PR outfit slapped for dodgy game reviews

A PR agency which represents a number of games developers has settled a case brought by the US Federal Trade Commission.

Reverb Communications was accused of getting its staff to write positive reviews of its clients' games, including Rock Band by Harmonix, on Apple's iTunes store in order to boost sales.

The company denied the allegations saying that staff had reviewed the games after downloading them "onto their personal iPhones in their own time using their own money and accounts, a right and privilege afforded to every iPhone and iTouch user."

The FTC said that between November 2008 and May 2009, Reverb had "posted reviews about clients' games at the iTunes Store using account names that gave readers the impression the reviews were written by disinterested consumers."

Casey Lynch, the director of public relations and business development for Reverb Communications, told Kotaku, "During discussions with the FTC, it became apparent that we would never agree on the facts of the situation. Rather than continuing to spend time and money arguing, and laying off employees to fight what we believed was a frivolous matter, we settled this case and ended the discussion because as the FTC states: 'The consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute admission by the respondents of a law violation'."

Financial details of the settlement were not released