Fake, Fake, Fake

Community Forums/Technical Discourse/Fake, Fake, Fake

Matty(Posted April) [#1]
Hi folks,

I've been playing games off the mobile store for quite some time now - looking at the other projects on there with the eye of a developer more than as a user - often looking for ideas to inspire me.

You notice patterns after a while - it's what the human mind does, and when combined with other pieces of information you receive from various sources you start to put together a picture of what the underlying mechanism of success on the play store looks like.

I hope this doesn't come across as sour grapes but here is a partially real and partially hypothetical conjecture of how much of the play store/app stores work:

1. Company develops game for mobile. Company is based in Asia or Eastern Europe. Game is rather derivative in its gameplay - possibly simply a copy of existing game mechanics such as Clash of Clans and named slightly different but basically the same mechanism.

2. Game is released mid April 2017.

3. Two weeks later game has over a million players, thirty thousand reviews and ratings - mostly 4 and 5 star - and this all for a game that was unheard of prior to April 2017.


So...my conjecture based on a variety of pieces of information I've seen over the last few years.

Expanding on point 2. Game is released mid April 2017. Company hires "marketing" company in Asia or Eastern Europe that exists solely to provide fake installs and reviews for a price. By paying 'x' tens of thousands of dollars company obtains several hundred thousand installs and several tens of thousands or reviews. It is very easy to see this in practice - I have been receiving emails from such "marketing" companies for years. Futhermore the reviews - after you've read significant numbers of them - start to look all the same, with similar patterns, descriptions and so on. Typically the rating profile of a game like this is much the same as other games that use the same technique while rating profiles of genuine 'legitimately' developed games often have a lot more 2s and 3s stars.

Expanding on point 3.

Game now has hundreds of thousands of players and tens of thousands of reviews. Therefore google's ranking algorithms places it on the front page of the play store where it starts getting genuine reviews and plays. At this stage the real reviews and ratings start coming in but are still very hard to find amongst the fake ones and the company continues purchasing fake reviews and ratings at a reduced rate. Real income begins flowing into the company.


Now...It is not in google's interest to squash this practice. It benefits google to continue allowing such practices. The only people it negatively impacts are the smaller genuine developers.

(tu) ENAY(Posted April) [#2]
This shady practice has been around for years. Sadly as long as apple and google make money, they are not going to do anything about it as it doesnt affect them. Especially since there is no exact correlation between faking the stats and making a profit.

EdzUp MkII(Posted May) [#3]
I wouldn't be to surprised if someone within Apple or Google takes a fee for adjusting the figures

gpete(Posted May) [#4]
its also amazing that horrible,awful movies and shows on Netflix are given 4 or 5 stars. It's so much false stuff we have to sift through. I would like more honesty, but I guess that is not the human way in "economic practice".
I will say I really enjoy the posts by Matty, Mainsworthy, Adam Strange, Remi, Yue, (tu), and well lots of other Blitz/Monkey community posts

Matty(Posted May) [#5]
Thanks gpete...it's a good place here.

dynaman(Posted May) [#6]
Part of the Netflix thing is people are not going to watch, buy, or comment on movies they do not like. On Amazon I like to read the reviews of movies and books - the reasons someone gives for liking a book/movie is much more helpful than the rating they gave it.