The curious case of Google removing over 77% of all our positive reviews

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Welcome to the surprising second part of our Android release report. If you missed part one, you can catch up on it here. In this report, I had expected to write about sales numbers and piracy rates but given the series of mind-boggling events this past week, this will have to wait a little. After…

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Well…F-word google.
U guys r doing an awesome job.
I am really looking forward to Tavern Keeper and am gonna surely buy it.
Stay positive.:blush:

Well done google, this is the first time I ever heard of this happening, really google, why…

You guys are brilliant game devs with simple ideas and I bought game dev tycoon on pc and played it for hours and made a massive company then I heard it will be out for mobile and I had to get it.
I did and play it everyday for up to 30 mins a time while traveling and got a medium business atm but my point is google should not be able to delete reviews without someone looking at them first or letting the devs delete them. For an example the devs should pick if they want to handle the reviews or let google handle them when they put a game on the store.

I wanted to ask is this happening on the App Store for apple or is it google play store only and you should put an event in the game for both OS about this issue to make the players aware and joke about it.


How about if Google removes reviews of the play time is less than a specific amount? My glowing review was removed but I had about 10 mins game play. Just enough to see the awesomeness.

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Wow that’s extremely disheartening… I just checked and my review seems to be up still thankfully. Hopefully google fixes the issue and adds back in the real reviews that were falsely removed… but knowing Google i wouldn’t count on it…
However that being said the game plays amazingly well on Android so i’m sure the 5 star reviews will keep climbing again :slight_smile: Keep up the great work GHG!

This is just stupid of google.

You guys are awesome. And i have never had so much fun playing a game that cost me 5 bucks.
I even bought it for friends and also on multiple platforms to be able to play and share this beautiful game.

Please keep up the good work. I hope something happens to rectify this, because reviews does have a lot to say when buying stuff.

Reddit discussion here:

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The other day I decided to try to cut down on work by using machine learning to classify 600 lines of data in three categories. After I fed it previously categorized training data and tested it on a smaller subset of already classified data, it told me it was 80% accurate. I realized after applying it to the real data that one of the category made up 80% of the training data so the algorithm decided if I put every single answer as that il get 80% accuracy and that’s as accurate as I’m going to get.

It seems the less people know about ml and AI the more they think these are magic buttons that will do all the work for you. Don’t get me wrong they will one day but taking their results as blind faith is wrongheaded.

This is just stupid. I have loved this game since it was first released. Great game to pick up and play just to relax. My review wasnt removed but I did notice that any review that mentioned Steam is gone. Does Google Play consider Steam a direct competitor? I only mentioned PC in my review. Just food for thought. Keep it up guys!

How about give instead 4 Stars with a comment why?

I’m thinking keywords like steam are the reason most reviews are vanishing. Especially since a lot of us own the steam version and are directly comparing the two versions. Google tends to go overboard with the automatic review ‘culling.’ Although I haven’t heard of such a large % being removed before. Tweaked my review to specifically mention steam to see if it vanishes at some point.


I was going to say the exact same thing. The algorithm may look at play time to review rating and any less than x amount of time that gives a perfect 5 typically aren’t a valid review and must be fake. Perhaps they need to send out an email asking everyone to wait a few days and play the game for an hour or so before reviewing (and maybe saying the same things as their previous review said) and see what happens.

This is very disappointing. I’ve never seen a 5.0 rated game before. Google has some questionable algorithms throughout their products. You can get effectively “ghosted” or “shadowbanned” if your content offends people/gets reported. It’s worse than a ban, because you are screaming into the void, thinking other people can see your content.

Luckily my Google review [5/5] for Game Dev Tycoon has not been removed.

Engadet just did a write up on this. Hopefully if it gets more attention Google will address the issue.

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I’m coming to this conversation a little late but Google is doing something similar with YouTube as well. Ratings and comments are being mysteriously deleted with no explanation. Also, a lot of the YouTube sponsored videos get hit with dislikes because the community is protesting their censorship and people within the community that monitor that activity report the ‘dislike’ counter would magically reset every handful of minutes so the YouTube sponsored content was never disliked more than liked. Other content creators report comments and ratings being shown on their creator page for videos, however when they access that content from a separate account or as a not logged in, anonymous user, the number of ratings and comments are disproportionately lower than what is showed on the content creator page.

This isn’t a conspiracy because we are being actively censored by the biggest information conglomerate in the world (Google). Whether it is actively done by their employees or by their AI algorithms is irrelevant because either way it is happening and they are responsible.

I bought this game about seven years ago on Android…

Hell, KairoSoft even has a demo.

I don’t know what you’re whining about. I bet you have a beard.

I’ll take this as a really really idiotic way to ask why there is no demo for the mobile version in which case I’m happy to report that we plan to have one.

A demo for Android? Sounds alright.

Just make sure it’s not a Full game with the Label saying “Your Game Trial has ended, Pay the Full Version” after 3 minutes of playing.

That’ll just make Pirates even easier for them to get the latest version. Or something similar to that.

Maybe like the PC version, just a small version of the game, 4 topics, can’t move offices