The Le Games: Apology to the Gaming Community

TheLe

First Post
Dear Community,

Earlier today OneBookShelf Inc, owners of Rpgnow and DTRpg, discovered a second account which I had created some three years ago in their system. Upon investigation, they found that I had used this second account to post about a dozen reviews over the years, mostly of my own books. All the reviews rated the products as four or five stars, but that is no excuse for ethical lines which I have crossed. As such, all of my products have been suspended from OBS for two weeks as a punitive action for what I have done.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to apologize to OBS, the publishers who sell their fine products on OBS, and most importantly, all of you. Without you, the gaming community, my company wouldn't be successful today. It is all of you that raised The Le Games to where it is now, and frankly I let you down.

My actions are not justifiable by any sense of the imagination, and I am thankful that a two-week suspension is all that I received. We publishers should be striving to set a good example to others and bring a certain amount of class to the industry; something which I have forgotten.

That being said, I fully intend to make restitution to all of you. Starting seven days from today, I will release the following five books to the gaming community for free: Unorthodox Barbarians, Unorthodox Monks, Neo Paladins: The Martyr, Artifacts I: Ducks of Ultimate Doom, and 17 Magic Weapons.

That's right, free.

And they will remain free forever.

That's not all -- in two weeks when my publishing status has been restored, my entire line of Unorthodox books will be available for just 99 cents.

I hope that it is within your heart to forgive me for what I have done, and perhaps regain your trust.

Thank you,

-The' Le
www.TheLeGames.com

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Crothian

First Post
This hurts. As a reviewer it is hard enough to get over people's bias that I've been bribed, secretly work for someone, or just be told that my reviews are worthless to people. This just showcases that reviews can't always be trusted and can make people really distrust the reviews they read. It is not just your company you have damaged here but potential the review system.
 

jaerdaph

#UkraineStrong
Everyone is sorry after they get caught. I'd already decided after Vikings (which I still bought because I was so impressed with the author and wanted to show support for him) that I wouldn't buy another one of your products and quit your Yahoo Group based on some sexist comments and an attack on a prominent woman in RPG publishing. I can't say I'm surprised by this childish behavior either.
 

DimitriX

First Post
Of course, the joke is that I've never heard of you or your products. So, I guess your fake positive reviews didn't do much to help your advertising after all.
 

hewligan

First Post
Ouch!

I am glad you apologised, but the fact you have seemingly done this systematically, and only stopped because you got caught, is not so good. Also, I understand the gesture you are trying to make with the free product, but it does smack a little of attempting to buy favour with free toys.
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Damn. And I actually bought a couple of things from you, too. Just for the record, though: I was never once persuaded by any review(s) of those PDFs. Ironic, I suppose.

Anyway, it's my hope that you were (are?) the only one. There was a thread about this very topic (in the general sense that is, IOW how many products in how many lines, from several publishers, consistently get 4-5 stars as a matter of course) on another forum recently. theRPGSite? I think it was that one.

That would suck, big time (if you weren't or aren't the only one doing that) - I wonder how easy it is to do, and what can be done to stop it. . .
 

Jraynack

Explorer
This hurts. As a reviewer it is hard enough to get over people's bias that I've been bribed, secretly work for someone, or just be told that my reviews are worthless to people. This just showcases that reviews can't always be trusted and can make people really distrust the reviews they read. It is not just your company you have damaged here but potential the review system.

It is shocking news to say the least and a bit of a disappointment. I think you made a good start in repairing your reputation (I would suggest that you should also offer some 4th Ed. products for free or 4th Ed. converted products of those you are giving away should you sign up with the GSL).

As for reviews, I have my own judgments about them (I will not expound upon them here). However, a potential consumer should follow a reviewer that has similiar tastes to their own rather than quickly seeing how many stars a product has before purchasing.

Like with any purchase, do your research - as a publisher, I want you to buy our products, but it does not help me or a customer if they buy our products for the wrong reasons.

So, I think it does hurt the reviewing process as Crothian said, however I will like to point out that customers should look toward reviews that truly offer a critical reading of the product before making a decision to purchase.

Oh, and on a side note - Crothian refused all of our bribes over the last five years;).
 
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Jraynack

Explorer
Anyway, it's my hope that you were (are?) the only one. There was a thread about this very topic (in the general sense that is, IOW how many products in how many lines, from several publishers, consistently get 4-5 stars as a matter of course) on another forum recently. theRPGSite? I think it was that one.

That would suck, big time (if you weren't or aren't the only one doing that) - I wonder how easy it is to do, and what can be done to stop it. . .

It was a rampant problem back in the day when we first joined the RPGNow ranks five years ago. So, hopefully The Le Games was the only one. That is why I stress on the potential consumer doing their research.

I have found that also the opposite is true - other publishers offering bad reviews to competing products or companies. This is a very good reason to support staff reviewers like Crothian and others over vague, short customer reviews.
 

This was obviously unethical, but I think it's more common than we'd prefer to believe.

The man deserves some credit for apologizing at all. For what it's worth, if he hadn't apologized, some gamers (myself included) would never be any the wiser.
 

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