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  #1  
Old 04-14-2014, 02:55 PM
TechnoNecro TechnoNecro is offline
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Default Clones flooding the app store

Aside from bots flooding the app store clones are another issue.

Temple run and angry bird clones were fine since some of them tried to add new mechanics, but ever since Flappy Bird and 2048, all we see is copy and pasted clones with a different skin on them, barely any of them try to do anything new. To make it worst the numbers of their clones compared to temple run, angry birds and even candy crush is 4-5 times higher. Minecraft clones are little less and minecraft themed.

This is a problem mainly in the free section of the app store especially Google play

Splashy fish literally took the Cheep Cheep from Mario. The creator of splashy fish also made a bunch of flappy bird clones like jumpy jack, but someone decided to literally take Jumpy Jack and instead put him on a surfboard, the game doesn't even work multiple people complain about it and they get ads slapped in their face while trying to play. Which also leads to these clones not actually being functional games but just malware ad traps.

I'm starting to question the "review" process of app store and google play. It seems nothing but robots are in charge of it, you'd think with all the money they have and the reputations they want to keep they'd hire some actual humans to actually look into the apps.
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  #2  
Old 04-14-2014, 04:29 PM
Destined Destined is offline
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There is basically no review process on amazon and pretty much anything goes until someone complains.

It isn't apples job to police the clones. I agree that I have no problem with clones who offer a little more/different. Afterall lots of games are clones of mechanics.

While I somewhat agree, I think clones should only be taken down if infringing. I doubt many of the clones get significant downloads.
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  #3  
Old 04-15-2014, 05:15 AM
Pixelosis Pixelosis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Destined View Post
There is basically no review process on amazon and pretty much anything goes until someone complains.

It isn't apples job to police the clones. I agree that I have no problem with clones who offer a little more/different. Afterall lots of games are clones of mechanics.

While I somewhat agree, I think clones should only be taken down if infringing. I doubt many of the clones get significant downloads.
It's really up to the store holder to decide of the vision and enforcing adequate rules.
By hammering on the clones, the message would be clear: make an effort. In the end, "developers" (who have more to do with burger swappers) would be forced to *think* about better and new mechanics.

It's way too late and the leeway they gave to developers, perhaps by being afraid to be doubletaken by the competitor in the race for more apps, has led all of them to let any crap get inside.

Summary:
A flood of crapware that makes shovelware look refined and exquisite in comparison. A bloated market with many hardware manufacturers and for some of them, allowing their OS to be spread to an impressive amount of varying systems with little difference in their software offer...
Apple, Google and Microsoft are strong, but it might turn into a redux of 1983 for the mobile market.


Please, make it happen. For the sake of sanity (and money).
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  #4  
Old 04-15-2014, 06:26 AM
Destined Destined is offline
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It already takes over a week for Apple to approve so more barriers would increase that.

Anyway I am all for free markets and the power that gives people to publish. I don't want apple turning into steam green light.

Just concentrate on your own products than worrying about getting other peoples substandard products out of the app store.
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  #5  
Old 04-15-2014, 03:08 PM
M.O. M.O. is offline
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Default The Stores

I agree that it is ridiculous what is allowed on the various stores these days. In the big picture all that it does is diminish the perceived quality of whatever brand The store is on. If Apple took a "steam" approach and had a finely curated marketplace that only had quality software I think that everyone would be better off.
For some reason though it seems that all of these various marketplaces think that more is better, when this is so far from the truth. When I hear that store X has a million apps, my first thought is how many of them are well designed worth while pieces of software and how many are shovelware that somebody churned out during a slow afternoon?
I think that eventually this will change but more than likely it won't be for awhile.
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  #6  
Old 04-15-2014, 04:44 PM
OnlyJoe OnlyJoe is offline
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So if you think of this from apples point of view its a bit different. Apple have to keep two groups of people happy, 1. the customers who download apps, 2. the developers who make the apps. As it currently is, I don't think consumers are really complaining too much yet about the number of clones, maybe they will in the future if this keeps growing, then apple will probably try to do something. Apple already controls their main page, so most consumers are not seeing the number of clones. And in the case of flappy bird it seems that most consumers enjoyed the clones.

So the one person who is annoyed with the clones are small time indie developers, because their games are getting lost. So what can apple do:
1. They could try and regulate the store even more. But this is hard, and makes the review process much more subjective. Its not just, does your app meet a set of defined rules. The reviewer is kind of deciding it your app is good or not, and who you get reviewing your game will make a large difference. Which could well make developers feel more annoyed, that actually solving the cloning problem. All the "That game got in, why not mine" comments they would get.

