Is Amazon Blocking Reviews Of Assassin's Creed Over DRM Issues? [Update]

from the civil-disobedience dept

See update below. Well, well, well. You may recall back in 2008, when EA used annoying DRM on Spore, consumers revolted by giving the game one-star reviews on Amazon. There was some controversy when Amazon deleted some of those reviews -- but it claimed it was just a glitch (the algorithm treated so many rapid one-star reviews as an attack of some kind). However, it's now become quite popular when someone selling books or games does something stupid, for people take to Amazon to express their displeasure in one-star reviews.

So what's happening with Assassin's Creed 2 -- the Ubisoft game that is using incredibly annoying DRM and has had trouble keeping its servers up. Well... reader Aaron points out that for the PC version of the game Amazon appears to be showing no reviews at all. Either it deleted them or has proactively blocked the reviews. Of course, the reviews somehow are magically working for the PlayStation3 and Xbox versions of the game... Funny how that works.

Update: Some are pointing out that since the PC version isn't officially released until tomorrow, that could explain the lack of reviews on Amazon. They also note that elsewhere, such as in the UK, there are numerous angry one-star reviews...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Brendan (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Amazon is really stretching consumer faith

    I always counted them among the "good guys" but each day I'm less and less sure of that classification.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    There may be no reviews, but customers are still finding ways to voice their displeasure with this game on Amazon.com. Take a look at the Customer Discussions section as well as the Tags.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    "This item will be released on March 9, 2010.
    Pre-order now!
    See details. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available. "

    Funny I cant give reviews on anything that is in a preorder status? /sarc

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Isn't this the 3rd...

    Isn't this the 3rd such glitch to follow this exact pattern?

     

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  5.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:43pm

    I just looked at this, and it looks like the PC version is the only one not released yet. So, it could be that Amazon's system watches for unreleased games that get tons of reviews and blocks those, perhaps on the grounds that an unreleased game couldn't possibly have that many reviews by people who have actually played it.

    I sure hope so, at least. Otherwise, this'll pretty much render Amazon reviews defunct.

     

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  6.  
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    PEBKAC (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re:

    "This item will be released on March 9, 2010."

    US Amazon doesn't let you rate until the product's actually available, at least that's what I've always experienced, so tomorrow may see something quite different.

    (I think UK Amazon *does* permit rating prior to availability? That's what I recall with Spore, but perhaps I'm mistaken.)

     

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  7.  
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    LumpyDog (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    Ubisoft games are now on my blacklist -- and I buy lots of video games. Probably one or two a month, on average.

    Too bad for them, I guess. Hope it's worth it to lose the legit customers who would buy their games, were they not saddled with such intrusive DRM.

     

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  8.  
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    Bigles, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    I used to like Amazon, but ever since the Kindle, I hate them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Dementia (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    I haven't bought an Ubi Soft game since Rouge Spear: Urban Operations, and after this fiasco, I probably never will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Nick (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Re: Re:

    I think it's cause it's not out yet. The UK site has a bunch of 1 stars and a 5 star from a guy that loves the
    drm...
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/UBI-Soft-Assassins-Creed-II/dp/B001TK3DO0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

     

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  11.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    Re:

    Ah yes, Rouge Spear, the undercover San Francisco operations...

     

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  12.  
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    Quirthanon, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:19pm

    Release Date

    Amazon doesn't allow review comments before release date. This releases on March 9, 2009.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Quirthanon (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Release Date

    I meant March 9, 2010

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    Agree with all the people saying no reviews prior to the release. You can look up any other game (and, any other product I assume), that is in the pre-order stage.. and there are no reviews. Gasp. Way to jump the gun and make Amazon look like the bad guy.

     

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  15.  
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    James, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:38pm

    No UBISoft

    I have to agree with a previous poster, nothing from UBISOFT is touching my PC due to their DRM issues. That doesn't mean I will pirate the game, I'd much rather they just die in obscurity due to their own short-sightedness.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Overcast (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    Oh, glad I read this - I *was* gonna get that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Xan, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    Silent Hunter on Amazon

    Silent Hunter 5 is released using the same DRM, plenty of negative comments on Amazon.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Isn't this the 3rd...

    I'd say it's every product on Amazon that doesn't allow a user to post reviews before it's released. Odd how that works Lobo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Xan, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Silent Hunter on Amazon

    It's called: Silent Hunter: Battle of the Atlantic, actually.

     

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  20.  
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    Michial Thompson, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    When children abuse a review system like this something SHOULD be done.

    IF amazon has done something about this type of retaliation I applaud them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    How is this abuse?

    A 1 star rating is a clear sign not to buy the product. If it's getting a crap rating because of the DRM, then reviewers are clearly saying "There is something bad about this product, don't buy it".

    Using the system like it's supposed to be used is not abuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Post updated

    Hey guys, we updated the post at 1:17 pm pointing out the release date issue. Thanks for pointing that out.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    Aaron (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    odd

    So, being the person who pointed this out, I thought it was odd because I have sold products through Amazon before and was able to rate them before release. I alway rate my own stuff :).

    Granted, I don't sell video games, rather custom cables for connecting your smart phone to the OBD2 port on your car. Perhaps different rules for different product types.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    Re: odd

    rating is different than writing a review. The ratings Amazon uses is generally for your own recommendations, show how much you like a product and they'll find ones similar to splatter on your page.

     

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  25.  
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    Robert Ring (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    Howbout when people are genuinely pissed?

     

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  26.  
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    Aaron (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Re: odd

    Right, but they generally show up on the product detail for other users (i.e. the "Other users have rated this" graphic), at least with my products, before release. Here they do not...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    What kind of negative review isn't "retaliatory?"

    Oh, right, only ones that you agree with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Pontifex (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Currently, the most popular "Tags Customers Associate With This Product" are:

    intrusive drm(133)
    drm(130)
    customer abuse(118)
    rentware(71)
    internet required at all times(62)
    online activation(59)
    internet connection required(52)
    boycott(51)
    customer restriction(34)
    overpriced(28)

    It seems to me that the point is being made.

     

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  29.  
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    ReallyEvilCanine, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 3:39am

    Release date

    the PC version isn't officially released until tomorrow in the US, unlike in Europe and Australia where it was released a week ago.

    FTFY.

     

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  30.  
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    Ron, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    Re: Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    Why do you say "children"? There are probably more adults that do this than teens!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 12:11pm

    Reviews are showing up.

    It has fourteen reviews at the moment (one of them mine).

    One a two-star... and thirteen one-stars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    PEBKAC (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 1:10pm

    Re:

    By the by, I glanced through the Amazon product description and found no mention of a constant internet connection required...!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    PEBKAC (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Retaliatory reviews like this are BS

    Considering there's no mention of this constant internet connection needed in the product description, I'd say those 1 star reviews stating such are extremely helpful to potential buyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    is it illegal

    for Amazon not to mention the persistant internet connection in the product description? Earlier today, I walked into Gamestop to pick up FF13, and looked at a display case for Command and Conquer 4 (just a promo case, not out yet) and it did mention, in small font, "Persistant internet connection required".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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