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  #1  
Old 01-22-2010, 12:48 PM
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MindJuice MindJuice is offline
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Default freeappaday.com is NOT free for developers!!!

As an indie developer, I've been in contact with many other indie developers that I have met through the TA community and through other sites.

I feel that there is a spirit of camaraderie and common purpose between so many of us, and I try to help out others whenever I can. I don't ask for money or anything in return. In fact right now I am working on adding free ads into one of my games for two other indie developers.

As indie developers we struggle to get ourselves noticed and make a living doing what we love. Most of us are not making very much money, even those among us that manage to earn enough to make a living at it.

I recently considered offering my first game, Charmed, free for a day to get a larger base of players to whom I might be able to market my upcoming games in the future.

I saw the number of downloads generated by games that were featured in the Appvent Calendar website over Christmas, and I had heard about FreeAppaDay.com, where a developer could have their game featured for a day and be able to garner 100,000 or more free downloads.

I contacted them to find out what information they needed from me and was rather shocked to get their reply, which among other things, contained the following:

Quote:
It seems like your game meets our submission criteria, We are currently running a January discount for qualified apps for our four remaining February dates. We're charging $600 instead of our regular $1200 before we move on to our March Campaign Planning. Your app will be promoted for 24H and once it switches to paid it will remain on our site for an entire month!
So you want ME, the developer who is giving away his hard work for FREE to pay YOU to let me do it? Meanwhile, you earn additional money from ads of other games on your website (I was asked to pay $250 for one day of advertising on the Appvent Calendar, which I declined to do, but I imagine similar rates apply for this site), and the affiliate fee of 5% on any sales you get through those ads, AND you have a place to advertise your own games to 100,000 users a day.

At $600-$1200/day, I wonder how many apps are told that they DON'T meet the submission criteria? "What color is your money? Green? OK, you're in!"

On the one hand, I can't help but admire the creative thinking that went into this concept. Making $18,000+ per month off the sweat of the backs of others with next to no investment or effort on your part. That is smart.

Moreover though, I find it disgusting and appalling that the people behind ICS Mobile (not sure who else is involved) feel the need to exploit a group of developers, who are already struggling, in order to benefit themselves.

The fact that OpenFeint is involved with this is even more disturbing to me. They have a great record of working with indie developers to help get us noticed and provide us with an awesome SDK, so I am somewhat shocked that they would be involved with what I consider to be nothing more than a greedy cash grab. I hope that OpenFeint is not making any money off of this, but I will be contacting Jason & Eros directly to ask them for clarification on their position and whether they condone the actions of freeappaday.com.

Anyway, I think it is clear that I absolutely refuse to participate in a site like this, and I hope that other indie developers on this board will join me in this boycott. Spread the word!

I am also considering starting a similar website that offers the same service and exposure for FREE to give us an zero-cost alternative for those that do choose to make their apps free.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback from others on this forum as well. Do you agree with me? Disagree? Think I need to eat more fiber?
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2010, 01:30 PM
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nattylux nattylux is offline
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Well, they're charging you for their marketing services. I agree that $600 seems high, unless they can show me a case study where their service launched an app into the top Top X games/apps.

Just because a spirit of camaraderie exists doesn't mean people are obligated to provide you with their services for free
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:38 PM
jak56 jak56 is offline
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what?
that's despicable!!!!!! was the appventcalendar free?
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:46 PM
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bravetarget bravetarget is offline
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theres no doubt you can make money off distributing a free app.

theres almost always a price tag on exposure, and apparently this website has enough traffic to put large numbers on that tag. all in all, developers seem to be buying it o_O
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:47 PM
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MindJuice MindJuice is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nattylux View Post
Well, they're charging you for their marketing services. I agree that $600 seems high, unless they can show me a case study where their service launched an app into the top Top X games/apps.

Just because a spirit of camaraderie exists doesn't mean people are obligated to provide you with their services for free
No it doesn't, but in my opinion there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to behave in any community.

I look to OpenFeint as an example of an appropriate way to behave. They found a way to provide an incredibly useful service that took probably a thousand times as much effort as putting up freeappaday.com, and monetized it a way that makes them money and is free for developers.

Someone who has chosen to make his game free for a day is probably already struggling. Anyone or any company that comes up with a business model that effectively kicks a person when they are down is not someone I want to be involved with in the slightest, let alone support them financially.

To me it is the same thing as companies that gouge consumers in the wake of natural disasters. Like charging $20 for a bottle of water instead of $1.

Technically they are just providing their services to me, but they are doing so in a despicable manner.

Imagine if I had charged developers for listing their apps on appRelief.com. Do you think anyone would have had a problem with that? Why should I provide my marketing services to those developers for free?
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2010, 01:53 PM
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CommanderData CommanderData is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nattylux View Post
Well, they're charging you for their marketing services. I agree that $600 seems high, unless they can show me a case study where their service launched an app into the top Top X games/apps.

Just because a spirit of camaraderie exists doesn't mean people are obligated to provide you with their services for free
I'm on the fence about this... Without developers willing to give away their game for free in a sort of "exclusive arrangement" with that site, they would have no traffic, no eyeballs, no nothing. That means they need developers, and ones with decent quality games. Perhaps much more than they need $600. That site must be running on a home server as it's already going on/offline due to capacity problems, so that cash is certainly not going towards any big hosting bill they need to pay for.

Unfortunately the benefit they tout of having your game visible on the site for the next month is not going to net you any sales. People go to sites like that to look for FREE stuff, not something that they want to pay for. Even worse, you're then branded as one of "them"... the people who will eventually give their game away for free if only you wait it out. So potentially even more lost sales there
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:04 PM
dogmeat dogmeat is offline
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I think MJ fails to see the marketing potential of the site as well as the fact that they have high bandwidth and maintenance costs associated with running such a site.

Besides, isn't 600$ a good low number to gamble potential sales on?

You need to also remember you're dealing in business now, you might be an indie dev, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't speak the language of business: money
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:05 PM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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Has anyone actually contacted the developers who have already been featured to find out if it worked in their favour? If they all come back and say sales went up the very next day and they ended up sitting on a huge profit then fair enough, it seems like a decent enough scheme.

The main flaw being that it's still not guaranteed. Some developers just happen to make games that aren't very popular, no matter how many people know if it's existence. Just because a "good" game has the potential to make money with this idea doesn't mean they do too, it's still the same gamble you get just by having an app on the store. If you feel advertisment is the way to go why not just use the money to place a banner on TA and keep charging for your game?

Either way, I think we need to hear back from some of the devs and get both sides of the story.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
Technically they are just providing their services to me, but they are doing so in a despicable manner.
You are paying them for advertising, they are providing you with (potentially) tons of downloads. Like it or not, the App Store is a business for a lot of people, not just a fun hobby filled with high fives and fist bumps with other developers.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:08 PM
dogmeat dogmeat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
You are paying them for advertising, they are providing you with (potentially) tons of downloads. Like it or not, the App Store is a business for a lot of people, not just a fun hobby filled with high fives and fist bumps with other developers.
you're even better off if you are on the first of the month, after that day your app is back to full price yet it's still listed on that site for the rest of the month. that's 29-30 days worth of advertising!
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