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Cheating the App Store?

08-25-2009, 10:50 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: At the moment Calgary AB, Canada
Posts: 48
Cheating the App Store?

I came across this article this morning and thought I would share it with the rest of you.

http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2009/08/...ch-sharebutton

We all know things like this have been going on since the start of the app store, and most would agree that it hurting the developers (and in relation the games as well).

I have heard of developers posting their own reviews, but hiring a PR agency to it for you is seems pretty crazy.

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08-25-2009, 10:59 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: 31.560499, -111.904128
Posts: 7,471
Interesting.
I have seen quite a few apps which look like they have many shill reviews, but I wondered how they got so many of the shill reviews. Now I know.


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08-25-2009, 01:10 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC USA
Posts: 199
Honestly this is why, if a game I think blows has a high rating I'm more apt to give it 0 stars rather than judge it fairly. No it's not really fair but if i think it sucks that much it's rating can't be legit.

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08-25-2009, 04:21 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,467
Well, I can understand a lousy developer like Publisher X cheating (Zen Pinball, anyone?), but IUGO?? Now, that surprises and disturbs me!

I'm glad the article came out, along with the offenders. Will definitely make me look at the reviews a little more carefully...
08-25-2009, 06:17 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 734
Quote:
Originally Posted by gekkota View Post
Well, I can understand a lousy developer like Publisher X cheating (Zen Pinball, anyone?), but IUGO?? Now, that surprises and disturbs me!

I'm glad the article came out, along with the offenders. Will definitely make me look at the reviews a little more carefully...

We worked with Reverb briefly from December 2008 to March 2009. Out of our 8 titles on the App Store, they worked on one; Toy Bot 3. We had no knowledge of the supposed juked reviews. We decided to part ways with Reverb as we simply could not afford them.
08-25-2009, 06:36 PM
#6
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: The 3rd Rock from the Sun
Posts: 994
Although its probably true, there are some inconsistencies in that article.

1. It says that Reverb charge the client $0.75 per app download. At least 1 of those games is only $0.99 thus with Apple's 30% cut the dev makes a loss!
2. If Reverb had interns doing this, and assuming those listed in the table are their interns why would some of them only post reviews of 3 or 4 of the games? Surely if you're making all this effort to "fix" reviews and such, you'd at least get all the positive reviews up you can?
3. It would be a horrible task to try and manage - setting up each iTunes account - does that require a unique credit card? Either way you'd have to buy a copy of the game in order to review it.
4. In the quoted document, the writer has removed sections he deemed irrelevant. Is that simply irreverent to make his point in the article?

I'm not defending Reverb at all, but the article is just inconsistent. Like IUGOME just said, I don't know how any of the smaller devs could afford this kind of service at that price.

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08-26-2009, 09:20 AM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Portsmouth, VA. U.S.A.
Posts: 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by nizy View Post
1. It says that Reverb charge the client $0.75 per app download. At least 1 of those games is only $0.99 thus with Apple's 30% cut the dev makes a loss!
The article mentions the price was from a client proposal, it is possible the amount charged varies depending on the cost of the game represented.

Quote:
2. If Reverb had interns doing this, and assuming those listed in the table are their interns why would some of them only post reviews of 3 or 4 of the games? Surely if you're making all this effort to "fix" reviews and such, you'd at least get all the positive reviews up you can?
Yes, however using a 'random sampling' of interns is a better way not to get caught (which they still did) if you use all your interns all the time, it makes it more suspicious.

Quote:
3. It would be a horrible task to try and manage - setting up each iTunes account - does that require a unique credit card? Either way you'd have to buy a copy of the game in order to review it.
Buying a copy of a game, that you're already getting a kickback on, and then using the review to sell your client even more games, means your company makes even more money. Yeah, I'd say getting 5 copies of a game in order to review it is worth it to them.

Quote:
4. In the quoted document, the writer has removed sections he deemed irrelevant. Is that simply irreverent to make his point in the article?
I can't really talk on this point, however it could be they were just... irrelevant to the article as they didn't deal with marketing on the app store, but instead dealt with marketing in magazines, etc.

Quote:
I'm not defending Reverb at all, but the article is just inconsistent. Like IUGOME just said, I don't know how any of the smaller devs could afford this kind of service at that price.
I understand the cost issue, however as I mentioned above, the 'price' from the article was from a quote, and could represent a game at a higher cost from $0.99.

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08-26-2009, 11:28 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: little town of bethlehem
Posts: 431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkRugged View Post
I came across this article this morning and thought I would share it with the rest of you.

http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2009/08/...ch-sharebutton

We all know things like this have been going on since the start of the app store, and most would agree that it hurting the developers (and in relation the games as well).

I have heard of developers posting their own reviews, but hiring a PR agency to it for you is seems pretty crazy.
Why do people continue to QQ over this? Is trading promo codes for reviews a better practice?

Who cares?

The appstore itself is founded upon shoddy premises. Top apps ranked by units pushed instead of income generated.

Bitch about that and sound at least a little original?

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08-26-2009, 04:39 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0mah View Post
Why do people continue to QQ over this?
I was wondering the same thing. Who really cares how a publisher allocates it's advertising budget? With, of course, the exception of Sony:

08-27-2009, 03:28 AM
#10
interesting... this begets one question though:

does that mean all the "new and noteworthy" or "hot apps" or general app store exposure is only determined by the number of reviews one gets? I always thought it was basically a human determined process.

Cause just getting fake reviews being teh factor to get notices seems ... well... wrong somehow. Cause then anyone can always just buy their way to the top 100 (if you do the math right).

Does anyone know if there is there any actually connection between number of reviews (fake or not) and getting exposure? if so, how come I see some same day release in new noteworth and have like only a few reviews.


ie: what is the REAL benefit of doing tons of fake reviews?


that sux if its true... sucks all around. for developers (without massive budgets) and for users who only get to see apps with big budgets to pay for reviews.