Biggest FRAUD in the Top 25 Free Ranking

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by walterkaman, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. AnonDev

    AnonDev Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    12
    0
    0
    @Vovin - yes, responsibility is a bigger problem. You are absolutely right that customers are responsible for it. Maybe even more responsible than Apple

    But the point of this whole shitstorm is not to point fingers and scream "guilty". The point is to make AppStore a healthier market

    This cannot be achieved by educating customers for tons of reasons. From the fact that there's simply too many of them to the fact that the more mindless the crowd the bigger profits for Apple

    So focusing on customers is simply a dead end

    It's the same story with junk food. Of course it's customer's fault that they eat trash food. But the only way to stop it is by making it harder for them to buy it
     
  2. I'm also in disagreement with this. You can't blame the customers for spending their money. How many people are really going to do any research for a 99 cent purchase? If all customers were like this then your sales would be drastically affected, trust me. The store should be responsible for what they sell, just like if you were to walk into Walmart or BestBuy. Your customers should have trust in you and know that when they spend their money at your store they can feel comfortable knowing they won't be ripped off.

    Most devs will tell you people are already too hesitant to spend 99 cents.
     
  3. honkj

    honkj New Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    3
    0
    0
    the past is the past, Apple should simply make it impossible for devs to use such methods in the future... period... solves the problem directly.

    I read about these systems at least a year and more ago, why does Apple take so long to adjust their policies? well that is rhetorical, Apple is so big now, and getting overly structured that it is like turning the preverbal battle ship unfortunately...

    they need to work on being "small" again, in speed of reaction to customers and devs are customers too...
     
  4. stainboy

    stainboy Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    10
    0
    1
    Wage Monkey
    #84 stainboy, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
    thanks

    walterkaman, thanks for being honest. FWIW, i rarely if ever look at the "Top nnn" lists; instead i choose to find out about games and apps via other means.

    i'm not a developer but if i knew of one that was "gaming" the review system via bots & the like, i would not buy any of their apps. i do try to read reviews people have left and if there seems to be a high review rating to written review ratio--or the reviews look like they're pretty worthless (bots or paid reviews) i do a little more research on the app or give it a pass.
     
  5. Nullroar

    Nullroar Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2010
    1,138
    0
    36
    Software Rep, Rhyme Guru, Game Editor
    Munich
    While this is definitely a big issue, I'm not comfortable with using anonymous and unsubstantiated claims - basically hearsay - to impugn X or Y developer's success.

    Hopefully this is handled. It is an easy enough issue to identify account "bundles" associated with pre-popularity download spikes at the same time for suspected apps and banning these accounts / penalizing the developers.

    What WOULD be unfortunate would be if this company wished to exact revenge on a developer, it could use it's network to promote the developer's application, thus implicating the developer in the ensuing fallout.
     
  6. Vovin

    Vovin 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Nov 28, 2009
    6,514
    3
    38
    Germany
    #86 Vovin, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012

    The sad thing: there is no perfect system.
    In the same way as there is no uncrackable copy protection, no server that can't be hacked (and hundreds of other examples), Apple can't prevent some people exploiting the AppStore as long as there are customers with bucks to spend on their stuff. You can cure symptoms for a while, but if you don't remove the cause, the illness will spread again.

    Yes, I know it is impossible to change the customer base's behaviour, I already stated that, but the demand for a fraud-preventing Apple system is nonsense in the same way. Apple can give those people a harder time - until they come up with new exploits.

    Does Apple really care? Or do they just try to calm the situation? That would leave the question why Apple should rank ethics over money.
     
  7. Vovin

    Vovin 👮 Spam Police 🚓

    Nov 28, 2009
    6,514
    3
    38
    Germany
    #87 Vovin, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012

    The sad thing: there is no perfect system.
    In the same way as there is no uncrackable copy protection, no server that can't be hacked (and hundreds of other examples), Apple can't prevent some people exploiting the AppStore as long as there are customers with bucks to spend on their stuff. You can cure symptoms for a while, but if you don't remove the cause, the illness will spread again.

    Yes, I know it is impossible to change the customer base's behaviour, I already stated that, but the demand for a fraud-preventing Apple system is nonsense in the same way. Apple can give those people a harder time - until they come up with new exploits. This will happen again and again.
     
  8. Michael8

    Michael8 Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    6
    0
    0
    Well if most of the big company’s use this then I agree with you. I noticed some developers where such methods look likely as they aren't producing the quality for the ranking they get. Also on android the same apps are ranked way lower. But my impression is that some developers do it and not basically all of the big ones.

    The reason why I would prefer apple being now aggressive against such method even against big players is because otherwise it will flourish more and more over the next years. With this at some point the complete top ranking market would be owned by some big companies that can afford buying enough bots. Innovative games or new ideas would decrease drastically. At that point it would be way harder to start banning.
     
