When most people think of downloadable Xbox 360 games, they think of Xbox Live Arcade, which boasts the work of major publishers. But there’s also an indie games economy, in which “garage developers” compete with one another for attention and royalties. The indie games section doesn’t get much play on the Xbox dashboard, and the odds appear further stacked against some indie games in light of charges that a group of online users manipulated the Xbox.com ratings system to elevate certain games while burying others.
Citing a tweet from an official Xbox Twitter account, Gamasutra reports Microsoft is investigating the claims that a post on a lacrosse game’s Facebook page urged fans to post 5-star ratings of the game while giving 1-star reviews to competitors.
Developers of affected games claim their titles dropped in the rankings due to the post, making them less visible to gamers hunting for indie gems. It doesn’t help that users can reportedly use made-up email addresses to rate games. Gamasutra says the Facebook post has been updated to tell users not to rate other games lower in order to help the lacrosse game.