User reviews often make or break a buying decision for many people, which is why big storefronts like Steam have mechanisms in place designed to keep things fair for everyone on the platform. One developer went the sneaky route by taking advantage of Steam’s UI and calling his company ‘Very Positive’ in the hope that users would mistake it for positive feedback on his game. Valve soon got aware of this trickery and has since banned the developer for review manipulation.
Being optimistic is one thing, but the developer of Emoji Evolution seemingly had other priorities on his mind when he named his company ‘Very Positive’ in a sneaky attempt to dupe gamers into thinking that his games were highly-rated on Steam.
Of course, the tactic is unlikely to work on seasoned users who’d spot the trickery at first glance, but the platform is also home to millions of others, including gullible players looking to try something new and who may just mistake the game’s overall user review summary label with the developer and publisher name. They do, after all, have the same font and color, and are in close visual proximity.
GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless noticed some fishy stats about Emoji Evolution last week when the game was still on Steam
As the issue started getting mainstream attention, Valve’s quality control swung into action and banned the developer’s account, which he confirmed in a tweet. He also gave Vice some background on Emoji Evolution and the reasoning for naming his company ‘Very Positive.’
“They [Steam users] make conclusions about information when seeing familiar words and don’t spend much time reading all the words,” the developer said, adding that he noticed the colors and closeness of Steam reviews summary and developer/publisher info, which he then manipulated for this prank.