Biggest FRAUD in the Top 25 Free Ranking

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

  1. digdugjones

    digdugjones New Member

    Feb 7, 2012
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    yup even some of the big guys are doing it

    It's not just "crap apps" using bots / server farms, there are plenty of mid- to larger size companies with well made apps using this technique as it's really just a form of advertising to them.

    What Apple will likely do (assuming they do anything at all) will be to punish a few tiny developers by banning them. They won't ban or punish any of big companies because it's not in their best interest to do so. At most they'll ban the practice and tell the bigger guys "don't you do that again".

    It's too bad it's all come to this, but if Apple really wanted to have a better market, maybe those approving apps should be a bit more diligent as well. I see games/apps all the time in category X when clearly they are category Y but said big developer(s) want to push out the smaller guys there too.

    I'd love to have an Indie / Small Developer section and just get rid of the overall Top 25.
     
  2. GameViewPoint

    GameViewPoint Active Member

    Feb 4, 2012
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    Indie / Small Developer section is a good idea.
     
  3. Rombos

    Rombos Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
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    yes!
     
  4. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    Thats silly. So first you ask apple to spy on your app usage to determine the apps ranking?
    Then you need to keep an app on a device to count too? Whats with users who frequently delete apps and dont horde them, do their sale count less because they get rid of unused apps? Makes no sense to me.

    Apple should monitor the rankings for possible frauds and not spy on their users.
    They have the ultimate access to all generated numbers and should be able to see if an app rises normal in ranks or is getting pushed by specific accounts who can be flagged and properly checkes if they are part of such crowd downloads.
     
  5. Rombos

    Rombos Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2011
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    This was already around the press in spring last year (e.g. here: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/9870.html), and it makes absolutely sense to me. The required usage data is probably availabe anyway. Ranks should help users to spot useful apps. If it's sold, but never or rarely used, this information is of no use to others and should not or less influence the rank.
    What you are asking for is have sell more apps just based on the fact that already lots were sold. There is no point in that (except for that particular developer, of course).
     
  6. dso

    dso Member

    Jan 19, 2012
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    #106 dso, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
    lol sounds like GTEKNA

    dang this is all over pocketgamer and etc... i thought this was common knowledge, not earth shattering news. Anyways, i'm glad apple is taking a stand.. we contemplated using this service as well but in the end it just didnt seem to be worth it.
     
  7. axoniclabs

    axoniclabs New Member

    Feb 8, 2012
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    experience from axoniclabs.com

    There are 2 steps to making financial success in the App Store. Make a great product and then tell everyone about it. I have worked very hard to make a good app but I, like others, have difficulty with the latter. I have tried many marketing strategies and was also tempted with bot promotions. I struggled with the decision for many days and decided to not do it because I answer to a higher power and it is against Apple policy.

    Artificially promoted apps are only 1 example of the problems with the App Store. There are a lot of junk ad supported app rings that cross promote each other and they maintain themselves in the top of the rankings.

    Apple cares about money and it's users. You can argue that it only cares about it's users because it cares about money. The bottom line is Apple doesn't care about developers but it will care if it affects their money or their users. The current App Store rankings works pretty well for Apple. It assumes popularity (ie downloads) equates quality. Apple doesn't care if your awesome quality app is not on the top, it just cares that there is an awesome quality app from someone on the top. Everyone one is happy, except for small guys like us.

    I am not sure how serious Apple is about fixing this but the right way to fix it is to align the rankings properly, like others have suggested. Number of downloads does not equate quality and can be gamed. Incorporating usage would be better but you will need some way to normalize between frequently used social apps and less used utility apps. You could also usage to simply block the bot driven and junk ad apps but that doesn't solve the bigger ranking problem. Apple could beef up App Store Genius recommendations or even incorporate recommendations from friends into the App Store. Ping for apps or something.

    I hope Apple takes this seriously and really improves the App Store with the same kind of drive as they do in all of their products. While hopeful, I do understand the realities of who their customers are and their priorities. Thanks for reading.
     
  8. pklee

    pklee New Member

    Feb 8, 2012
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    #108 pklee, Feb 8, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
    Wow...

    I'm also indy developer who has been trying very hard (in Hong Kong, pushed out by 'Dream Cortex/Outblaze/Animoca/Sanrio Digital' botters) to be noticed... Maybe we can really start a dialogue and brainstorm some ideas that Apple might take notice to help us out against the 'big players/botters'.

    I like the above idea about indy developer section(s) and I hope at least we can support each other in the indy community by NOT supporting the cheaters and calling out foul play when there is.

    One last thing that made me chuckle doing a google on dream cortex...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. I don't think so. Quite a percentage in the top list are garbages now, and it's still increasing. As quality matters less and less, few developer would care about it any longer.
     
