Friday, March 27, 2015

CrApps: Who Buys this Stuff?

So, recently for a fun time waster, I've been playing a very simple, very harmless game on my phone called Mr. Jump.  Mr. Jump is a platformer in the most basic sense.  You jump over things and run to the end of the level.  Like I said, it's simple and harmless.  And best of all, it never asks me for money.

To pay the bills, