Game Reviewers Accuse TopWare of Manipulating Two Worlds II Scores
Destructoid‘s Jim Sterling has just published a scathing account of what several anonymous sources in the games media industry are alleging TopWare, the developer behind Two Worlds II, has done in order to manipulate games reviewers into keeping the game’s score above 7/10.
I won’t try to paraphrase too much of his epic poem-length story, but I can grab the bullet points he created that ran down everything TopWare is ALLEGED (just for clarity, these are accusations, not facts) to have done in order to pump the scores for Two Worlds II:
- European reviewers have accepted ad buys from Topware in exchange for favorable reviews.
- Topware was caught by IGN attempting to influence the rating score of IGN’s GameStats and inflating Two Worlds II‘s ranking.
- GameReactor was pressured to take down its Two Worlds II review because it used preview code to write it. The rub is that more favorable reviews released at the same time as GameReactor’s were not asked to remove their reviews, despite being based on the same code.
- Topware employees have been writing Amazon reviews, posting YouTube comments, and posing elsewhere as members of the public to generate positive feedback on its own products.
- Threats of legal action against one reviewer were made without the permission of management, and rest entirely on the head of the PR department. A reviewer was accused of pirating a copy of Two Worlds II for his negative review, despite having been sent code.
- Destructoid itself was planned to be approached with a bribe. Topware paid for a Two Worlds II site skin, but withheld half the pay. The other half was allegedly planned to be paid in exchange for an 8.5/10 review from us.
It’s a pretty insane set of claims, which TopWare has categorically denied. You should check out the full story on Destructoid.com, because it really does go on forever and includes a wealth of information. Sterling talked to a lot of folks.