New App Store law 'is killing dev revenues'

New App Store law 'is killing dev revenues'

By Rob Crossley

June 1st 2011 at 2:05PM

Survey of 500 app creators claims two-thirds have lost money from promotion ban

Hundreds of App Store game developers say their revenues have fallen by a fifth due to Apple’s recent ban on controversial promotion methods.

Apple has not officially announced its new App Store policy, though a vast body of developers say it no longer allows a certain type of in-game promotion.

The policy believed to be banned is known as the ‘pay per install incentives’.

The process is where one App Store game offers virtual currency if users download or buy another, otherwise unrelated, app.

Behind that simple process is a vast network of App Store developers who promote each other’s games in return for a cut on certain revenues or other benefits.

Apple appears to have taken exception to this process when certain apps began to enter the App Store charts, due to heightened popularity fuelled by ‘pay per install incentives’.

One major beneficiary of pay per install incentives is mobile group Tapjoy, and since Apple’s ban last month the company has kept busy analysing the damage.

Tapjoy interviewed 500 hand-picked game developers and claims that “two-thirds” of respondents made about 20 per cent of their money from ‘pay per install incentives’ – money they now don’t generate.

It is unknown which developers Tapjoy had surveyed, though the firm has a personal interest in overturning Apple’s ban.

The number of surveyed developers who suffered game usage decrease was eight times higher than those who saw an increase, Tapjoy said.

And the ratio was 15-to-1 for those who experienced a revenue decline versus an increase, according to a Venturebeat report on the statistics.

There were developers surveyed who said that the pay-per-install business generated over 60 per cent of revenues.

Executives at Tapjoy have met with Apple several times to resolve the matter.

Apple is not publicly commenting.