Conduit Studio Accused of Amazonbombing Conduit Reviewer - UPDATED

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

this article seems to blow things a little out of proportion.
the book only has 10 reviews. And anyone who thinks those low reviews were from fans, well perhapse some of those high reviews were from fans. Fandom works both ways. Its not even that big a deal, I mean were calling someone out, someone who gave conduit 2 and alpha protocal a good review just for giving a bad review for a book that was written by a guy who didnt like conduit 2. If that doesnt sound like a conspiracy theroy to you then I dont know what is. I mean has anyone read the book? Perhapse its horrible, perhapse its great, we dont know and to me this all seems like a coincidence. I mean just cause someone likes games that have mixed reviews doesnt mean that when they give a bad review to something, they become a raging fanboy.

scyther250:
Haven't read the novel being trashed, but it's almost a sure thing that anything by Terry Pratchett is better anyway.

QFT

Murdock: The Conduit 2 is not worth the time of day because it fails in nearly all of the most basic aspects of proper, cohesive game design.

High Voltage: OH YEAH?! Well... er...
YOUR FEET SMELL BAD!

Inflating the reviews on someones own products has been common practice ever since advertising began. Bombing someone else's product is just dirty, and underhanded. Bad form if they did do it, even if they didn't do it they now have a measure of guilt tied to their brand by the two reviews coinciding.

Sorry for the doublepost.

Internet crapped out on me

Impressive level of objectivity with which this article was written...

OT: It looks suspicious, but I suppose we should wait to see what High Voltage has to say in their defense.

Straying Bullet:
Conduit I/II is sincere trash to put it lightly.

Just out of a morbid sense of curiosity, what would it be if you put it...ummmm...not-so lightly?

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Straying Bullet:
Conduit I/II is sincere trash to put it lightly.

Just out of a morbid sense of curiosity, what would it be if you put it...ummmm...not-so lightly?

I don't think Escapist would allow said content. xD

If they got 4-5 people to give negative reviews, then they got 100% of the people who liked Conduit 2 to help!

Really, this strikes me as childish, to say the very least.

Straying Bullet:

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Straying Bullet:
Conduit I/II is sincere trash to put it lightly.

Just out of a morbid sense of curiosity, what would it be if you put it...ummmm...not-so lightly?

I don't think Escapist would allow said content. xD

Fair enough. I shall listen to either Bill Hicks or George Carlin rant about something fervently and pretend that their disdain matches yours about Conduit later on in the evening.

Andy Chalk:

UPDATE NUMBER TWO: Eric Nofsinger of High Voltate responded to our inquiries and acknowledged that Corso did in fact write the email in question. He also said, however, that "four negative Amazon reviews does not constitute any sort of retaliation/Amazonbombing," and noted that Corso encouraged people to read the book and then review it, rather than just hammer on it blindly. Furthermore, he said that Corso wasn't responsible for any of the Amazon reviews himself and "absolutely was not the first person to suggest something like this."

"Sure, it's a tad unprofessional but if you knew Matt personally as I do, you would know it was nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek jibe at most," Nosfinger said. "And for that, I apologize on behalf of High Voltage Software."...

Joseph Stalin wasn't the first to introduce mass killings but that hardly qualifies him for humanity. Juvenile, and, at this level, insultingly unprofessional.

Am loving the constant updating btw, the aura is almost

Feh, artists. I don't think this is anything to be upset with High Voltage over, it's more personal than that. Also somebody spelled Valve "VALVe"; don't do that. In the logo it is spelled "VALVE", the "E" being superscript, and this is because people glancing at the original (uniform font, size, case, formatting) logo tended to read it "VALUE". Just call it Valve.

It is a possibility that one actual reader reviewed the book that poorly. I find that even in the best situation, there are a lot of folks on Amazon who are total book nazi's, and never review anything on Amazon well.

That being said, the idea is in such bad taste. I think the review for Conduit 2 was heavy handed and reeked of bias from moment one. But, that is his opinion. No one elses review was that bad at all. IGN and Gamespot gave it 7 and 7.5, respectfully. That is still a good game.

