Microsoft investigating Indie ratings abuse

Microsoft is looking into ratings abuse among its Xbox Live Indie Games channel. The company tweeted that it is looking into "possible misuse" of the ratings, and promised more information as it develops.

Gamasutra reports that the issue first cropped up last week, when indie developer Robert Boyd pointed out a sudden influx in low ratings for several indie games, including his own Cthulu Saves the World from Zeboyd Games.

A Facebook post for the College Lacrosse series urged fans to provide a 5-star rating for College Lacrosse 2011; but some allegedly went an extra step and gave competing games 1-star ratings to drive Lacrosse up the rankings. The original post has now been edited, asking fans not to "rate other games low to help CL11." Any Xbox.com members can rank indie games, whether they've downloaded the title or not.

The rank-gaming may not technically break any current rules, but it's apparently serious enough for Microsoft to be checking into. We may see a change coming to the way indie games are ranked.