  9. It's neither the first time nor the last time. I've tweeted an app for that once, and after that, I saw its rank dropped. (Probably Apple took actions, like giving a warning or something.) But I didn't see any other punishment upon the developer. Besides, even there are punishments upon the developer, I doubt the effect. For a company, it's not difficult to use multiple developer ids.

    Apple is really slow to response to such things. Maybe they think they got the 30% share anyway. I think it's silly. No matter what app takes the position, they always get the 30% share. And their share will get bigger if the positions are given to right apps. And there will be better credit for both players and developers also.

    I also hate apps who get their positions only through ads. Even it's legitimate, it's not fair. Big money for bigger money, plays capitalism really well, and leave small indie groups little spaces. There are too many highly ranked boring apps indeed!
     
  10. WhistleBlower

    WhistleBlower New Member

    Feb 7, 2012
    1
    0
    0
    I am happy that this finally came out and people are talking freely about this.

    I know for a fact that these systems are being used and abused by many of the Top Companies and there are at least 3 companies offering these services in the market.

    Is Apple going to punish companies like Gameview, Big Fish, TinyCo, Funzio, SGN, Crowdstar,etc,etc for using and abusing these systems? They already acquired so many users using these schemes, that even if they don't use it anymore, they will have a clear advantage compared to other players that were honest. To not talk about the millions of dollars they already made thanks to this.

    Apple knows about this for a long time and nothing has been done for more than a year. These systems became more and more noticeable during the last couple of months when really popular apps that went from Paid to Free could not get to any relevant position in the Top 25 FREE in USA, when in the past they would jump immediately to number 1!

    Apple banned services like Tapjoy that even though allowed people to buy a position in the chart, had real downloads and real people downloading apps. That helped these services to flourish as all the other promotional methods became far too expensive for the usual ARPU you make out of a freemium game user.

    How is Apple going to do to stop this? As even tracking usage can be faked. The systems that are pushing these downloads are pretty smart, so it's not that easily spotted.
     
  11. PerfectDimension

    PerfectDimension Well-Known Member

    Finally

    At Perfect Dimension we're all delighted this has finally come out too. We've worked really hard for months to get our applications good rankings and it's incredibly frustrating when you are continually overtaken by apps which clearly wouldn't be successful without some underhand tactics.

    I also feel like developers who pay for FAAD are gaming the system, although I guess that is debatable as the downloads are genuine. Not sure what Apple's stance will be on services like this.

    Anyways, props to Apple, it's come a little late, but at least they are finally investigating it. Also thanks to walterkaman for starting this thread.

    Paul.
     
  12. Pretty simple, add a verification process in downloading: enter the letters you see in the pic. Every time you register a new Apple ID, do the same thing. And add a cool down period for a device which just registered an Apple ID.

    There still will be faked downloads, but things would become much better.
     
  13. MrBlue

    MrBlue Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    320
    0
    0
    iPhone Developer
    Believe it or not, there are already checks in place. Go ahead. Try creating 10 itunes accounts on your PC. You can't. But that won't stop a determined person.

    This is a $4bn business already. That kind of money attracts a lot of talent. The white and black hats.
     
  14. Really? But there's no verifications against robots. If the whole thing is done manually, I can only say... congratulations!
     
  15. MrBlue

    MrBlue Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
    320
    0
    0
    iPhone Developer
    If they can already bypass the checks in iTunes, then they can bypass whatever CAPTCHA you put in. A determined person will circumvent whatever you put in there. And with this kind of money on the line, there will be many very determined people.
     
  16. Maniacfive

    Maniacfive Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2009
    420
    0
    0
    Phone Sales
    Kent, UK
    My girlfriend said recently that the AppStore had lost its shine, as there used to be at the start interesting stuff if you browsed the top 25 but not anymore. Tbh I hadn't noticed as if I'm in the market for something new to try, I tend to use the popular section on appshopper...

    That is why I ask this here, Appshopper is a sister site to TA right? How does Appshopper decide what goes into the 'Popular' tab. Because I don't think I've ever seen a 'gamed' app appearing in that list, they all seem legit. I've found some proper gems there.

    However it works, I'd say Apple should do that instead.

    Legal or illegal, anything using bots is just shady, and should most definitely be against the rules. Unless robots have there own iPhones now. We shouldn't discriminate against our robot brethren. When they take over they will remember and punish us. :)
     
  17. AnonDev

    AnonDev Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    12
    0
    0
  18. You mean there's no way to distinguish robots from human? Even there are no bulletproof ways, there could be improves. If you mean there are people determined to do manual downloads, I think it's OK.

    On this thing both sides are very determined. The honest side, the none honest side. The question is whether Apple would stand for the right side.
     
  19. One more thing, he does the download on his own robot will. Never be controlled by others:)
     
  20. quantumsheep

    quantumsheep Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    1,143
    0
    0
    The Head Cheese, Top Dog, Numero Uno Honcho, Quant
    London
    /signs up

    :D
     

Share This Page