Conduit 2 developer High Voltage has fallen under suspicion of Amazonbombing in response to a negative review.
In an email leaked to Maroonersrock, High Voltage art director Matt Corso jokingly encouraged staff to Amazonbomb Joystiq reviewer Michael T. Murdock, a severe critic of Conduit 2.
“Michael was kind enough to recently provide us with a Conduit 2 review, and so in turn you all should feel at liberty to (of course read it first) and then return the favor by writing a reader review for Michael’s book for him,” Corso wrote.
Later, four negative reviews of Murdock’s book appeared on Amazon in rapid succession, which raised suspicion – despite similar urgings previously appearing on fan sites around the web, independently.
High Voltage was quick to respond to the email’s publication, telling Wired it didn’t condone malicious behaviour and hadn’t been serious.
“My mind really wasn’t in that dark of a place when I wrote that. In fact I seriously considered buying the book myself,” Corso explained.
“I wanted to know how good it really was that this guy felt so in the right to trash our game and give away the ending like he did. And then post a plug to his book at the end, implying that we suck and he is totally great.”
CEO Eric Nofsinger added his voice to protestations of the studio’s innocence.
“I think he wrote it in a very tongue-in-cheek kinda way,” he said.
“We would want to never attack anyone for their opinions on a game.”
Murdock wasn’t convinced, and seems to be smarting over the poor reviews.
“They don’t honestly care about what happened, and they’re trying to get their hands out of the cookie jar before they get smacked,” he said.
“They simply have no remorse for what they’ve done, and they think the industry and everyone else will just laugh it off. I hope that doesn’t happen. A game company shouldn’t just keep shooting themselves in the foot, hoping their limp goes away.”
Murdock’s review of Conduit 2 called the Wii FPS “lackadaisical trash” and “appalling”, and heavily criticised its length, writing, voice acting, controls and graphics.
Conduit 2 currently holds a 64 average on Metacritic. Murdock’s book is sitting at three out of five stars from 36 reviews, many of which are positive comments posted after High Voltage’s email was outed.