  10. fishgames

    fishgames New Member

    Feb 8, 2012
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    It's not really news around Dream Cortex/Outblaze/Animoca - all their games (you guys can check out AMP) are just basically reskin of it's Pretty Pet Salon title, even the UI is the same! They just changed the graphics and launch it as a new game.

    Yet they still attracts VC to invest in them.

    http://www.animoca.com/en/2011/11/outblaze-ventures-animoca-raises-series-a-investments-from-intel-capital-and-idg-accel/

    “With dozens of top-ranked apps and more than 40 million downloads worldwide, in just ten months we have built Animoca into one of the – if not the – largest app game companies in this part of the world. We expect continued growth as we further expand our business on all fronts,” - by bots? :p
     
  11. One thing should be noted is that Apple still charges $100 or $300 dev fees per dev per year. If it just sit there and let the iOS developer program turn into a joke, it's fraud.
     
  12. axoniclabs

    axoniclabs New Member

    Feb 8, 2012
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    Look at the big picture, it's working well for Apple because the just had a record quarter. It's working okay for users too because you don't hear regular users saying "there is too many junk apps on the top list", they just skip the junk and download via word of mouth or search. I am just saying that it's a small/indie developer problem and there is no urgency from Apple for a fix.
     
  13. lolzappan

    lolzappan Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2012
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    Interesting article

    http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/App+Store/news.asp?c=37643

    "We now have over 200,000 users in the US," said Wang Tilan of TopDealApps.

    "All of them own certain iOS devices and valid iTunes accounts. Each time we take a new case from an app developer, our users will be notified to download the certain app during the required time period.

    "After the verification, the users will get money for this download."

    A new kind of incentive download?

    Is this the kind of thing they are talking about?

    http://www.pocketgamer.biz/r/PG.Biz/Hoolai+Games+news/news.asp?c=36340&srch=Chinese+app

    The surprise appearance of a Chinese language app in the UK's top grossing chart was always likely to garner attention.
     
  14. Jerry1923

    Jerry1923 Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2009
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    http://freeappparty.com/index.jsp

    Those apps in red frame are in very high ranking now. (Is in top 25 now or has been in top 25 just a few days ago).

    Those apps in 'After Party' and 'Party Planners' are all have been top 25 before.

    Actually Gtekna should be a sub-company from FreeAppParty. A FEW DAYS ago in the FreeAppParty website, FreeAppParty still mentioned they provide services From unknown to top 25 by their sub-company Gtekna. FreeAppParty also provide the Gtekna website link and the contact here(http://freeappparty.com/etc/serviceInfoDev.jsp) . But today I just look at their site, they remove all information about Gtekna.
     
  15. lolzappan

    lolzappan Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2012
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    It's the same company, you can just go to their twitter account and see it https://twitter.com/gtekna :p
     
  16. iyangs

    iyangs Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2010
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    Gamedesigner
    USA
    Welcome to real world

    Needs apple's attentions
     
  17. Rocotilos

    Rocotilos Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
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    iOS Apps & Games Developer
    On that note, how the heck Apple can easily allow creating of kagilions itunes account by using a script of some sort? ( i presume that is how bots are created aren't they? )

    HEY APPLE, maybe you should start implement CAPTCHA at creating itunes account? ;) Ok, you don't want to use other people's product, its ok. Use iCapther then.. cook something up.
    :D
     
  18. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
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    ranking is based on current sales not sales from a month ago.. so i don't see your point..

    also apple does not track the use of apps, there is a reason why there are third party tools like flurry who just do that (for the devs & flurry)

    the article linked is just "guessing" nothing more.. like its stated in the article itself

    i think the ranking system is fine.. whats not fine is that apple does not act more quickly when developers twist it to their needs..

    but more spying on actual customers is the wrong way.. hiring a team to police the rules more strictly they already have in place would be better..

    but of course there is a reason why apple moves so slow.. they earn money from everything.. no matter if its an app that got pushed illegally into ranks or not.. apple earns 30% no matter if its infringing on the copyright of others or not apple earns 30% ...

    apple is a company with unlimited ressources, if they wanted they can do alot more alot quicker alot fairer.. but the point is to earn money not to spend it on things that do not generate revenue..

    as for the hole bot farming issue.. thats nowerdays not even needed.. look at wow gold farming.. thats done by real people as their daily job.. if it would be profitable thoose guys behind such things would switch easily to the appstore or other worthwhile endeavors
     
  19. Michael8

    Michael8 Member

    Feb 7, 2012
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    Well if they continue acting slowly we will see where they are in 5 years. Competition isn't sleeping. Being first is always a great advantage but this doesn’t give one a free card forever.
     
  20. I don't think they are totally the same. CAPTCHA definitely helps to some extend. Or currently why bother to use bots?
     

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