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What’s the Cost of a Bad Review?

Twitter has been a real boon to online marketers, but unfortunately, it’s also gotten a few people into big trouble. This week it was a a PR guy who took a swipe at those who gave his video game a bad review.

“too many went too far with their reviews. We r reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom.”

The game company fired the PR firm and the press that followed is probably making the rest of their clients a little nervous. But I’m not here to harp on this poor fellow who spoke his mind in public or the evils of Tweeting angry. It happens, we’re all human and social media allows us to tell the world, far too easily. It’s going to happen again, that’s a given.

What I want to address is the concept of the Tweet — the bad review. In this case, it was reviews of the video game “Duke Nukem Forever” and the reviews were pretty harsh. It was called tedious, unattractive, and utterly terrible. Still, Time magazine critics hated Psycho and Casablanca, so Duke is in good company.

Sending our review copies or samples is common practice and it’s always a “do it at your own risk” situation. No matter how good your product is, no matter how much you believe in it, there’s always a chance that someone will say it’s bad. Is that a reason to avoid asking for reviews at all? No.

I’m sure the game company wasn’t happy with the reviews they got or the PR guy who came unglued, but look at all the attention the game is getting. Also, it’s unlikely that the bad reviews will impact sales figures. Some people will buy it just to see how bad it really is, while others could care less about what’s been said by others.

Here’s the thing about reviews. If you perform a public service and you get bad reviews, those are going to hurt. No one wants to eat at a restaurant that has a long list of complaints. Products, on the other hand, have a better chance of making it out unscathed. So don’t sweat it, put it out there.

If you get a bad review, just know that you’re in good company.

  • http://justindupre.com Justin Dupre

    Well.. it was an aweful game. 100% scripted, graphics were poorly executed, and it was just a really boring game compared to some of the more epic game options we’ve had over the past 2 years. That comment by Redner was ridiculous because many gamers agree with those poor reviews.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com Nick Stamoulis

    Companies have to accept that when they put their products/services out for review, they have to take the bad with the good. Bashing the reviewer like that was in poor taste and makes the brand look bad. You can’t bury the bad reviews, it looks like you are trying to hide something and trick your audience.

  • http://www.antellus.com Theresa M. Moore

    On the whole my books have always received good reviews but what if the reviewer is a poor one? I am not talking about overall opinion but simply bad grammar and loss of focus on the actual plot? I have had those and not sure whether I should remove the reviews or leave them, since they appear to be so positive anyway. As to video games, I think a lot of players expect something like Halo and not Pong, and anything in between has to make up for lack of technical quality by inserting more imaginative scenarios. It’s the lack of the latter that appears to apply here. I don’t play many video games but if the game is as bad as everyone thinks it is, the designers ought to go back to the drawing board. Criticism is the best way to discover the flaws, and they ought to praise someone who renders a candid opinion, not punish them. However, name calling and personal insults should be left out of the process.