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is this common? (review sites)

08-03-2011, 01:08 PM
#1
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 94
is this common? (review sites)

I've had two responses so far from soliciting materials to editors for my game in hopes of preview/review.

One was from a small/ relatively unknown site. The response stressed that there would be 'no charge' for the review (I know, we've been over this on this forum a few times now) but asked repeatedly about placing a permalink to their site from mine. This takes me back to the days of shareware sites telling you you've got a 5 Gold Star rating and why not put their ad banner on your website. If a site is small enough to care / benefit from inbound traffic from the likes of me, is it worth the exposure?

The other was from a much bigger site (one of the 'big ones' you are likely to think of) but the response came from the sales team, saying 'looks good, i've forwarded it to editorial' and asking if I want to discuss advertising options. There was no insinuation here of it affecting editorial decisions, but again - is this a common thing to see?

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08-03-2011, 01:31 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 184
Yes.
It gets frustrating after a while though...just gotta keep fighting through.

08-03-2011, 01:40 PM
#3
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by pchukwura View Post
Yes.
It gets frustrating after a while though...just gotta keep fighting through.
Thanks pchukwura. It is disheartening to see that 'Re: ...' from a major website and open it to read they want to sell you ads Of course that's what their business is, but I'd think the only ad buys that are significant to them or the buyers come from companies with big budgets who are looking to saturate the market with brand awareness, not indies who are expecting a few banner impressions to have any chance of recovering the cost.

Looking forward to Goop btw.

Edited: how did i miss the release?? buying now

Games delivered fresh.

See AMAZING MeatBot! or visit our Dev Blog
08-03-2011, 01:51 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmangames View Post
Thanks pchukwura. It is disheartening to see that 'Re: ...' from a major website and open it to read they want to sell you ads Of course that's what their business is, but I'd think the only ad buys that are significant to them or the buyers come from companies with big budgets who are looking to saturate the market with brand awareness, not indies who are expecting a few banner impressions to have any chance of recovering the cost.

Looking forward to Goop btw.

Edited: how did i miss the release?? buying now
Ya, i've tried advertising in the past with previous apps, and typically the results weren't worth it as a small shop, as I think most folks (like my self) are trained to ignore ads, or they only pay attention to something with a big name or large brand presence.

That being said...eventually you'll get good feedback/communication with a larger publication.

Thanks for the support!, Ya we released yesterday, and I'm very excited! We've been marketing for a good 2+ weeks straight and plan on continuing marketing for the foreseeable future until we reach a reasonable goal and beyond!

I'll be sure to check out your game once available as well!!
08-03-2011, 02:49 PM
#5
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 16
Unfortunately it's just something that has to be done. I can't speak for the larger sites, but as someone that's recently set up a small app review site, getting those links or mentions can be beneficial.

I don't like suggesting that links or such like should be added to a site, especially not before a review (it just feels tacky and inconsiderate to the developer), but if I do review an app I'll normally ask the developer if they might be able to mention the site in some way once I've posted the review. It's not always successful, but it does help a tiny bit, so I have to do it. Building awareness of a site is quite important, and if consumers see links or mentions of my site in a few app descriptions or on developer websites, it's likely to make the site seem more reputable, thus making them more likely to visit it. That's how I see it, anyway.

Last edited by OliS; 08-03-2011 at 02:53 PM.
08-03-2011, 03:46 PM
#6
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Cherkasy, Ukraine
Posts: 75
I am also wondering on how to get a review on one of the "big" sites. Do they sell reviews as well?

Currently playing: Fruit Ninja, Plants vs. Zombies, Caribbean Treasures, Samurai, Solitaire
08-03-2011, 03:52 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: ΖΞN
Posts: 304
Yes it is common. But when you're starting out it's fair enough to give a mention to the other small guys who show at least some genuine interest. I added a good review url to my first app's description...and have just remembered that I forgot to add the "other" smaller review too, so I'll get onto that thanks! @OliS I agree that the website is different than the store description, I think a website would take more consideration before agreeing to link! Give it a test ;-)

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08-03-2011, 05:30 PM
#8
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,509
We struggled to get reviews from the big players for a long time. TA right here was the first, thanks guys, and I think that may have kicked a couple of others into gear.

Still being ignored by most of them though. I guess a game with only a million downloads isn't worth the airtime.

I'll link our website to anyone who gives us a good review, I mean why wouldn't I. However it's certainly unreasonable to expect someone to link to a fair or poor one.
08-03-2011, 06:09 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
We struggled to get reviews from the big players for a long time. TA right here was the first, thanks guys, and I think that may have kicked a couple of others into gear.

Still being ignored by most of them though. I guess a game with only a million downloads isn't worth the airtime.

I'll link our website to anyone who gives us a good review, I mean why wouldn't I. However it's certainly unreasonable to expect someone to link to a fair or poor one.
Ya, we're still waiting for a major blog to cover us as well. I think (hopefully) it's mainly time and patience.

With most of these sites though, they are probably inundated with hundreds of requests a week, as well as streamlined communications with the major studios who would bump the smaller guys to the next spot in(or off) the queue when they have news of their own, of course that's the conspiracy side of me speaking lol.
08-03-2011, 06:16 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by emotionrays View Post
I am also wondering on how to get a review on one of the "big" sites. Do they sell reviews as well?
I don't know what the "big" sites are that you have in mind. But AppAdvice, PocketGamer, Appolicious, and 148apps all reviewed Cavorite unprompted -- as in, I never sent them a code. A Touch Arcade reviewer also offered a review unprompted. No money ever changed hands though PG did solicit me to buy ads right after their review. (Update: Ooops, now that I look back, I did send a code to 148apps!)

Many non-US middle-tier sites wrote me asking for codes (iPhone Italia, AppsJP, et al). And probably about 1/3rd of sites, from middle to small, reviewed after I offered a code. Out of the 60 or so codes I gave out, about 30 reviews popped up -- not all from folks whom I gave codes.

Big site reviews definitely produce a sales bump. I had the (mis)fortune of having most major reviews days apart. I add the (mis) because it would have been a really nice bump to have them on the same day. Still it was awesome to be reviewed and I really appreciate everyone who covered the game.

So in short, you shouldn't be paying for reviews. The big sites are legit and make their money off ads -- no need for you to pay them.

Last edited by xenoclone; 08-03-2011 at 08:11 PM.