I don't want to point out certain games publicly to shame them, but I noticed some submissions with an absurd number of ratings that don't seem to match up. I have looked at every single game submission into this contest. There are a few submissions that seem to have the highest number of ratings out of all the games I've seen in the contest by an extremely LARGE margin, yet I can't seem to find any reason for this. The games have little mention here in the community, lack comments/feedback, and I googled them and couldn't find any press mentions or anything that would justify the large number of ratings. Even worse, I went to the Popular Games category on Itch and had to scroll down so far to even find the games, scrolling past dozens of other submissions to the contest that had way less ratings. If these games are so popular to have so many ratings, then why are they not at the top of the Popular Games page?
So what I'm deducing here is that there are games in the contest that possibly have fraudulent votes. I'm sure the judges will look into this but I wanted to bring it to the attention of the community as well. People will be discouraged to participate in the future if its so easy for someone to potentially cheat. Or there could be some other reason I haven't considered or accounted for to explain the votes and it's nothing but an overreaction on my part. Look and decide for yourselves.