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How do customers in different countries rate your free apps?

11-24-2009, 04:23 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 73
How do customers in different countries rate your free apps?

While we all know the rating system for free apps is completely screwed up, I've still noticed some strange differences in the way people from different countries do their ratings. I thought this might be interesting to some of you devs.

I've tallied up my ratings below for one particular app using AppReviewsFinder, sorted highest to lowest:
  • UK: 3.7 (48 ratings)
  • Australia: 3.6 (13 ratings)
  • USA: 3.3 (201 ratings)
  • Germany: 3.2 (32 ratings)
  • Sweden: 3.0 (6 ratings)
  • Italy: 2.9 (11 ratings)
  • Japan: 2.8 (5 ratings)
  • Canada: 2.8 (15 ratings)
  • Switzerland: 2.6 (5 ratings)
  • Spain: 2.5 (11 ratings)
  • France: 2.3 (13 ratings)
  • Netherlands: 2.0 (7 ratings)

Remember, all of these ratings are for exactly the same app!

English is obviously a factor here. I was expecting slightly lower ratings in non-English speaking countries because I haven't done any translations of the app. However, I don't think it's the only thing causing people in Europe to purposefully rate things lower. I'm not sure how to explain why Canadians rated the app lower than the Germans (I assume people in Quebec can understand English). I also can't figure out why Brits rate the game so highly, when just across the channel the French think it's le merde

Anyone seeing similar results?

David - Hackdirt
Smashed is out: iTunes (promo site)
Website: www.hackdirt.com
11-29-2009, 06:41 PM
We dont have any results like that as our App "Mobileguide Iceland" is not so heavily downloaded, but I am anyways always amazed by the amount of 1-Star-Ratings people give for free Apps...
And we can also see that the UK seems to be overall more positive than the US - interesting.

Developer of Ringo and Mobileguide Iceland

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11-29-2009, 09:28 PM
I don't have any free apps, but my average rating for written reviews inside the US is 4.0, and 2.3 outside. If a babelfish translation can be trusted, a lot of the worldwide reviews basically just say "I don't get it; what's the point?".

I'm not quite sure exactly what to make of it. I've always had a lot more luck in the foreign top-100 lists than in the US. A lot of it may be cultural differences, rather that app "quality." Like the same way that jokes often don't translate well.
11-30-2009, 12:38 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 15
This tool is geat! Thanks for sharing it. For the three apps we have on the store, nationality does not seem to change the types of responses. SET is a port of a cult card game, so ratings tend to come from fan love or fan pickiness. Fortress Frenzy seems to polarize players, and though I'd expect to see mostly 3-4 stars, it seems to be either 5 or the ocassional 1 star.

About the earlier comment, of being surprised at low ratings for 99 cent games. I think that pricing an app so low actually generates less goodwill from customers since it devalues it in their mind. They feel much less bad complaining about something that cost them very little. Paying more for a product encourages you to overplay it's value since you don't want to feel you made a poor purchasing choice. It's a little counter-intuitive, but I think the pattern rings true.

Fortress Frenzy - Arcade Strategy for 99 cents