Xbox Live Indie Games rating rules tightened following abuse

Following accusations of malicious mass down-voting of Xbox Live Indie Games titles, Microsoft has limited rating to Live Gold members.

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Following the upset when it was alleged that fans of College Lacrosse 2011 attempted to boost its visibility on Xbox Live Indie Games by maliciously down-rating other titles, Microsoft has tightened the rules. While anyone who registered a free account could rate XBLIG titles before, this is now restricted to Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

"By implementing this change," Microsoft said, "we believe our customers will experience more consistent ratings and a significantly reduced potential for abuse across the entire Xbox catalog."

Microsoft notes that it investigated rolling back the dodgy votes, but "determined it will not be possible to do this." One cannot imagine that the developers whose games plummeted down the ratings chart will be too pleased with this.

The company also says it is "investigating users who may have violated their user agreement during this series of events." It may result in banishment from Xbox Live, removing any games they've released, and blocking them from posting games in the future.

While the change will doubtless hugely reduce abuse, it'll also adversely affect Xbox Live Silver members who genuinely do play the games they rate. One sensible alternative solution suggested by the XBLIG community was to only allow people to rate games they own; only Microsoft knows why this wasn't the solution chosen.

From The Chatty
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    April 19, 2011 7:00 AM

    Comment on Xbox Live Indie Games rating rules tightened following abuse, by Alice O'Connor.

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      April 19, 2011 7:04 AM

      I think you should have to at least play the demo before rating a game. If you can still go to xboxlive.com and rate games without spending a second playing them they're half-assing it. Seriously - how hard would this be to implement?

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        April 19, 2011 8:38 AM

        Yeah. This is just common sense. If you played the game then you can review it. There is nothing stopping people from collecting 1 month trials and doing the same thing now. Sure, not as grand of scale but can easily skew review numbers.

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          April 19, 2011 10:06 AM

          I agree, this solution does nothing to fix the problem (fanboys with gold accounts astroturfing on competing games) while locking out legitimate users (silver subscribers who actually bought & played the game).

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          April 19, 2011 10:12 AM

          Probably something they have to implement via update in the future.

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        April 19, 2011 10:25 AM

        Just make it only possible to rate a game while you're playing that game?

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      April 19, 2011 8:52 AM

      Thank god

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      April 19, 2011 10:12 AM

      I find it kind of strange that the College Lacrosse people are the ones complaining about this when (from my experience) their games deserve low ratings more than almost any other high profile Indie title. The fact that they ask so much for such crappy games is almost insulting.

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        April 19, 2011 11:20 AM

        They're not the ones complaining. Others have alleged that the Lacrosse developer asked fans to up-vote their game, and that some of the fans took it upon themselves to enhance the effect by also down-voting other games which were rated higher than the lacrosse game.