Negative campaigns against a game may colour people’s views of it and therefore must not be tolerated, says Nintendo.
Speaking at a shareholder’s meeting, company CEO Satoru Iwata cited “product bombing” as justification for the Wii U’s heavily curated online functionality.
“Negative campaigns on the Internet in which false opinions are deliberately posted to ruin the reputation of a product are a big problem and could be considered business interference,” he said.
“It is very difficult to tell consumers’ real complaints from those that are posted as part of a negative campaign. If we were to delete anything negative about our games, it could constitute a suppression of free speech and you would not able to believe in even a good reputation.”
Despite making this comment, Iwata warned that Nintendo may not allow the Wii U community to moderate itself.
“We cannot afford to always act on the ethical doctrine that human nature is fundamentally good,” he said.
“At the same time, however, we would like to believe in the possibility of ‘the wisdom of crowds’, which could create a very interesting and fascinating world.”
The number of people involved in negative campaigns was just a fraction of all users, he said, before displaying a solid grasp of how message boards functioned.
“In a community in which a number of users with fair opinions exist, opinions posted just for the purpose of a negative campaign will be gradually overwhelmed by the majority of posts of fair impressions,” he said.
“Also, if a number of game players put a remark to indicate ‘I think this comment is inappropriate’, the subject comments will be seen as unreliable and thereby decreases their influence on other consumers.”
As we reported last month, messages posted to the Miiverse would be monitored by Nintendo staff, resulting in delays of up to 30 minutes before they materialised.