★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Stealthbomber and Snot Rocker - sudden debut at top 10 US games ?

04-27-2010, 05:53 AM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 594
Stealthbomber and Snot Rocker - sudden debut at top 10 US games ?

I guess most devs have noticed the sudden "success" of Stealhbomber premium a few days ago. Really strange success - an app that was half a year old and had just 2 reviews (both 1-stars...) has suddenly appeared in AppStore in Top 10 and within hours was at Top 1 paid games and Top 5 grossing

Additionally, the game was NOT featured in any way and was NOT visible in ANY ranking other than US AppStore

How did that happen ? Check out the beautiful ranking, straight from TopAppCharts:



http://www.topappcharts.com/36516647...er-premium.php

A few days have pased and what do I see in the ranking ? Oh, a new game by jirbo ! This time it's called Snot Rocket the Game and it suddenly appears (you guessed it...) at top 5 spot !



http://www.topappcharts.com/34065382...t-the-game.php

Again - game is half a year old, has just a single review, no lite version and no visible promotion anywhere

I thought that Stealthbomber was a bug. But what kind of bugs happen twice to the same developer...

What's going on here ? Anyone knows ?

Last edited by MikeSz_spokko; 04-27-2010 at 07:57 AM.
04-27-2010, 06:26 AM
#2
One possible scheme is using tons of their own iTunes account to buy this apps. Suppose I have a few thousands unique iTunes account and used them all to buy this app @0.99 at the same time it'll got up high in the chart. However that'll cost a few thousand dollars though

04-27-2010, 06:31 AM
#3
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Derby, UK.
Posts: 161
Do buying gifts count towards sales? Maybe they bought tones of gifts to get them high in the rankings.

Not sure how gifting works since I've not used it yet.

We Are Colin - Indie Games from Derby, UK. Facebook Twitter YouTube
Gravity Runner - Running game with Retro Graphics
Screw The Dealer + iSevens - Card Games -
WordSearch Rush - Featured by Apple - Available now
04-27-2010, 06:46 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Germany
Posts: 6,457
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveLev View Post
Do buying gifts count towards sales? Maybe they bought tones of gifts to get them high in the rankings.

Not sure how gifting works since I've not used it yet.

Nope, gifting doesn't count on sales.

Hi, you seemed to be lost on the Internets.
This is TouchArcade, where 2$ for a game is too much, 5$ is an outrage, and 10$ or more is putting sugar in their car tanks whilst killing puppies.
04-27-2010, 06:56 AM
#5
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 594
ok, so gifting is not an option

purchasing by themselves ? well, if you do that than why not give some fake reviews as well ? it would be like a botched job, right ?
04-27-2010, 07:04 AM
#6
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 21
There's a company that offers an interesting service: You register at their website, they choose an app for you, you have to buy this app, then you write a review, and once the review appears you'll get your money back. This gives you a free app. The developer pays the application and, if everything is well timed, gets exposure in the charts.

I received an ad mail from that company that offered this service to me as a developer. I guess what you see is a result of such a 'campaign', or some similar service.

I forwarded the mail to Apple but I guess they can hardly do anything about that.
04-27-2010, 07:11 AM
#7
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo View Post
There's a company that offers an interesting service: You register at their website, they choose an app for you, you have to buy this app, then you write a review, and once the review appears you'll get your money back. This gives you a free app. The developer pays the application and, if everything is well timed, gets exposure in the charts.

I received an ad mail from that company that offered this service to me as a developer. I guess what you see is a result of such a 'campaign', or some similar service.

I forwarded the mail to Apple but I guess they can hardly do anything about that.
But one game had 2 and the other just 1 review upon their sudden "appearance"...
04-27-2010, 07:21 AM
#8
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSz_spokko View Post
But one game had 2 and the other just 1 review upon their sudden "appearance"...
So it's probably a different service. All I want to say is: If you're willing to pay for 5000 downloads of your app, there is a way to do that. You don't have to create thousands of fake accounts, because there are enough people out there who are happy buy your app if they get their money back, thus the transactions will happen from legit accounts.
04-27-2010, 07:30 AM
#9
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo View Post
So it's probably a different service. All I want to say is: If you're willing to pay for 5000 downloads of your app, there is a way to do that. You don't have to create thousands of fake accounts, because there are enough people out there who are happy buy your app if they get their money back, thus the transactions will happen from legit accounts.
Ok, I get your point

However... Wouldn't you be able to find a trace of something like that via a google search ?

Wouldn't there be quite a few reviews ? After all - you'd expect at least some of the people who buy the game to leave a review and Stealhbomber has only 11 reviews...

As much as I'd like - I just can't see any "legal" way to produce such results...
04-27-2010, 07:48 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSz_spokko View Post
Ok, I get your point

However... Wouldn't you be able to find a trace of something like that via a google search ?

Wouldn't there be quite a few reviews ? After all - you'd expect at least some of the people who buy the game to leave a review and Stealhbomber has only 11 reviews...

As much as I'd like - I just can't see any "legal" way to produce such results...
You are right, if these were all legit purchases there would likely be quite a few more reviews.

They are obviously gaming the system by using a ton of iTunes accounts to buy up copies of their games. You can't pay for better advertising: give 99 cents per copy to Apple and get 70 cents back in your account. Do this several thousand times in 24 hours and you too can end up in the top 100 apps. There is nothing technically "illegal" about it. Morally and ethically bad, but not illegal.

I suspect Jirbo's testing out a service they plan to provide to others:
http://jirbo.com/inc/contact.php
Quote:
Looking for an app developer for a project? Want to drive downloads of your existing iPhone app? Inquiring about a job or internship? Or maybe you just want to let us know how much you enjoy one of our applications or games... just drop us a line.
Note the bolded statement (emphasis mine)...

--- ChronoSoft ---
Support your roguelikes! Play Rogue Touch today!
Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demons Reach --- Work in progress! Follow us on Twitter!