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iPhone App Free to Paid Switch App Store Boost Question

08-10-2009, 09:07 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: California
Posts: 28
iPhone App Free to Paid Switch App Store Boost Question

Hey guys,

Been a long time lurker in the forums and finally decided to partake in the fun you guys all have here...especially since we are working on our game just like many of you...

Anyway, I was reading some info on how people will initially launch a game free, wait until a decent number of people download it, and then switch it over to a paid app. The thought being that their download numbers will seem much more impressive than others and thereby giving them a higher ranking in the app store...my question is did Apple close this loop-hole or not or does it not even work at all? Seems like it could be pretty unfair.

Thanks!
08-10-2009, 10:18 PM
#2
Yes, they closed that loophole long ago.

--Eric

Realmaze3D on the App Store
Realmaze3Free: 3 free mazes (a taste of Realmaze3D)

08-10-2009, 11:35 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: California
Posts: 28
Cool...thanks for the info...I've been so out of it
08-11-2009, 01:01 AM
#4
However, the review count stands. There's no distinction between paid and free reviews/stars.
08-11-2009, 05:29 AM
#5
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric5h5 View Post
Yes, they closed that loophole long ago.

--Eric
Did this ever work? Firstly, total downloads is almost meaningless - they use a sliding window. If Apple used total downloads, the top games would probably be locked in their spots forever.

Secondly, Apple already penalizes free games - they give an artificial boost to pay games when computing relative popularity. Card Shark Deluxe is listed as being "more popular" than the free version, despite the free version getting 10 times the downloads on a daily basis (as one would expect).
08-11-2009, 06:57 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 515
As far as review go, be aware that a free game will have an overall lower review score, as people download the game, play for 10 seconds and then delete it and rate it 1 star.

I saw about a half point drop in the averages from my games when I made them free.

Free games will also attract reviews saying stuff like "This game is ok for free", which may have a negative impact on sales when you start charging.
08-11-2009, 01:12 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Did this ever work? Firstly, total downloads is almost meaningless - they use a sliding window. If Apple used total downloads, the top games would probably be locked in their spots forever.

Secondly, Apple already penalizes free games - they give an artificial boost to pay games when computing relative popularity. Card Shark Deluxe is listed as being "more popular" than the free version, despite the free version getting 10 times the downloads on a daily basis (as one would expect).
It did work around 7 months ago, you can look up Fuzzle (there was an article about it a long time ago, I don't know if it is still online) Back then if you switched from free to paid your download count was not reset, so if you got 10,000 free downloads yesterday then switched to paid it looks like you got 10,000 paid downloads. They have changed it now so when you switch your download window count is reset.
08-12-2009, 04:24 AM
#8
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: California
Posts: 28
Thanks for the great info guys (that's why I like this forum)... So it sounds like the biggest way Apple shut down this artificial boost trick was by reseting your download count once you make the switch from free to paid. But the number of reviews carries over (though you might get dinged from lower ratings by virtue of being a free game).
08-12-2009, 04:25 AM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: California
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Secondly, Apple already penalizes free games - they give an artificial boost to pay games when computing relative popularity. Card Shark Deluxe is listed as being "more popular" than the free version, despite the free version getting 10 times the downloads on a daily basis (as one would expect).
When you say "more popular" are you referring to the rank in the App store?
08-12-2009, 04:49 AM
#10
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stroffolino View Post
Card Shark Deluxe is listed as being "more popular" than the free version, despite the free version getting 10 times the downloads on a daily basis (as one would expect).
When I sort your games by "Most Popular" in US iTunes. It show the free version 1st, Deluxe, then Karate Fighter Lite.