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Removing negative asset reviews is misguided and hurts the Unity platform

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by rackley, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. rackley

    rackley

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    It seems to be a common occurence for Unity to delete negative reviews at an asset publisher's request. Especially, among the more successful asset publishers like Procedural Worlds.

    I know this because I left a negative review for Gaia. After it was deleted, I was contacted by several other people who had their reviews deleted for the same publisher.

    This is completely misguided. Why would you alienate and upset people who are putting money into the system? You have very strong competition in Unreal engine. Generally, content publishers can publish at multiple asset marketplaces (Unreal, sketchfab, etc.) whereas the people developing games who are purchasing assets are committed to the platform. If you push people away and they switch game engines you most likely won't get them back.

    Shutting down the ability for people to express frustration with a publisher only makes them more frustrated and upset.
     
    Ne0mega and Kamil1064 like this.
  2. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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    "Unfortunately, if an Asset Store review doesn't contain profanity or abusive language, we cannot remove the review as each user is entitled to an opinion."
    This is what asset store support team answers every time I report a review. Does you review contain any of those? It might be interesting if you can post here the review that was removed.
     
    r3eckon likes this.
  3. Mauri

    Mauri

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    PolytopeStudio likes this.
  4. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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  5. rmorph

    rmorph

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    This isn't Reddit.

    IMO - but I'm sure its an opinion shared by a lot of users and developers here: Reviews should be legitimately about assets and whether they fulfil the requirements of users based upon what they paid and what they were told the asset does.


    The asset review mentioned basically said, "yeah this asset does the job and I've had it for 3 years but I expected more and I want to raise an issue about the business practices of the developer."

    The dev offered refunds and reasonable explanations for delay of that feature set - which was coming for free. Past that how can they respond? How many times can they offer a refund?

    Perfectly reasonable for such a *review* to be removed.

    Any reasonable person can see that if you as a user have the asset for 3 years it was somewhat useful - And to be fair if it didn't have the feature set you wanted you should have handed it back ages ago and waited.

    The review in question (and thread that followed) wasn't a review it was a public complaint AFTER the offer of a refund. But if someone is going to just ignore that and continually push an agenda, then there are other forums for that.

    I think its totally legit to call out developers if you don't like an asset or feel it doesn't live up to expectations or was sold on false promises, but arguably when a full refund is offered 3 years after you buy the asset then the developer is legitimately offering you a fair shake. To continue an agenda of public shaming beyond that will hurt the asset store and community: Developers don't HAVE TO post threads here and interact with users, nor even offer their assets and many won't if the forums become open hunting season on developers in such a manner.

    I'm not an apologist for this dev - and I've called out my share of dodgy assets before. But let's be honest: The whole thing was a hatchet job designed to hurt the developer in question. based on a long-held grudge.


    TL;DR respect each other. Go to Reddit if you want to run grudge matches.
    This was my opinion as a user of assets.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  6. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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    "Unfortunately, if an Asset Store review doesn't contain profanity or abusive language, we cannot remove the review as each user is entitled to an opinion."
    This is what asset store support team answers every time I report a review.
    So I think we're talking about double standards here.
     
    Ne0mega likes this.
  7. rmorph

    rmorph

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    Nah mate. Don't try and lawyer people on their own forums. It's perfectly OK for mods to pull something for being off-topic or not germane to the discussion. Also, there comes a point where "legitimate criticism" can be used as a cover for trolling.

    Moderation is always a skill thats hard to apply because it has to continually balance the needs and expectations of the users against the welfare of the community. But the community will come first every time.

    Posting in any private forum is a privilege - not a right. the second a mod thinks that privilege is being abused the mod hammer will come down hard. I think thats what happened here and it was a legit decision. I would have done the same without blinking (have modded elsewhere).
     
  8. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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    I'm not here to argue with you, but did you even read my post? I'm a publisher and I had a few abusive reviews, and that was the AS support answer to all of them. What I was asking myself, of course, because Unity won't reply on this, is why this principle of everyone having the right to an opinion doesn't apply to everyone. Even if that opinion is full of lies and has nothing to do with the asset. Otherwise I agree with you that moderating is a difficult job, that's why one must stick to some solid, transparent principles when moderating.
     
    Ne0mega likes this.
  9. rmorph

    rmorph

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    Well, I don't think we're arguing :)

    I did read your comment. I can't speak to the negative reviews you have received but I think in the case that started this thread it wasn't just a review but a repeated call out on the forum thread etc as well as a very public airing of private grievance between the user and the developer. I think the total sum of that was community damage and the mods acted.

    In general, regarding your case, if I were Unity I would say: "Unfortunately if an Asset Store review doesn't contain profanity or abusive language, we cannot remove the review as each user is entitled to an opinion. Exceptions will be made if its a total S***post of course."

    But obviously they want to be very careful before limiting users to say what they think - and this is healthy. Censorship should be a last resort before the of banning users. I can't speak to whether the negative reviews you received were S***posts or not - but if someone also came after you in various forum threads and wouldn't back down despite you attempting to appease them via refund or something then I think you could legitimately go to the mods and ask for help.

