Microsoft checks out indie game vote-rigging claims

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Microsoft's investigating claims that some Xbox.com users have been manipulating the service by posting false ratings for games in its Xbox Live Indie Games (XLBIG) section.

Robert Boyd of developer Zeboyd Games says he first suspected something was up last week when his products' rankings started plummeting like stones.

"Cthulhu Saves the World has dropped an additional nine ranks in about a week. It’s currently number 20 in the US Top Rated. Considering it had been hovering around the number 6 spot for a month or two prior to this whole mess, it’s very obvious that it’s a targeted attack," he says.

"Plus, you can just do the math – given the number of ratings that we had before (around 1,400 I believe) and the number of ratings we have now (1,700 plus), pretty much the only way that we could be dropping so quickly is if the vast majority of new ratings are one-star."

Boyd says he believes the sudden fall is linked to the College Lacrosse | The Video Game Facebook page, which has about 175,000 fans and which recently requested help from its fans to raise the ratings of its games.

"Now, there’s nothing wrong with asking your fans to rate your game positively, but it looks like some of their fans were overzealous and started one-starring other high rated games in attempt to make it easier for the Lacrosse games to rise through the ranks," he says.

Microsoft has promised to look into the matter, and try and put things right.

"We are investigating a possible misuse of ratings on XBLIG titles. We'll announce more information here as it develops," says the company in a tweet.