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Xbox Live Rating Manipulators Unmasked?

Jonathan Lester
Games news, Manipulation, Ratings, Xbox 360, Xbox Live Indie Games

5000 Fake Live Accounts Commissioned By Design Firm

Xbox Live Rating Manipulators Unmasked?

The Xbox Live star rating system is an important way of securing publicity for Indie Games, but recently, a mysterious flurry of negative votes has caused deserving titles to fall off of the limelight in favour of other more cynical offerings. The ever-observant Robert Boyd, founder and driving force behind Zeboyd Games, has discovered that an online design firm may have commissioned the creation of 5000 free Xbox Live user accounts to be used with a spambot - almost certainly with the objective of manipulating the ratings system for their clients.

A user claiming to be Limitless Exposure LLC has commissioned freelance coders to create the accounts on ScriptLance - explicitly stating that they didn't need to be linked to valid email addresses. With 5000 accounts at their disposal, causing games to rise up through (and slip down through) the limelight will be child's play.

Xbox Live Rating Manipulators Unmasked?

We've reached out to Limitless Exposure for comment, and we'll keep you updated. It's possible that a malicious user is impersonating the firm or that this move is designed to test some sort of online functionality for a client, but it's looking very suspicious indeed.

Add a comment5 comments
Goity  Apr. 11, 2011 at 16:42

It was me! I manipulated my game up to two whole stars!


Jonathan Lester  Apr. 11, 2011 at 17:05

Et tu, Goity? :P

If you're looking for some extra publicity, you could send us a promo code and let us review it. Or better yet, send one to some of your fellow regulars and see what they make of it.

Ben  Apr. 11, 2011 at 17:26

The problem is that you can rate any game - even if you have never played it.

If we could only rate games that we have bought/downloaded then that would probably prevent most manipulations.

Mike Brown  Apr. 11, 2011 at 17:45

Make email verification
Make the account have to have played a game before voting
Make only xbox live gold users able to vote

Goity  Apr. 11, 2011 at 19:01

I think that needing Gold is a bit excessive. After all, there are many people on live who aren't bothered about the multiplayer enough to pay for Live, myself included, but who still buy games on the Arcade and Indie networks.

I think restricting to people who own the product, much like on PSN, would be best.

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