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14 - 16 April 2021

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Vote rigging accusations continue on XBL Indie Games

Microsoft investigates claims of manipulation in top 10

Microsoft has begun to investigate claims that users are purposefully manipulating the rating of Xbox Live Indie Games, in order to raise or lower titles in the overall rankings for the service.

"We are investigating a possible misuse of ratings on #XBLIG titles. We'll announce more information here as it develops," read a comment on the official XNACommunity Twitter account.

The issue was first brought to light by Robert Boyd of Zeboyd Games, developers of popular Indie titles Breath of Death VII and Cthulhu Saves the World. Writing on a Gamasutra blog, Boyd recounted how the developer's game saw an unexpected drop in overall ranking from number six to number 11 in the space of a week.

After investigating he discovered that the creators of Indie game College Lacrosse had asked their fans to raise the ratings of their games - with some taking it upon themselves to give rival titles in the top 10 the lowest possible rating, even though in many cases they had not purchased the game.

Although Boyd was careful to point out that the College Lacrosse developers had not encouraged anyone to negatively mark rival games, they had explained how to create an account and vote even if a fan did not own an Xbox 360.

Boyd questioned whether ratings should be limited only to people who have played the game, or at least the demo, given the severe financial implications of losing a top 10 rating.

The Apple App Store currently allows only users who have purchased an app to rate it.

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Latest comments (8)

Nick McCrea Gentleman, Pocket Starship9 years ago
Feel bad for the TipleB guys, they're simply a victim of their own success here.
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Alan Pierce Programmer, Digital Delight9 years ago
Rating only if you own it seems like fundamentals to me. I'm suprised it's any other way.
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Kevin Clark-Patterson Lecturer in Games Development, Lancaster and Morecambe College9 years ago
If you haven't played it you shouldn't be allowed to vote...simples. Apple impose this rule for their App Store so why cant XBL Indie, after all it is only fair and prevents this kind of incident we hear about above!
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Show all comments (8)
Felix Gladitz9 years ago
It seems strange to me that you can even vote with a free account - without confirming that you even have an X360.

Back to the drawing board!
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam9 years ago
"even though in many cases they had not purchased the game"

Well, there's the problem. On PSN you can only rate things you've downloaded. It's hardly rocket science.
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Reason why the "Indie Games" section is a complete waste of time for anyone remotely professional part #2467...
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
If i remember correctly, XBL Indie was not supposed to be commercialised. At least initially.
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Private Industry 9 years ago
Nothing to do with what Indie games where supposed to be, you are not limited to doing that for the Indie games you can vote for any kind of download that`s on XBL without downloading it or even requiring an Xbox. You just make an account on the website and than vote on anything you want.
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