At least according to “customers” on Amazon.com in the UK.
Today’s information saturated world has turned the internet into an open bulletin board allowing anyone with a chip on their shoulder to post their unflattering review of the Transformers in less than three words, accessible to anyone with a browser. But it’s not all off the cuff. Some of that anger is also backed by a number of legitimate concerns.
Amazon is no stranger to this kind of internet vengeance. Last year, Turbotax maker, Intuit, raised the price on its flagship product by $15 and started charging users $9.95 for each additional return made on it. Predictably, this made many upset for a variety of well thought out reasons spanning more than three words. People who quickly downrated Turbotax’s listing on Amazon to one star.
The good news is that Intuit actually listened and reversed the $9.95 charge.
In another example, self-help author, Cooper Lawrence, had stated on Fox News that Mass Effect had “full digital nudity and sex.” which was extremely misleading, sensationalist “SE”XBOX” news header not helping. Mass Effect does have one sex scene, but it happens late in the game and is the kind implied on prime-time television, even for a game rated “M” for Mature (titles like Max Payne 2 or even the original Duke Nukem were a lot more explicit compared to Mass Effect). Of course, to anyone that believes that games are just evil, this is great ammunition…even if it is absolutely wrong.
Gamers quickly protested by hitting her self-help book on Amazon with one-star ratings, indirectly attacking her in the process and questioning the veracity of her own work in their comments. Soon, enough of these were submitted to drive it into the ratings basement until Amazon deleted them, but it did elicit a retraction of sorts from Lawrence a week later.
And now with Infinity Ward’s controversial decision to build IW.Net and remove dedicated server support from their latest game, Modern Warfare 2, moving it closer in design to what console players are used to, PC players furious over the changes haven’t wasted time in making their anger felt. A petition already passing 100K ‘signatures’ is still earning more, Infinity Ward’s response to the furor has only thrown more gas on the fire by simply looking at the comments, and angry gamers have already found its listing on Amazon’s UK storefront.
Interestingly enough, Amazon’s storefront over here has wisely opted not to open up the ratings for the any version of Modern Warfare 2 yet. It’s probably hard not to wonder why.
UPDATE 9.25.09: It looks like Amazon.UK have removed the PC title’s star rating (although the screenshot above shows what it had appeared as), likely because the reviews rating it aren’t from people that have actually played the game. The Xbox 360 version, though, has a five star rating according to one poster. The petition is still going strong, though, now surpassing 150K signatures. Not bad for one week.