James Derbyshire
United Kingdom
Norton Mandeville
Essex
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I notice a trend of certain reviews that, to me, are just blatant adverts. I’d be surprised if the reviewer didn’t have some form of bias.
Sure I can just skip over them as I always have, but they appear to be increasing and it’s grating on me.
Are there no BGG guidelines for this? What’s to stop any publisher or designer posting a “review”?
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Brad Miller
United States
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Well, reviews have to go through GeekMod, so they can be rejected by the community.

But, this is a longstanding issue with "professional" reviewers, are they being given the games they review for free/getting paid for their reviews, etc.

User comments are way more valuable than "reviews".
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Bill Cook
United States
Massachusetts
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Begs the question of what is an "unpaid advert"? If I play a game and love it, and write the review to convince you that it's a great game you should try too... is that a review, or an unpaid advert?
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James Derbyshire
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Yeah I get that, but when a review resembles an advert with graphics and links to Purchase?
 
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J J
Australia
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They're all unpaid advertising. BGG permits this in the most basic form (otherwise how could there be reviews?).

But if they really do have links direct to some option to purchase, then they need to be reported as spam (and deleted).
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Owen A
United States
New Jersey
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It's tricky because it seems like many of the review groups are starting to work as "low paid" adverts. I've contacted several of the smaller companies regarding a review for my soon-to-be on Kickstarter game and despite not saying so on their website, all require a fee for reviewing unpublished games. Of course I would like to have a positive review, but I can't help but feel that a smart review group will realize that they are less likely to get new requests if they have a large track record of heavily critical reviews...in this case it's quite probable that the bias would be in the interest of getting more paid review requests. I read a while ago that the most valid feedback would come from a reviewer from the general community on here, but I have no idea regarding how to find or approach the right person. Would you agree? Would the general BGG member be the most trustable review source for you?
 
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Kim Williams
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RelicsOfTheKeep wrote:
It's tricky because it seems like many of the review groups are starting to work as "low paid" adverts. I've contacted several of the smaller companies regarding a review for my soon-to-be on Kickstarter game and despite not saying so on their website, all require a fee for reviewing unpublished games. Of course I would like to have a positive review, but I can't help but feel that a smart review group will realize that they are less likely to get new requests if they have a large track record of heavily critical reviews...in this case it's quite probable that the bias would be in the interest of getting more paid review requests. I read a while ago that the most valid feedback would come from a reviewer from the general community on here, but I have no idea regarding how to find or approach the right person. Would you agree? Would the general BGG member be the most trustable review source for you?


Just look at the popular reviews of games (those with the most thumbs) and you'll see some recurring names, that might be worth approaching. It's worth making sure the individual likes your sort of game, as they're unlikely to review a game if it's not something they normally play/like (you can find what games they own and what they rate games all on BGG).

Many reviewers on BGG wouldn't dream of asking for money for a review. A copy of the game is pretty much all they'd expect, and people would probably even be willing to return the game if you paid postage. I definitely wouldn't touch a company demanding payment for reviews.

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Chris in Kansai
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Otsu
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If the purpose of the review is to publicize your game and create some buzz then negative or "meh" reviews will hurt you - This is the risk you take with general BGG members.

With a Kickstarter coming up, you need some "accentuate the positive" reviewers, like the companies you mention. The clue here is "companies" - they're not in it just for love, so you may need to dip into your marketing budget (you do have one of those, right?). At this point are we talking about a review, or an infomercial? There's been endless back-and-forth on BGG about this, but ultimately they're both advertising your game, so you should choose reviewers who are going to give you what you need. They all have their own credibility to consider so if your game's not for them they'll tell you so.

 
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