Off Topic: He had given Alpha Protocol a great review, and I felt it was a great game myself. I actually bought it twice. First when it came out on the PS3, then I bought it again on Steam down the road so I could have it added to my preferred game collection, and it was on sale.

Andy Chalk:
The same reviewer also gave last year's Alpha Protocol a five-star score, however, calling it "an RPG masterpiece," so maybe he or she just has really bad taste.

Woah what!? I've found that Alpha Protocol only gets bad reviews from people who haven't played it or those who tried but got irritated by the many non-game breaking bugs it did admittedly have.

It is, in all other respects one of the most original, interesting, fun and funny games to come out in years. Its a tragedy that the bad reviews prevented so many people from playing this gem.

I don't find this terribly surprising. These are the guys who think they're some kind of great gift to the Wii, despite making two terrible first person shooters. And then they go and market it by sending reviews apology letters because their game is so good that it will make all the other games look crappy? Yeah, I don't really believe that the guy who wrote the e-mail even expected people to read the book. It's more than likely in there so he can cover his ass like he just did.

CM156:
If they got 4-5 people to give negative reviews, then they got 100% of the people who liked Conduit 2 to help!

ZING!

Straying Bullet:

CrazyCapnMorgan:

Straying Bullet:
Conduit I/II is sincere trash to put it lightly.

Just out of a morbid sense of curiosity, what would it be if you put it...ummmm...not-so lightly?

I don't think Escapist would allow said content. xD

An absolute flaming bag of donkey dicks, Like having a rail-road spike wrapped in barbed-wire inserted with haste and without ceremony or lubrication into your rectom. That about sum it up?

I hate things like this. Mainly because it shows the entitlement of High Voltage studio, a turd (and the two conduit games are certainly turds) should be able to be called a turd. Perhaps high voltage would have a case if they didn't consitantly make some of the worst examples of modern shooters. In a world were most mass market shooters are polished to a mirror shine, deep and brooding niche flawed masterpeices like STALKER or Metro 2033 exist or the ultra-tight stlyings of eveything by Valve High Voltage need to do something to get noticed in the genre, the bar is already high. And by somthing i don't mean failing utterly at the design of an FPS, cover art and marketing. As they have done. Twice. In a row.

You here that? That's the sound of your game being terrible. Do something about it.

Whatever. Amazonbombing his book might be cheap and unprofessional, but giving away the ending and plugging his own book in a review was cheap and unprofessional too. You reap what you sow.

Andy Chalk:

"When this 'news' flared up this morning, I informed Matt about what was going on," he continued. "He apologized and went on to say, 'My mind really wasn't in that dark of a place when I wrote that. In fact I seriously considered buying the book myself. I wanted to know how good it really was that this guy felt so in the right to trash our game and give away the ending like he did. And then post a plug to his book at the end, implying that we suck and he is totally great."

I can understand why one would want to know that. Trash a game, spoil it, then promote your own product. What a humongous dick move of the game reviewer. I'm practically tempted to go review this book myself.

IndianaJonny:
Joseph Stalin wasn't the first to introduce mass killings but that hardly qualifies him for humanity. Juvenile, and, at this level, insultingly unprofessional.

He did alphabetize most of Russia though. Now Pol Pot on the other hand...

The same reviewer also gave last year's Alpha Protocol a five-star score, however, calling it "an RPG masterpiece," so maybe he or she just has really bad taste.

Then you, mister Chalk, have really, really poor taste. That assessment about Alpha Protocol is perfectly true. You must be one of those american idiots.

Clearly this stunt is just going to help him out and get more attention to his book. Also does anyone really care what high voltage says? They put out crap games with no value to them claiming they are amazing so clearly they are to be trusted about as much as Peter Molyneux talking about what the next fable will have.

