Report: TopWare interactive accused of PR manipulation

Monday, 21 February 2011 02:21 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Destructoid has compiled evidence alleging Two Worlds II publisher TopWare Interactive has made multiple attempts to influence review scores and game rankings.

A list of alleged dodgy practices include buying up European site advertising in return for guaranteed favourable reviews; IP masking to allow for artificially inflated page views on Two Worlds II coverage; pressuring sites to remove unfavourable reviews based on preview copy while favourable ones remained up; and accusing a negative reviewer of pirating a copy of the game.

Destructoid cited anonymous sources and leaked email, as well as non-specific comments from an ex-TopWare staffer.

“There is absolutely no correlation between review scores and ad buys,” TopWare managing director James Seaman said in response.

“We do not even have the budget for ad buys that people would even take that seriously. On top of that Topware does not handle PR in Europe. Zuxxez Entertainment, our parent company, does.

“Topware does not engage in any manipulation of media sites or customer sites, but we are happy that people like our game.”

Answering specific allegations, Seaman said the company had requested reviews based on German-language versions of the game be held until international release, and that accusations of pirated copy resulted from a miscommunication.

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