Members of Harmonix’s development team have been outed for posting favourable reviews of Rock Band 4 on online retailer giant Amazon.com. The reviews were picked up by some alert Reddit users, but many of them have since been removed. Luckily, Destructoid managed to screenshot three of them.
Reviews written by Harmonix Project Manager Matthew Nordhaus, senior designer Chris Foster, and Harmonix consultant Jayne Tan all painted Rock Band 4in a positive light, giving the game a review of five-out-of-five stars.
Nowhere in their initial reviews did they indicate they were Harmonix employees who worked on the game, but shortly after the Reddit post caught attention, many of the reviews were removed or doctored. For example, Matthew Nordhaus added:
“I added this review half in jest (as you might be able to tell from the tone of the original). In hindsight, it’s probably important that I note that I worked on the game and work for Harmonix. That being said, I’m confident that if I didn’t I would still give the game five stars. It’s a beautiful, peaceful, cooperative game, rare enough already in today’s landscape, that I can play with my wife and kids. Music discovery, playing with your family and friends, and cooperation make Rock Band my favorite.”
Harmonix issued the following statement:
“Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we’ve asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely. While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don’t believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously.”