    On a general note regarding moderation according to rules.

    Rules lawyering is a common attack vector against moderators. "you are biased because you did something that's not described in the rulebook."
    I think there's not a rulebook large enough to cover moderation. And there shouldn't need to be because that kind of forum dies pretty quick: the rulebook for users would have to be 10 times larger.

    The only real rule should be "be respectful to each other." And I think a reasonable extension of that is to take grudges elsewhere: to the developers own support forums or Reddit or the hundred other places including the users own personal blog - where opinions can get matched against each other. That's the freedom of the internet I guess.

    The biggest mistake disgruntled users make, regardless of whether their perspective is legitimate or not, is that they can become obsessed with a "the public has a right to know" type conviction that can quickly become a religious war against a developer. You probably have experienced this from the sound of it The reality is that such crusades are rarely altruistically motivated. The crusade becomes bigger than the actual infraction. I think that's what happened here.
     
  10. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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    Well I don't know the whole story behind those reviews- because I understood that there were more than one, but in my case one review was edited no less than ten times, most of the times as replies to my answers. In the one before the last reply the user even threaten that he'll post my pack on the store or elsewhere for free.
    O the forum you're right, but I think we were talking about the reviews which are a different story. The answer from AS support should be enough as a "rulebook" for the reviews section.
     
    Ne0mega likes this.
  11. rackley

    rackley

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    I didn't create this post to litigate the legitimacy of my concerns against procedural world with other asset store vendors. Why not just let other people make up their own minds. Why wouldn't a person who has enough intelligence to learn and use Unity be able to come to the same conclusions as you or me based on their own thoughts and feelings after reading my review and the vendor's response. No need to spoon feed people five star reviews.

    That being said, I want to address some comments made in this thread. Like most people who use Unity, I am a hobbyist. To say I've been using this asset and been provided support for the last three years is not accurate. I bought it in March 2017 for a particular idea. That particular idea required a feature that was promised in Gaia 2 "in a few months". I figured that would give me time to learn Gaia. At some point, I gave up on seeing Gaia 2 and adapted my project to move forward without Gaia 1 or Gaia 2.

    Is it disingenious to offer a refund in a reply to a review then have that review removed? I ask because my review was visible for a few hours tops. I had no idea they offered me a refund until someone sent me a screenshot. I reached out to them...no response. Nor did they try to reach out to me via any other channel. The narrative you are angrily trying to push here is complete bull***t.

    Also, their reasonable explanation can be summed up as "it's coming soon". How is that different from the misleading advertising they have had for three years? Finally, calling something "free" and acting like it's being done as a huge favor when it has been advertised as included in what is being purchased for YEARS is also wrong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
    Ne0mega likes this.
  12. rmorph

    rmorph

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    The first post in this thread is a call out about mods deleting reviews. You are absolutely litigating against Unity and the mods for what you percieve to be unfair treatment.


    And off we go. Here's the grievance in all its glory. You bought an asset in 2017 and in 2019 raise a beef because the asset wasn't delivering what it said on the tin.
    Mate. You are unreasonable. You spent the equivalent of a pair of sneakers and are now complaining 2 years later the sneakers don't fit after all.

    Do that in a review and it ain't really a review of the asset any more is it? not really. You're going from "I don't like the grip on my Nikes." to "I hate the Nike corporation." Which might be a legit position - but not relevant in a shoe review.

    Angriliy? Bull''''? Calm down soldier - Firstly I have no dogs in this fight. I'm not angry and am largely indifferent to both your position and the developers. So the narrative you think I'm pushing doesn't exist.

    I'm as objective s it gets here mate - I'm on the side of the mods you basically criticised in your first post and what this thread was supposed to be all about - remember?
    Your first post here was to call out the moderators - and I'm here because it's very seldom moderators get properly defended for what is basically a pretty thankless job. They can't really sit in this thread and defned themselves against an accusation of
    This thread wasn't supposed to be about you and Gaia and a naughty dev not giving you the functions and respect you deserve - remember? You accused the mods of shortsightedness for deleting reviews. Specifically your review.

    This whole followup post of yours is pretty much confirming why this is such an issue for you. Your crusade has been hampered and you are pissed.

    Can you step back a bit and try to understand this: Your post is extremely subjective and your thread here started as an allegation against the mods here, The first post is an accusation that your legitimate concerns, as expressed in a review, were being removed. But you're kind of proving the point that this isn't about a review at all. You need to tell the world about a big bad dev that you don't like and will seize every opportunity to do so.

    See? You're still at it. This is what it's all about. And mate- you don't get to do that here. Naming and shaming devs because they don't give you what YOU want at the moment of YOUR choosing. And especially you don't get to weaponise the review process - which is basically a courtesy feature to begin with.

    If you want to do that I would suggest you go run your own blog. Or go to Reddit and bitch in the Gamedev forum. If you are allowed to do that here you hurt the entire community. The mods cannot allow users to repeatedly trash developers in the reviews and in the forums Its one thing to criticise - its another to trash reputations simply cos you didn't get what you want.
     
