One developer who is angry over web sites charging for expedited reviews of mobile game apps has decided to publicly call the web sites out. Luckily most people who consider themselves even casual gamers have never heard of these web sites, but apparently they have been running a racket for quite some time.
AppyNation iOS games developer Andrew Smith said in a post on his web site Appynation.com, that the practice of charging developers for game review exposure "is not journalism." I think most would agree with that statement. He added that sites that charge for reviews "cannot be objective, takes credibility away from the app and doesn't give consumers all the info." We agree with that statement as well.
Smith followed his comments by publishing the names of six websites that have been engaging in these questionable practices:
- Best 10 Apps
- The iPhone App Review
- iPhone Toolbox
- iPhone Footprint
One site highlighted in this C&VG report notes on its website that guaranteed coverage can be obtained for a mere $150. Well, isn't that special. Here's the wording from the site:
"For guaranteed coverage, we can expedite your review for $150. This ensures your app will be reviewed within seven business days."
The site's owners say that "expediting a review" doesn't "guarantee positive coverage."
But the broader point is an old story: if you have to pay for something that normally comes for free through some amount of effort then it probably isn't worth it. It reminds me of the age-old cons like paying for materials to get a job, or paying to get a book or a collection of poetry published…