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Microsoft Changes How Xbox Live Indie Games Are Rated

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the lighting-the-shade dept.

XBox (Games) 39

Two weeks ago we discussed news that some indie developers had found a way to manipulate ratings for their games on Xbox Live. Now, Microsoft has amended the rating rules so that only Xbox Live Gold members can rate such games through the service's 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."

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39 comments

In other words (2, Insightful)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 3 years ago | (#35878614)

"The system's broken" "Okay here's what you do: Have it so only rich white land-owning men can vote, & it'll fix all your problems."

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878636)

"Okay here's what you do: Have it so only rich white land-owning men can vote, & it'll fix all your problems."

Yeah, actually, that will fix all our problems. It's still a few years away, though.

Re:In other words (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 3 years ago | (#35878746)

I don't know what problems that will fix, but french revolution will fix the problems caused by that system a couple of decades after.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878668)

If you have a better solution, I'm sure they'll be happy to hear it.

Re:In other words (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878680)

The big difference is that we can't just trivially make loads of false identities for voting in national elections. By tying it to paid accounts, anyone trying to game the system effectively has to pay $10 per vote, since that's the cost of the shortest Gold subscription. Considering that the ratings affect the sales and reputation of the games, we may still see some manipulation even at that price.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878720)

How about making it one vote per console rather than just restricting it to gold members? That way, you don't have to pay a monthly fee to be able to rate games, and it's even harder to game the system than it will be with Microsoft's plan.

Re:In other words (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#35878860)

You don't have to have a console, you can vote directly on the website. These guys were just creating loads of free accounts and voting online.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878912)

Right, which is why I'm suggesting that they tie votes to consoles rather than accounts.

Re:In other words (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 years ago | (#35878956)

MS has family accounts when multiple people share the same console. what if one kid loves a game and the other one hates it?

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879028)

Then rate it three stars. It's still better than not letting people who don't care about multiplayer have a say.

Re:In other words (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | about 3 years ago | (#35879090)

Or tie it to both consoles and accounts.

If you have a Gold account, you can vote no matter what.

If you don't, you have to have a console associated with your account, and nobody else can vote with that console's ID (unless they have a Gold account).

Re:In other words (1)

berwiki (989827) | about 3 years ago | (#35879326)

that seems like wasted over engineering to me.

just stick with gold accounts. MS has the right idea. because how are you even gonna tie an account to a console? some type of hardware MAC address? you know how easy it is to spoof a MAC address right?!

Re:In other words (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879494)

Speaking of wasted over engineering, each 360 has a unique identification number which is different from a MAC address and presently un-spoofable. It's how they ban hacked systems from accessing Xbox Live.

Re:In other words (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | about 3 years ago | (#35879642)

At least on some 360 models, the MAC address can be changed. It's very helpful for beating MAC based network access at colleges.

Re:In other words (1)

NotVeryOriginal (1117157) | about 3 years ago | (#35881228)

You can still vote with a silver account, you just have to vote on a 360 rather than the website. I would rather they restrict votes to accounts that have at least tried the demo, but this is better than nothing.

Re:In other words (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 years ago | (#35882720)

Microsoft REFUSES to allow whole machine LIVE accounts. IT really pisses me off that my wife cant watch Netflix on XBox on 'my' account and I cant be logged into Games for Windows at the same time. It fucking kicks her off Netflix. LIVE is one of the biggest rip offs MS has EVER pulled.

Re:In other words (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878722)

The big difference is that we can't just trivially make loads of false identities for voting in national elections.

Tell that to ACORN.

Re:In other words (1)

Duradin (1261418) | about 3 years ago | (#35881794)

"Vote early and vote often" was a republican policy, so ACORN learned from the best at election manipulation.

(William Hale Thompson and Richard Daley are attributed with the quote along with the paragon of virtue himself, Richard Nixon.)

Re:In other words (3, Insightful)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 3 years ago | (#35880180)

Your analogy kinda breaks down once you realize that there is infinite land that is available to anyone willing to put forward a mere $10 for the cheapest Gold subscription. Really, it's more analogous to them requiring voter registration and insisting that you provide identification for yourself when you vote so that you can't game the system...which is what usually happens today in the political system in America.

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35882246)

It worked for Apple. When ordinary people could point out their crap products they changed it so that everything was rated as five stars because anything from apple was automatically worth five stars.

Re:In other words (1)

cdpage (1172729) | about 3 years ago | (#35883232)

well if we are going to to look at it that way, then perhaps Rich, White, land-owning men's spoiled kids are the perfect raters.

They play for hours on end, have all the accessories, and chat online about there lives—I mean their games.

What about Australia? (4, Informative)

Freaky Spook (811861) | about 3 years ago | (#35878652)

We pay the frigging Gold Subscription per month & still can't get indie games. I want to have a fit playing Techno Kitten Adventure god damn it!

