One Star Reviews Flood 'Monument Valley' Following Paid Expansion Release →

November 13, 2014 |

Eli Hodapp, TouchArcade:

I don’t know how many of those angry single star iTunes reviewers read TouchArcade… But, seriously guys? It seems like the hive mind of the App Store is continually pushing developers in to this unrealistic corner of demanding absolutely everything but not being willing to pay anything. The fact of the matter is Monument Valley is an amazing game, made by real artists, working in a real studio, getting paid real salaries, with real families they go home to and support. They’re selling their game for a total of six bucks if you buy both the game itself and the expansion. I don’t fully understand what happened to get us on this horrible Biff with the almanac timeline of Earth where this kind of thing is unacceptable to iOS gamers.

The seemingly capricious nature of App Store reviews is what scares me the most about developing for iOS (or Android, for that matter). The fact that a bunch of entitled idiots can spark a chain reaction and absolutely destroy your sales — and your livelihood — overnight is completely unacceptable. What a shame.

Much respect to the guys at TouchArcade for bringing this up.

This is not unique to the US App Store, by the way. 1-star reviews complaining solely about the price of the expansion pack are showing up in Spain’s App Store as well. The game had 499 reviews and a 4.5-star rating before, and is now down to 3 stars in the current version. That’s the difference between success and obscurity in the App Store.

The bigger problem is that this happens every day, and yet we almost never even notice. Not every developer has a TouchArcade to defend her.

Don’t be cheap. Making good, quality apps costs money, and developers deserve to be paid for their hard work. If we refuse to pay even two bucks for a quality game, then we’re condemning ourselves to a grim future for iOS apps. If developers can’t afford to do this for a living, the diversity and quality of the App Store catalog will only suffer as a result, and that’s bad for everyone.

I don’t play many games on my iOS devices, but I just bought Monument Valley and, after playing through the first five levels, gave it a well-deserved 5-star rating and a glowing review. It’s a beautiful, engaging game with amazing scenarios and extremely clever mechanics. Well-worth the asking price in my book.

Via Daring Fireball.