven't seen anyone point to metacritic to point out that a game got great review scores, but bad user scores. Or at least done so in a way thats as big as them doing it to Dragon Age 2.

How is that really relevant to anything? That may be true (though I'm not sure if I agree) but how does the fact that people don't point to it make DA2's score somehow invalid?

The critics gave DA2 substantially lower scores than basically every other major Bioware RPG.

DazBurger:
UuuuUUUuuuhh... Looks like it could pay off to write perfect reviews using other peoples aliases...

Who to discredit who to discredit... Valve perhaps?

But who wouldn't give Valve games perfect reviews in the first place?

/Half-baked worship at Portal and Half-Life shrine

Sephychu:

danpascooch:

Sephychu:

One could argue that it's stronger evidence of Metacritic's flaws.

This doesn't seem like the kind of thing everyone should get uppity about. It's so easy it has almost definitely been done before. Just stupid to get caught.

Didn't I just say that's not valid because all of these games are on Metacritic? They all deal with the same set of flaws so the playing field is level, the only difference is the game being reviewed.

It is valid though, and this is because of said flaw with Metacritic. You cannot possibly account for the sample of people that will get off their asses to score a game. It seems to me that this is more likely to be people who are angry that they've spent money on a game they don't like. Maybe that's a dim view of people, but I don't know.
The point I'm making is that low scores like 1 and 2 can be attributed to a game that is, for most intents and purposes, pretty damned good. The visuals are very nice, the gameplay is at the very least engaging, and the writing is not terrible.
Standards vary from person to person, and a person who feels angry at a company for being betrayed by them is likely to think more in hyperbole than a rational scoring system.

Anyway, I don't see these flaws that everyone is pointing out, I'm just saying you cannot possibly state that metacritic is a wide, fair sample.

You are absolutely right that people who are angry are more likely to get off their asses and review it, which begs the question, why are there more people angry with this game than other Bioware RPGs?

The playing field as far as Metacritic is concerned is equal, the game being reviewed is the only major change, if you want to get really technical even the weather outside on release day could have influenced the score, but we're not talking about a 0.5 point drop here, we're talking about a 9/10 for ME2 vs. a 4.2 for DA2

guys, its meta critic, they'll rate a game 0% for the SMALLEST of flaws.

shadowmagus:
I'm curious as to why this continues to be news? I was always under the impression that this happened anyway, it's this guy was dumb enough to be a little to outgoing with his praise and got caught.

I agree it's pretty minor in the big scheme of things, but I think the accompanying bad PR for Bioware is literally the only thing stopping astroturfing from becoming ubiquitous. I'm sure The Escapist mods already have to deal with identifying a fair amount of paid shills, organized PR teams with huge budgets and no fear of consequences would swamp the place if allowed.

Cheers

Colin

So let me get this straight: Average Joes write up 0-score reviews because they don't like how it's been "consolized" or whatever, that's fine. BioWare employees writing up reviews to counter the mud-slinging, however, is bad?

Metacritic user reviews are of very questionable value, especially when they're of big titles. The scoring system just attracts too many people with axes to grind.

I'd read them out of curiosity, maybe, but I'd never take them seriously.

Geez, you'd expect that people thought that BioWare murdered their mothers at the same time that they wrote this self-praising review. What's the big deal? Do you think that the good doctors were in cahoots with this? Seriously, people no longer consider BioWare a company with integrity because one of their fanboy employees wrote an anonymous review on a crappy review site?

Conspiracy theorists never cease to amaze and embarrass me.

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