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Dev: Big iOS publishers 'buy their way to the top'

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An independent developer has accused big companies of abusing iTunes, pushing small studios out of the market by buying their way to the top of the charts. The allegations are leveled by Future Games, responsible for the mobile game Hungry Shark. 

"Any developer who hasn't already had a hit on the app store faces that challenge, 'can I get anybody to play it in the first place?'," said MD Ian Harper. "I think if you can get people to see you're in with a fighting chance, but the issue nowadays is lots of big social media games companies are coming into iPhone and buying huge numbers of CPI [cost-per-install] installs and advertising, essentially buying their way up the charts, which really kind of crowds out the space for other people quite a lot."

Future Games isn't just complaining, however, and is using its Future Games Network technology to help out smaller games. The studio cherry-picks quality Apps to push as part of what Harper calls "general moral helpfulness." He hopes to provide an alternative to developers going "cap in hand" to major publishers like Chillingo, which is nice of him. 

iOS publishers "buying their way up the charts" [GI.biz, thanks de5gravity]


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