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Paying for expedited reviews?

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GrahamRanson
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 11 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 29 Mar 2010

I've been looking around at the many review sites and the majority offer priority review services where you pay, usually nominal amounts, to have your app guaranteed to be looked at within a week. Not necessarily reviewed but at least looked at in theory.

I was just wondering if anyone here has done that and if they thought it was worth it or do people usually just submit their apps for free and hope that they get reviewed?

I've also seen sites that offer things like video reviews and social media placement etc for higher prices, anyone done anything like this?

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lordmooch
User offline. Last seen 1 year 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 24 Jan 2011

I looked into this when launching my first game. I don't really like the idea though, as once you fork over cash for a review there is a conflict of interest on the reviewer's part.

I have a friend who used to write for a site that operated this way. He told me that the devs often just had money in their marketing budget for this purpose because the increase in sales that coverage brings was well worth it.

In the end, I never did pay for reviews. And got, basically, none.

So, yeah, it's probably worth it!

JayantV
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 31 Oct 2009

TestDriver?? That's a bit odd.

Anyways, running a review site, Let me share the stuff that I get to see. I get emails from people that send in a link to their app on iTunes and not even a polite request to check the app or request for a promo code, but something like "I/we would like you to review our software" some of them even try the sympathetic angle that they are 12/13/14/15 year olds that have a company and call themselves President/CEO, etc.

Then there are those that send an email with a polite request, a couple of promo codes and a small writeup about themselves, the game and related information. Further more there are also the professional companies that have a PR firm that sends in a press release about the software with press kits (images and write up)

Now, I do not charge for the reviews, but you will realise that it does take up time to try out an app and then write about it. This takes from the time that I could be using making the next blockbuster game/app, taking from the time that I could put into my personal projects or life.

There are over 100 app released daily and it is near impossible to address/have a look at all of the apps (if they request a review) and that would take those many hours from productive work. So, there are times when I am forced to reconsider charging for a review, but then a charged review is an Advertisement, not a review.

Sites that have an established name that qualify as the A sites can demand a price for reviews and people are happy and willing to pay as they feel that might get them some exposure and numbers.

I was shocked to learn that people pay in excess of $5000 for FreeAppADay and then also make their app available for FREE.

I do not know what you original intent is as you have only posed a question, but not your intent.

If you are planning to start a review site, good luck with that if you want to continue being a developer, it can distract you a lot. If you are planning to use it for promoting your new app, then I can say that there is no guarantee that a review alone will get you sales. It will help you with awareness, that's all. Sales will depend on the Polish, Gloss and usability/engage-ability of the app.

JayantV
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 31 Oct 2009

Isn’t that you Jake? You got a review on my site and for free...

peach pellen
User offline. Last seen 2 years 2 days ago. Offline
Alumni
Joined: 12 Apr 2011

@Graham - This isn't exactly related to your question specifically but knowing your app, have you considered promoting it on the Moms With Apps forum, or getting in touch with them? I know a few people who do kids apps/books and it may be a good way to get a review.

Your app is beautiful and I can imagine many parents wanting to read it with their kids. (I would have loved it as a kid.)

@JayantV - Jake is "Touch Junky", different guy with almost identical name ;)

nicholasclayg
User offline. Last seen 11 weeks 3 days ago. Offline
Joined: 16 May 2011

Let me tell you how I work, and how I am.

I'm harsh. Some people have seen how harsh I can be, but really I'm pointing out things that others are afraid to point out.

I've been getting emails for "Hey yo, i'm 14 years old and developed a new game, will you check it out".

Hey, I'm 36 years old, where is my cake?

Anyway, I do what I want when I want. I review things if I feel like it and if someone tries to guide my hand, I usually rip it off.

I find the best reviews are for games which I looked at on my own. I actually prefer that if someone wanted me to look at something, they would send a promo code, or testflight link and I just try it without description. That usually ends up either I'm really happy with it, or i'm in a state of "WTF IS THIS!!?!?!?!?"

Some games, that are on my radar that I really enjoyed lately (and no one got down my throat and told me HEYYYY CHECKKK IT OUTTTTTTT! << real email from somebody, people can't speak I guess?.

Willy Wiener and the Tunnel of doom. Hot dogs and donuts, what's not to love

Crashsite Defense (mmmm so awesome, already maxed out my in app purchases and bought everything)

Glitch games, my colorful life (or colour, if you are british folk, which I am not)

GrahamRanson
User offline. Last seen 44 weeks 11 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 29 Mar 2010

@ lordmooch - Thanks for the info, I was figuring it would probably be worth it but just wanted to check. Wasn't sure if these things were essentially just scams.

@ JayantV - On this account I am a test driver now as my subscription ended however I am a pro-subscriber with my company. Good eye though :-)

I will be sending out well written polite emails with plenty of info etc but I assumed that most people that are serious about this would also be doing that so it wouldn't set me apart. Shocked to know how little effort some people put into this part of development after putting in so much effort before hand.

I am not planning on starting a review site, I very much wouldn't have the time :-)

@ peach - I've contacted someone at MWA but for some reason never thought of the forums there, good idea!

@ nicholas - I will certainly not be sending emails like that, it really is amazing that some people think that is a smart way to do things.

Also, give me a shout via email and I will get a build of My Colourful Life sent off to you :-)

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