Friday, September 11, 2015

Of Featured Reviewers

So there's another review up for the Mongoose Traveller Second Edition beta on rpgnow.  It tells you basically the same things as the press release, and it's five stars.  Huh.  Better yet, it's by a featured reviewer, and this reviewer's history is sort of absurd, with 124 reviews so far in 2015 (with 254 days elapsed; mighty close to a review every other day) across several systems and publishers (Mongoose Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, the Firefly game, Dark Heresy, Spycraft, Shadowrun, some Pathfinder...), and only one lower than four stars (and that for layout issues; "the actual content is worth 4!").  With a reading and reviewing schedule like that, I would think one would be hard pressed to find time to actually game.  The icing on the cake, of course, is their five-star review of the MongTrav Campaign Guide.

Curious indeed.


  1. Featured reviewer? More like paid shill. With her dozens of 5 and 4 star 'reviews" all "written" within days of each other, it's clear to all but the most willfully ignorant that Megan R is nothing but sock puppet meant to boost sales. I wonder if publishers have to pay extra for the "service". It's a shame RPGNow doesn't have a forum where they could get called out on their unabashed dishonesty.

    It's the dirty little secret of our online world that you can now easily manufacture good "buzz" and PR all by yourself. There's no more need for press agents, friends in the media, coddled columnists, and the like. The Ashley Madison data breach showed how thousands of the female "profiles" used to lure paying male members were actually created by the company itself. There are services which allow people to buy Twitter followers and Facebook likes, something that politicians of all stripes routinely do. It's no secret that online retailers create phony reviews by make believe customers to boost sales.

    After all, it that any different from advertising?

    1. The short answer is, "Yes!" it's significantly different from advertising.