DayDark:

Andy Chalk:

"When this 'news' flared up this morning, I informed Matt about what was going on," he continued. "He apologized and went on to say, 'My mind really wasn't in that dark of a place when I wrote that. In fact I seriously considered buying the book myself. I wanted to know how good it really was that this guy felt so in the right to trash our game and give away the ending like he did. And then post a plug to his book at the end, implying that we suck and he is totally great."

I can understand why one would want to know that. Trash a game, spoil it, then promote your own product. What a humongous dick move of the game reviewer. I'm practically tempted to go review this book myself.

Please go read the actual review. He gives a spoiler warning (and it's not even a spoiler; it's more akin to Yahtzee's "the bad guy dies" spoiler in order to plug a joke). And his "plug" for his novel? It's at the end of the article, where it says who wrote the review in very tiny letters.

So, no, it's not justified at all. And thank God a reviewer actually has the balls to call out a terrible game as a terrible game. I'm so sick of really, really terrible games getting a 6/10.

What you intended or not. The removal of the reviews by the authors suggests that they were exactly what they appeared to be.

Word to the wise: Open mouth and insert foot before you say something someone might take seriously.

At least High Voltage is being up front about this; and either they're taking the reviews down or Amazon is on top of it all. Still a dumb move on their part, but I agree with Sunpop that it could turn out to be a boon for Murdock.

buy teh haloz:
Hey, not his fault that Conduit 2 sucked! Are they really so butthurt about a number that they have to make his numbers look infinitely worse? Why not put out quality games instead of trying to over-compensate for something? Sorry your TMI sucks ass, High Voltage (Cookie for the reference!), but there IS such a thing called admittance. At least admit that you made a sub-par FPS game and all will be forgiven.

I love how you're so quick to bash High Voltage when I don't see you doing any better than they did. You're no better than either of them if you're just gonna talk smack. Your opinion doesn't equal truth.

Gotta say, I take mild offense (though barely enough to motivate me to write this post) at your off hand comment that people have to have bad taste to like Alpha Protocol. Granted, you'd have to be inured the Obsidian Effect in order to give it a full 5/5, but if you can get past the bugs, it is a good game.

I bet the book sucks. they were just retaliating with the truth. just because conduit 2 sucks, don't mean your book is good.

Interesting, and honestly this is one of the big reasons why I have issues with professional reviews to begin with. Professional reviewers are too easy to leverage, as to become professional they sometimes have some kind of qualifications/business experience that makes their opinion supposedly re meaingful than the average guy on the street. Authors, magazine regulars, etc, like we see here, which puts them on the side of the industry or easy to attack through their other interests. Even not considering that professional reviewers are often hired by periodicals that actually make their money by selling ads to the very companies making the products being reviewed. That tends to hurt the impartiality of the reviewers. Right not it's rare to see game reviews below a 7/10, and people scream bloody murder if their game ever gets reviewed as below average like say a 4/10.

I tend to find professional reviews interesting, but put more stock in community response, looking towards youtube guys like Whity The Reviewer or Slasherthrasher when and where I find their stuff for more impartial coverage as they aren't taking money from anyone to the best of my knowlege.

As a result I find it kind of interesting to see that with an increasingly corrupt professional review industry, we're seeing the private "user" reviews greatly deviating from the professional ones, and situations with Bioware attempting to "shill" their products and so on. Right now I also notice that without any direct way to control the results without shilling or calling for fanboy rampages, there is a tendency to blame poor word of mouth reception on "review bombing" when in reality trolls have been out there since there have been reviews and things like meta critic, and they have never had the effect attributed to them with things like the initial reaction to "Portal 2" which seems to have been boosted by a fanboy crusade in response.

I find the whole thing interesting, and wonder what is going to happen. It makes me think that the whole system needs to be somehow reformed (and by this I don't mean getting rid of numerical ratings, they work well, the people who complain about them are usually the ones who get nailed). If there isn't one already, maybe some kind of "video game review writers union" or something, though given the number of, and nature of game reviewing, that wouldn't work without what amounts to mafia-type enforcement of policies, so it's an impractical idea at best.

