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App codes - best way to distribute

03-15-2011, 03:38 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,249
App codes - best way to distribute

I realize that a thread like this was opened in the promo code forum and the user who posted it really didn't use much tact when he approached the subject so it got locked.

However, I think the subject of promo codes being exposed to "lurkers" is a fair topic for discussion.

I'm not a developer (so maybe I shouldn't even be posting here), but I feel like it's an issue that developers have to deal with. The fact is that if 10 or so promo codes are put out in the promo code forum, they're usually gone in minutes if not quicker. And very few of them are "claimed", which leads one to believe that they are being taken by people who probably aren't even registered in this forum.

It may be an unfair assumption, but I'd say those "lurkers" are taking those codes, downloading the apps and you'll never hear a peep from them. No feedback to developers. No reviews. Probably not even a star rating.

I'm not writing this for my benefit, but to just acknowledge that there are many dedicated forum members who not only provide feedback on the apps they got codes for, but also are fairly dependable in writing reviews. So, it's just my 2 cents, but giving codes out via PM requests or to those who post that they want one and PM them one is the best win-win situation in most cases. Developers may even look to see how many posts people have before offering one to them.

At least to me, if I was a developer, the purpose of promo codes is really to get feedback from users on what they do and don't like about an app so developers can improve their games. Of course, reviews on iTunes (particularly good ones) help games get noticed and increase sales for developers who may never make it just because of the fierce competition on the iTunes store. I can't say that everyone who gets a code via PM is going to give feedback/reviews. But the chances are greater IMO.

So, in the end, I really think the best way to distribute is via PM. This is probably the most dedicated forum that I know of where end-users and developers get to talk, make suggestions for improvements and ask questions. What better population to favor those who are actually active.

I admit that I take promo codes from "lists", but always post when I have taken one. But I'm not a promo code whore who just takes them at will. I only take ones I think where the game looks promising and try to provide feedback and reviews.

When an entire list -- sometimes 50 or more -- is gone with the vast majority of codes being taken by lurkers and never claimed, it's a sad state of affairs for developers. I spend plenty on Apps and often review them. But if I get a promo code from a developer, there's little doubt that I will provide feedback and leave a review (sometimes leave out the review if I think the review will damage the developer's rep, when a game could be better with improvements).

Anyway, sorry for the rant and maybe this thread will get locked. But I do think developers need to realize the truth. Things shouldn't be free without the developers at least getting some positive or negative feedback.

Last edited by awp69; 03-15-2011 at 03:43 PM.
03-15-2011, 04:49 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 356
I agree asking people to PM the developer is the best way. I did this when I released a few codes, looking for feedback on my then newly-released game.

Some did give feedback, some did not. Those that did will be at the top of the list if I do the same with my next game.
03-16-2011, 06:10 AM
We've done codes via PM and from 10 codes, you'll probably get 5-6 reviews. I suspect that if you post them in the open forum, you'll get 1 or 2 at most.

The other great thing about offering them via PM is that you can talk to the users, and in some cases get excellent feedback. We've had a couple of people who came back with suggestions on how to improve the game, even though they didn't plan to review a game because they didn't like it.

In a store where there's no way of replying to the reviews and issues that get posted, the ability to have a dialog with your users and potential users is really invaluable!
03-16-2011, 07:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
Posts: 275
I've only released one game so far but asking users to PM or respond in the thread if they want a code seems to work best.

As said above, it leads to great conversation / feedback with individuals in PMs.

Game: No Credit? No Problem!
Developer: Razoric.com
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03-16-2011, 09:58 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 8,249
Well, definitely from the looks of all those posts, it isn't a new rant. I just wanted to start an intelligent conversation on the point. I agree that if there was a way to prevent lurkers, they'd simply join to get the codes. However, if you also take into consideration the posts that have been made by members who get the codes (which understandably would take some time on the developers part), then you'll get an idea of whether you'll actually get some constructive feedback or not.

I agree with some of the posts here that some great conversation can come following a promo code PM. I've had conversations telling developers how they might be able to improve a game, particularly if I'm reluctant to post a negative review prior to any update that might address those issues. I think it's only fair that the developer gets a chance to address criticism.