Yesterday we brought news of an interesting thread that had popped up on the Touch Arcade forums. In it, a developer accused 6 other developers of using a service that participated in bot-farming to artificially propel their games to a spot in the coveted Top 25 free iPhone Apps list. Today, we’ve received a response from the first of these 6 companies.
Crowdstar has built up a pretty solid reputation over the last few years as a top developer of social games for Facebook and mobile, so to hear their name included in these accusations was a bit of a shock. And it would seem their CEO and Chairman Peter Relan thinks so too. Here’s what he had to say;
“Recently there was a post on toucharcade.com relating to marketing techniques used by top game developers such as CrowdStar, Funizo, SGN, Breaktime, Booyah, and TinyCo to achieve top ranking positions for as little as $5000.
Over the past year, we’ve actually invested several million dollars on achieving our rankings by marketing our franchise titles across 30+ advertising channel partners. We allocate significant six and seven figure budgets on advertising through channels such as iAds, Flurry, Chartboost and many others, and also do direct developer cross promotion partnerships.
Ad networks keep their ad partner information confidential, but we hope that none of the partners ever use farms or bots. If there are policy issues identified by the mobile platform, ad networks should adapt: e.g. Tapjoy and incentivized installs; We ask all our ad partners to uphold platform policies and stay abreast of changes. In only one case so far have we found that an ad partner could not satisfy our queries about bots and we stopped using the partner.”
Crowdstar definitely has the right policies in place, so if they do happen to be partnered with the marketing service mentioned in the Touch Arcade forums, it seems to be news to them.
We’ve recently had a chance to speak with the thread starter, walterkaman, and he’s let us know that the words “legal issues” have been tossed around a little too often for him to be willing to publicly denounce the company he’s referring to. It’s a shame, too, because if Crowdstar is one of their clients, it seems like the developers using their service may possibly be unaware of what’s truly going on.