Re:What about Australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878838)

we dont get indie games because they arnt rated.

If there was an r rating for games we could get them.

How are state governments elected? (3)

tepples (727027) | about 3 years ago | (#35879212)

We pay the frigging Gold Subscription per month & still can't get indie games.

As I understand it, AC is right: states have banned the sale of video games that haven't been locally rated. How are state legislatures and Attorneys General chosen in Australia?

Re:How are state governments elected? (2)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#35879852)

How are state legislatures and Attorneys General chosen in Australia?

With an IQ test. Lowest score wins.

Re:How are state governments elected? (1)

donscarletti (569232) | about 3 years ago | (#35880348)

To my knowledge, Australian state government elections was where the secret ballot was first implemented.

And therein lies the problem, if you let a bunch of idiots pick something with absolutely no oversight or scrutiny you cannot be too upset if they pick the wrong thing. Try to increase taxes, the people will rise up. Get caught taking bribes, the people will rise up. Make it impossible to get the latest games, the people will generally not even know what they are missing.

Re:How are state governments elected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35885652)

How are state legislatures and Attorneys General chosen in Australia?

With an IQ test. Lowest score wins.

To my knowledge, Australian state government elections was where the secret ballot was first implemented.

In answer to the first question if you are dumb enough to write for Neighbours but not cretinous to write for Shortland Street you can be a member.

Second point you pay your money and you take your choice. Wikipedia has France in 1795 but it also says the UK has a secret ballot. It does not.

"The use of numbered ballots has removed the secret ballot in theory, although it has little effect in practice."

Your vote can be traced to you so how does that not make it secret?

Re:What about Australia? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879630)

Wanna know the solution? Contact your representing politician, and ask for some intervention with the OFLC.

legislation proposed to rename utah? rockfordham? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878832)

the impetus presented was that the name was unattractive (ends too fast) anyway. the mormormonics want it to be called mebotah, reflecting the more singularly clerically correct clergically precise values of earth based deities. other nameinees include; bomsway, bomsaway, bomaday, etc... never mind history. no kidding. forget it. the 'weather'? hard to remember what it (real weather) used to be like, almost all the time. if more of us had had limos, maybe we could have car pooled better? less coffee would have helped? see you in the temple?

native elder ralph, we get a piece of rockfordham (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35878982)

as we remember, ralph is the spiritual leader of the submerged southern hillarians. he says (can't make this up, or even lie about it);

these underwater bunkers suck. 6X3? we were told that that was to be in hectors? should've known? guaranteed until the air runs out? what? why don't you rename utah, borrowed? burrowed? naughtaurs? now you're going to hear from the elder females (about the bunkers etc...). hold on to your holograms. grandmother moon? no kidding.

How about only people who actually bought the game (3, Interesting)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 3 years ago | (#35879140)

Seriously, that seems to be the obvious answer to your problems. Only people who actually bought the game can rate it. Tons of people have gold subscriptions anyway. You really think this limitation is going to prevent what happened with one game's users downvoting other games?

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (2)

rbrausse (1319883) | about 3 years ago | (#35879370)

a solid, logical and stringent solution. no chance this will ever implemented

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879460)

The games can be incredibly cheap though - I think the cheapest is 80 points, which is... sub $1? So a determined developer could still use it to game the system (although, because you have to buy a block of several hundred points and they're not transferable, it would only make sense if you had several games you could rate). Tying it to the gold account still seems the best way to tackle this.

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879470)

This is the best way. You can create a million accounts on any xbox and get a free gold subscription (unless they changed this.)

Limiting it to gold isn't going to help as much as limiting it to people that actually bought the game...

But, as with most good suggestions, it won't happen.

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35879624)

Wouldn't that bias the ratings upward, by limiting it to players who liked the demo enough to buy it? People who get turned off early wouldn't have their distaste registered.

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (1)

tgd (2822) | about 3 years ago | (#35879960)

I've never gotten that with any of the various rating systems out there (Amazon, XBox, or otherwise).

You lose some number of people who felt motivated to vote for a product they actually do know, but IMO, the noise you cut out is far higher of a benefit than a few lost reviews.

Amazon and Apple's reviews are equally worthless.

Re:How about only people who actually bought the g (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | about 3 years ago | (#35880158)

It's harder on Amazon, because you might not have bought the product from them. When you're dealing with XBLA games, the system knows for certain whether you bought the game or not. Seems like a pretty obvious and effective solution to me.

How would that work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35880978)

So the person selling the game wants to game the system, they buy their game a bunch of times (getting most of the cost back) and rate it favorably each time.

What problem have we solved?

Evidence of Lousy Programming (1)

MBraynard (653724) | about 3 years ago | (#35904330)

"We have also investigated rolling back suspect votes, however, we determined it will not be possible to do this. "

ORLY?
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