Ratings Scandal Prompts Changes

Recently, it became apparent that many Xbox LIVE Indie Games were being rated maliciously by users that hadn’t played the games, either as some kind of vendetta or to promote other games in the Top Rated list.

The problem stems from the fact that it’s so easy to abuse the system. Gamemarx found that it took less than thirty seconds to sign up for a new account and to rate a game – there was no need for the user to have played the game, or even to have downloaded it.

Now, Microsoft have announced that to rate titles on xbox.com in future, users will require a Gold membership. These cost around £3 a month, and so the change should stop the ratings abuse dead.

Unfortunately, they also state that they will be unable to reverse the bogus ratings.

Microsoft’s statement in full:

To our Xbox LIVE Indie Games Community:

We’ve heard your feedback and have made some changes to the ratings system on Xbox.com. Starting today, only users with Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions will be allowed to rate content on the Xbox.com website. By implementing this change, we believe our customers will experience more consistent ratings and a significantly reduced potential for abuse across the entire Xbox catalog. We have also investigated rolling back suspect votes, however, we determined it will not be possible to do this.

In addition, we are investigating users who may have violated their user agreement during this series of events. Violating user agreements may result in actions up to and including banning from Xbox LIVE, removal of currently posted games, and loss of ability to post games in the future.

We appreciate everyone’s patience on this matter and are excited about the fantastic games being posted to Xbox 360 through the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program.

And now we can go back to enjoying games, instead of worrying about the abuse. Hopefully, over time, the good games will once again rise to the places in the Top Rated lists where they belong.

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