2. They could push up the margin for entry. Maybe charge a fee for every app listed. This is going to be the more likely step in the future if they are forced to do something about the problem. Doing this forces a developer to decide if their game is going to be profitable before launching it, which will reduce the crap apps from the app store. It is the main reason why you don't get that many crap clones on xbox etc, because the cost for entry is much higher. This has two down sides, it stops creativity because the risk becomes too high. But more importantly, it pushes developers to make games for other platforms first. If the cost went up, everyone would try their game on android first and then make it for iPhone only if it is successful. And as a result, probably pushes people towards buying an android over an iPhone.

3. The green light idea, like steam has. But in this you need a final reward that the community can give. Which in the case of steam is getting on the list of games on steam. This kind of works because you are actually able to get the game in a different way first, not being on steam doesn't stop you distributing the game, it just makes it slower. So the small group of fans of the game download alpha versions from the developers website, try out the game, and vote the game up on steam. But what happens in a market place where every download is already controlled by the app store? And it actively tries to prevent people from putting alpha versions of games on it? In this case you would have to submit games before they can be voted on, and so we just end up with something similar to what we have now.

4. Some how increase the avenues for app discovery. Basically the main reason people are annoyed about the number of clones is because they hide good apps. A few years back, a game could be released on the app store and make it to the top just because it was a good game. This is probably because it actually sat in the new section for a good number of days, and would be the only app that showed up when searched. Now it will be in the new section for about 1 day, and in a high position for only a matter of hours. And when searched for, it may be listed in position 10. So basically no one finds it. This means developers need to find other ways to promote their games outside of just using the app store mechanics, which costs money. Or they need to try and game the system in a white hat or black hat way, much like searching for content on google.
What I am really hoping for is that some of the concepts in youtube might get added to the app store. Things like you can subscribe to a developer if you like their games, and whenever they release a new game it will show up in a feed on your home page. I think we will see more kind of cross promotion networks between developers, where smaller groups with similar level games combine to try and increase their cross promotion power.
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  #7  
Old 04-15-2014, 06:27 PM
POLYGAMe POLYGAMe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.O. View Post
I agree that it is ridiculous what is allowed on the various stores these days. In the big picture all that it does is diminish the perceived quality of whatever brand The store is on. If Apple took a "steam" approach and had a finely curated marketplace that only had quality software I think that everyone would be better off.
For some reason though it seems that all of these various marketplaces think that more is better, when this is so far from the truth. When I hear that store X has a million apps, my first thought is how many of them are well designed worth while pieces of software and how many are shovelware that somebody churned out during a slow afternoon?
I think that eventually this will change but more than likely it won't be for awhile.
Agree 100%.

As for the clones everywhere, yeah it sucks. One team made a clone of my latest game. They saw it, liked it, ripped it off and made a template so others can do the same. My game hadn't even had the time to make its mark before it got "stolen". Around a dozen clones of MY IDEA have now appeared in the various App Stores, thanks to this "template" that the developer has been bragging about being really successful. What's worse than making a clone? Making a clone, then on selling it to other "developers".

I'm seriously considering jumping ship to the likes of GameStick and Ouya... the amount of shovelware in Apple and Google's app stores is insane. It's clear that they really don't give a crap about the quality of anything in there. And to be honest, selling to a larger percentage of a smaller audience is probably more financially viable. Though I'm not a fan of IAP, so Ouya is probably not the right place for me
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  #8  
Old 04-15-2014, 10:29 PM
TechnoNecro TechnoNecro is offline
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What game was it that got cloned POLYGAMe?

[URL="http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/08/how-app-store-grifters-clone-an-overnight-success-to-make-a-quick-buck/"]Here is a story of a developer getting screwed by clones and apple dragging their legs to do anything about it[/URL]
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  #9  
Old 04-16-2014, 02:46 AM
Destined Destined is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoNecro View Post
That is theft not cloning!

I try not to mix them up. Stealing art and assets is totally different to copying a mechanic. One is legally okay, the other is theft.
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2014, 03:33 AM
Pixelosis Pixelosis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.O. View Post
I agree that it is ridiculous what is allowed on the various stores these days. In the big picture all that it does is diminish the perceived quality of whatever brand The store is on. If Apple took a "steam" approach and had a finely curated marketplace that only had quality software I think that everyone would be better off.
That's true, excepted for the fact that Greenlight has had way too many crap games validated.
There even was that one game, what was its name?, which put Valve in a very bad light.
And now they're going to ditch Greenlight, only to do what? Go the App Store way?
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