Microsoft has made adjustments to the way in which Indie games are rated and promoted on their Xbox LIVE! Arcade service. The new change now means that only Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can rate Indie Games via Xbox .com, though this could mean that the rating system is still open to abuse as once again, users don’t actually have to have played the games themselves.
In a message to the set of indie developers Microsoft stated:
“We’ve heard your feedback and have made some changes to the ratings system on Xbox.com. Starting today, only users with Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions will be allowed to rate content on the Xbox.com website. By implementing this change, we believe our customers will experience more consistent ratings and a significantly reduced potential for abuse across the entire Xbox catalog. We’ve also investigated rolling back suspect votes, however, we determined it’ll not be possible to do this.”
In addition, “we’re investigating users who may have violated their user agreement during this series of events. Violating user agreements may result in actions up to and including banning from Xbox LIVE, removal of currently posted games, and loss of ability to post games in the future.”
“We appreciate everyone’s patience on this matter and are excited about the fantastic games being posted to Xbox 360 through the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program.”
[Source: XNA Game Studio Team Blog]