  13. rackley

    rackley

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    morph, there is no reasoning with you. You move the goal posts every time someone responds to your arguments with reason.

    Look at this objectively, largely indifferent people don't post pages and pages of text. Way more than me and everyone else combined on this topic. Maybe you just really want to win this internet argument. Maybe someone left you a bad review you're still steaming over.

    Let's agree to disagree. You're angry AND you're wrong.
     
    Ne0mega likes this.
  14. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    He is not wrong though, just opiniated
     
  15. r3eckon

    r3eckon

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    Every single time someone brings up the length of a reply they got I have trouble taking anything else they say seriously. Honestly, how is that a valid argument? This sounds like actual goalpost moving and it sounds like you are the one trying desperately to win this internet argument, which you came in guns blazing out of anger at having a review removed.

    You have a total of 4 posts on this forum and literally all of them are about this topic. You posted for the first time yesterday on the Gaia thread trying to start this outrage. Don't expect any sympathy from this community when the only interactions you've had with it so far have all been negative and emotion driven.

    In any case, my personal experience as an asset dev with the asset store is that negative reviews are almost never removed. The publisher subforum has almost daily threads about this topic, where a dev asks if a certain review can be removed, and they almost never are unless they are abusive. So the original premise of this thread, the idea that removing reviews is "common place" on the asset store, is simply wrong.
     
  16. rmorph

    rmorph

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    I only buy assets mate - I don't develop. No dogs.

    Your ad hominems aside you're kinda projecting mate. I'm not angry. I've spent thousands of dollars on assets over many years and am a long-time customer and consumer here. And my opinion is honestly worth as little as yours even then.

    You came rampaging onto a forum I frequent with an outrageous claim (see title) and very little awareness of what this community is actually about - but expecting it to magically pick up arms and join your self-entitled crusade. By calling out the mods no less.

    How's that working out for you?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2019
  17. PolytopeStudio

    PolytopeStudio

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    I'm there too and I know the support team won't remove asset so easily. I myself reported reviews a few times but I got exactly the same answer. That's why I asked what's different here from my cases. Because I don't see any profanity or abusive language. Just an angry buyer that didn't got what he was promised after 2 years of waiting. If that is accurate.

    Did you reached Unity support on this issue? Why they removed your and the other review?
     
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  18. rackley

    rackley

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    Pot calling the kettle black mate. There was/is definite hostility coming from you. Your original argument was that they offered me a refund. When I shot that down, you decided to write a three page essay on why I'm a horrible person because I'm leading an all out assault on Unity's honor. Seriously, you need more chill dude, it's just a forum post that disagrees with a certain practice. Please don't write another essay in rebuttal. I probably won't read it.

    Yes, they are looking into it. I was contacted just a few days ago. I will let you know what they say. You might get some ammunition for the next time you want a review removed :)

    Fair enough. The other people who contacted me posted reviews on products from the same publisher. They are quite clearly very successful. Maybe they have preferential treatment because of that. To your point about 4 posts on this topic. I've never had a need to post on the forum and I probably would have forgotten about the 1-star review and it probably would have been buried in a day or less with 5 star reviews. That's why I'm saying it's misguided. Deleting the one source of catharthis when a customer is unhappy just breeds more acrimony and discontent. That 1-star review probably mattered very little to everyone except me. That being said, it would contribute to the aggregate effect. Right now, this publisher has a perfect 5-star rating from 1000+ reviews. Doesn't that seem a little improbable? After my experience, and hearing from others, I'm a little suspicious.
     
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  19. r3eckon

    r3eckon

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    If that's the case then I agree that this isn't a good thing and I'd love to hear about the response you get from Unity on this topic, because my personal experience with the store has been very different and I'd hate to find out that some publishers get preferential treatment over others. I'm glad you see my point though, I really think that if you made this thread asking if this kind of removal was common place instead of assuming that it is the response would have been much less negative.
     
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  20. rackley

    rackley

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    I heard back from Unity support. See attached correspondence screenshot. Doesn't really make sense because they originally deleted my review from Gaia Pro. I will repost my one star review tomorrow without making reference to Gaia Pro. I'm sure it will be deleted again.

    upload_2019-10-31_11-50-17.png
     
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  21. Ne0mega

    Ne0mega

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    Removing negative reviews is deceptive. That along with allowing sellers to sell products without revealing that they intend to be charging annual upgrade fees is questionable as to its legality, especially for an international company doing business in multiple countries with various legal frameworks and consumer protection laws.

    Especially when Unity advertises in section 9.1 of their policies that their asset store seller cannot charge for upgrades.

    What I see is a company that thinks they can do whatever they want, and is allowing lower tier personnel make decisions based on friendships and personal opinions. This can cost them dearly legally. I hope somebody brings this up to their management and training department, because as far as I see it, there are the beginnings of a lawsuit here, if this can not be hashed out and dealt with in good faith before it reaches that point.
     
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