Developer reviews own app on Marketplace, scores it 5/5

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Derek writes to us about an example of an app in Marketplace where the the first reviewer was in fact one of the developers of the app, who was of course full of praise and scored the app  5/5.

The review was not marked originally as being from a Leda developer, which of course raises questions about whether we can trust reviews from apps which have a small number of reviews, also a situation likely more common with apps of lower quality.

Have our readers come across any other examples of Marketplace being played like this? Let us know below.

Update: Paul Harman, the developer of the app, has written to let us know his side of the story.

Leda Entertainment is a pair of  “bedroom coders” who work on their own projects, but with a shared belief in games being fun. InterSceptre has been my pet project for more years than I care to remember on several games platforms, and has finally seen its first release. I was really happy, for about 3 days.

Then I discover it only has 3 downloads, and has got itself a 1* review. At the time I found the review quite funny, but it was disappointing that the reviewer didn’t use any of the feedback options in the game to explain further so we could improve the game.

What happened next I found a bit embarrassing to be honest. My co-developer saw I was upset and wanted to redress the balance. Having had no part in InterSceptre’s development, he felt he was entitled to make his opinion of the game known. The original reviewer saw this and altered his review to point it out.

As the comments in your article attest, many developers are not surprised by what’s happened. I don’t think it’s right to review my own game, and I haven’t – maybe your article could be updated to point that out. Ben and I have learned from this experience and certainly won\’t be doing this again. However we too believe the Marketplace is rife with associations of developers giving each others’ games high ratings, and wonder what exactly can be done about it.

I’ve found the whole situation rather distressing to be honest.

Given that the app has a free trial maybe the best way to make up one’s mind about the honesty of the review is to try it out oneself? Intersceptre can be downloaded from Marketplace here.

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