iPad How to get your Game Reviewed legitamately?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by syphine, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. syphine

    syphine New Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    Application Developer
    I was wondering how one gets there game reviewed? Obviously you cant send the game over in an email or have a media kit version.

    I recently created an app and got some emails from people asking to send them money to buy my game and review/rate it. To me that seems like a scam but I wanted to get your feedback. I see how Touch Arcade does its submissions. I'm assuming Touch Arcade will have to buy the game out of their pocket for the time being.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. I've used ad-hoc distribution builds of my game to give it away to reviewers and testers. If reviewers aren't willing to send you their UDID I'd say they aren't legitimate.
     
  3. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Student/Undergraduate Researcher
    Florida
    I don't think I would pay anyone to review my app. If a true journalist were to review a game for money they would be violating their journalistic integrity, their responsibility to their readers, etc. It would be like them taking bribes to give you a good review. I would personally seriously doubt the legitimacy of anyone asking me for money to review.

    What you should do is contact reviewers yourself and offer to send them an Ad-hoc build of the game. I've had a lot of trouble building these personally, and I would suggest making a complete backup of your game immediately before attempting to make ad-hoc builds (xcode completely corrupted my project when I last attempted it), but I'm pretty sure they are working for most people.

    Again, I'd be really really wary about paying someone to review an app.
     
  4. mek

    mek Well-Known Member

    i would start by generating the proper media to aid them in the review such as 5 - 10 screenshots for them to choose from, and a youtube video of actual gameplay, so they dont have to spend the time while they are reviewing your app to generate the media for your app

    as for them actually playing the game/app..i suppose they would have to fork over the money, in the hopes that the review, as content, would attract visitors to their site, which brings in ad revenue, which would pay for the 5 or 10 bucks to purchase the app

    that is my feeling...its a gamble on everyone's side...but it has to start somewhere

    but i would def. provide the "media kit" such as screenshots and gameplay video
     
  5. arn

    arn Administrator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2008
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    Ad-hoc distribution is probably your best bet.

    Sending money or gift certificates is not as shady as it sounds. Apple does not allow any sort of review copy, so told devs to give gift certificates for review copies. That being said, I wouldn't send them to just anyone who asked.

    As for TouchArcade, we have not accepted any gift certificates as it seems like it might subconsciously affect our reviews. (though one dev did send one unsolicited). This has been our working policy for the time being. So we've bought all our apps.

    We might do the ad-hoc thing in the future if it helps provide timely reviews, but it hasn't come up yet.

    As for how to get your app reviewed on TouchArcade. You're best bet is to email tips@toucharcade.com, but based on how busy we've been, it may take some time, especially if it's a game that has been seen a lot (sudoku, solitaire etc...)


    arn
     
  6. MattB

    MattB Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Web Designer
    Plant City, FL
    That's pretty much how I feel.

    I've spent over $200 since the App Store has opened, playing games and reviewing them. The way I see it is that it's work that is fun, so why shouldn't I pay for the privilege?

    As others mentioned, the ad-hoc method is a good way to get your game reviewed, but a simple email explaining your game and a link to the game's website and to the game in the App Store (if available) are all that's needed to have a chance to review your game.
     
  7. STP_Steve

    STP_Steve Well-Known Member

    Sep 5, 2008
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    Editor of slidetoplay.com
    San Francisco, CA
    Like the other reviewers in this thread, I go out of pocket to get games straight from the App Store. I'm disinclined to accept ad-hoc code, because there's no way to tell if you're really playing the "final" version of the game; when I worked at GameSpot, we ran into so many problems with publishers pulling shenanigans with the so-called "review builds" they sent us ("whoops! it turns out we accidentally sent you a beta with, uh, a really poorly written story. yeah.") that we eventually just went straight to retail.

    If you want to bring your game to our attention, please drop us an email and let us know.
     
  8. breitigam

    breitigam Member

    Sep 6, 2008
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    Different Perspective

    There is no ethical difference between providing a reviewer with $5 on paypal to download a $5 game and providing the same reviewer an Ad Hoc distribution. They are just two methods of providing "press" with a copy of your product at zero cost to them. It is up to you as the developer to make sure the request is legit, and that is as simple as a visit to the reviewers website. Reviewers need to make sure they do not accept Apps that they have no time to review, so a confirmation about the ability to perform the review in a reasonable amount of time (2 or 3 weeks) needs to take place.

    That been said, ultimately some serious reviewers may need to fund their own efforts. I have no problem providing legit reviewers with comps (Complementary Product in industry terms). This is the norm in every industry.

    As a developer I have a HUGE preference for the Paypal method. I have a limited number of Ad Hoc Slots for Beta Testers, not to be occupied by reviewers. Furthermore, and more imprtantly, the Ad Hoc transaction takes significant additional time over the Paypal transaction. Time is my most precious resource.

    My 2 cents.

    David Breitigam
    Quicksand Interactive - Developer of the Gaia puzzle game for the iPhone
    Gaia is currently on sale for 99 cents -- Check it out
     
  9. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Student/Undergraduate Researcher
    Florida
    #9 johnbowers, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
    Yeah, I misread his post before. I thought he was being asked to fork over money to get someone to review the app. I didn't realize that they just wanted to defray the cost of the app. I don't see an ethical difference there either. Then it just becomes the ease of sending them the $$ vs. the ease of creating an ad-hoc build.

    I think what would be best is this: apple should let us add itunes usernames as reviewers who always get free access to our apps or a certain subset of them. Then a reviewer would get the same copy as everyone else at no cost.
     
  10. mek

    mek Well-Known Member

    then everyone would sign up as a reviewer and the market would come crashing down...its thinking outside the box though
     
  11. BoB

    BoB Member

    Aug 29, 2008
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    #11 BoB, Sep 6, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2008
    For the record, of the two places I sent money (upon request) to review my game, neither have posted the review yet. :(

    Whereas Matt at fingergaming had my review up in days after I emailed him, and he even made a video. Thanks Matt! (the review)

    And Pocket Gamer just reviewed my game out of the blue, which was an awesome surprise! (the review)

    I'm still waiting for Touch Arcade to review BloXoR (hint, hint).

    So, moral of the story, I'm not paying anyone for any more reviews.
     
  12. johnbowers

    johnbowers Active Member

    Aug 1, 2008
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    Student/Undergraduate Researcher
    Florida
    @mek

    I meant that as a developer I would ask a reviewer to send me their itunes account then add it to my personal OK-these-people-can-review-my-games list, not that just anyone could sign up as a reviewer and start reviewing apps. I would, for instance, have toucharcade's guys on that list. This would also obviate my need for ad-hoc builds which are kind of a pain to produce (I haven't actually had any luck getting one working yet).
     

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