After a handful of seemingly fake reviews were spotted on a game in the Oculus Store, the company says the offending reviews were removed, and further claims that fake reviews on the platform are few and far between.
Redditors ‘thekthepthe3‘ and ‘matt90410‘ recently pointed out some suspicious looking reviews of a Rift game on the Oculus Store. ‘Matt90410’ called out a few of the 5-star reviews that were especially short and riddled with odd and unspecific phrasing:
- smart shooter! the gameplay is just a tower! developer of this miracle, I adore you! Marry me!
- the game is just top! With this endless shooter, you’ll never get off the screen! I advise everyone to buy!
- cool shooter, such a small. I advise everyone to play this wonderful game. unforgettable experiences
- wow, the best shooter of its kind. yes even for such a penny! the game just surpasses all competitors in this genre! gorgeous!
- wonderful game. this endless shooter does not let you get out of the game! developer of many thanks for such a great game for such little money!
The attention prompted action by Oculus, who today confirmed to Road to VR that some of the reviews on the game were indeed deemed fake and were removed. A spokesperson said the reviews stemmed from keys that were distributed by the game’s developer, not from people who had actually purchased the game.
Following the incident, Oculus said they pulled data to look for signs of fake reviews on other titles and found that fake reviews were rare. Though they had no specifics to share at this time, the company says they’re looking into ways to detect and prevent fake reviews going forward.
The Oculus Store uses a 5-star review system, and reviews can only be written by owners of each game (owners can be those who purchased the game, or those who redeemed the game with a key that originated from the developer). When browsing the store through the Oculus desktop app, there’s a hidden ‘Mark as Spam’ button for reporting individual reviews, but not on the web version.
Tools for potential buyers to assess reviews on the Oculus Store are unfortunately lacking. Reviews are listed in chronological order with only five reviews displayed per page before needing to click to a new section, and no way to sort by review rating or helpfulness (despite a button which allows reviews to be marked as helpful).
The leading digital games storefront, Steam, sets a good model for making review data more accessible and useful. In addition to offering a quick look at the reviews in the last 30 days vs. reviews overall (useful to know if updates have changed the game for better or worse), there’s also a handful of sorting and filtering options, including an option to explicitly show only reviews from confirmed purchases of the game, while hiding reviews from keys acquired outside of Steam’s purchasing process.