Following an online investigation by Reddit user GatoFiasco, it has emerged that a member of the BioWare development team has posted a high-scoring user review on Metacritic in an attempt to inflate the overall Dragon Age II score.
Alarm bells began ringing when a new user to the site posted an at-the-time conspicuous 10/10 review for the game.
"The immersion and combat of this game are unmatched! A truly moving and fun epic. Anything negative you’ll see about this game is an overreaction of personal preference. For what it is, it is flawlessly executed and endlessly entertaining."
Upon investigation, it transpired that the user, ‘Avanost’, was a BioWare employee.
GatoFiasco explained his objection tot he material quite well:
"This is a matter of ethics and integrity. A consumer requires objective information in order to make an informed decision about purchasing a product. If the line between editorial article and product review is skewed, then the consumer is being deceived at the cost of their eventual trust and loyalty to the company responsible. This is why disclosure of industry ties is necessary to avoid even the appearance of impropriety."
Speaking to Kotaku, a senior PR rep for BioWare owners EA defended the move.
"Of course the people who make the game vote for their own game," the spokesperson explained. "That’s how it works in the Oscars, that’s how it works in the Grammy’s and why I’m betting that Barack Obama voted for himself in the last election."