So much hate.

mariofan1000:
Sounds like they were actually trying to thank him by suggesting they read his book, and everyone took it wrong way.

Yes, definitively. Wink wink, nudge nudge.

It'd be funny if one of the reviewers who deleted their review posted another tomorrow giving it 2/5 and saying 'After I actually read it I discovered it's just lame.'

image
Man, I can't understand this modern slang. Blšner to you too, doredg.

I like how Corso -still- sounds like a douche in there.

While I have no doubt that at other times Mr. Corso is an altruistic and generous man, the only thing missing in this email was a *wink wink, nudge nudge* to make it all the more clear he wanted people to go and get vengeance.

Maybe if you don't want crappy reviews you shouldn't make crappy games with such god awful graphics. Seriously, the Gamecube version of Resident Evil 4 looks better than either Conduit game, and RE4 is 6 years old.

Andy Chalk:
Playing games with review scores is one thing and certainly not to be condoned [despite how apparently common the practice is]

If it's the Escapist's stance not to condone star/score reviewing

Why do the reviews on this site have an x/5 star rating at the end (Written ones, not Yahtzee's)?

thats hilarious, pretty clever too. albeit a little childish in nature.

i do think (from what i could tell from what andy chalk mentions) that that reviewer was being a little too unfair, even dickish.

Murdock's review was nasty and maybe unfair; I've never played Conduit 2 so I can't judge it based on its objective merits. "Spoiling" the ending, as far as it goes, is a bit iffy but also a very effective way to demonstrate his utter contempt for the game. As for the plug for his book at the end, that's very common; I sometimes plug my stuff here at the Escapist in other, unrelated work.

Regardless, if High Voltage had a serious problem with the review, the correct approach would be to engage the author and/or editor with whatever concerns need to be addressed. I have no problems at all with that, and I think that kind of engagement can actually be good for both game makers and the videogame media in the long run. But dirty tricks? Never, never acceptable.

I don't really believe that Corso set out to do any harm here. Hell, maybe he really did have an honest interest in the book and wanted to share it with his co-workers. Whatever happened, I don't think High Voltage has a company policy of trying to destroy reviewers who give them a rough ride, and I don't think Corso set out with any real malicious intent. But the fact is that something happened here, and even if it was just a pissed-off developer venting some steam, it shouldn't have. My hope is that even though this particular incident may have been more-or-less harmless shenanigans, giving it coverage and sparking some conversation about it will help prevent it happening again in the future.

Baneat:
If it's the Escapist's stance not to condone star/score reviewing why do the reviews on this site have an x/5 star rating at the end (Written ones, not Yahtzee's)?

I said "playing games with the review scores," by which I mean pressuring sites to inflate scores, having employees post glowing reviews on Metacritic, that sort of thing. I detest numerical scores but accept that we're stuck with them because nobody wants to bother actually reading and thinking anymore, but I have no patience at all for gaming them to squeeze a few extra percentage points here and there.

Hooray for review bombing! It's a popular and easy enough way for someone to retaliate in the best of petty ways. Plus, it makes a good read to hear about. The only losers are people who see a bunch of negative reviews and take them as reasons for the product to be rubbish, without reading the intent behind the reviews.

"Sure, it's a tad unprofessional but if you knew Matt personally as I do, you would know it was nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek jibe at most," Nosfinger said. "And for that, I apologize on behalf of High Voltage Software."

A tad unprofessional... Talk about understatement of the year. Mr. Nosfinger should let his brain catch up with his mouth, because:

1. As good a guy as Matt Corso is, we don't, in fact, know him personally as he does.
2. Threatening someone's earning prospects (however small they might affect him) via misinforming potential customers is not what you would call "a tongue-in-cheek jibe".

Yes, overreacting a bit, but think about it: If this trends, what's stopping bigger companies/ publishers (with their hundreds of employees and resources) from effectively coercing reviewers with multiple revenue streams (e.g. books, games, music or whatnot) from giving fair reviews?

A bit extreme, I know, but meh. The state of the industry makes you think of worst-case scenarios quite easily.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here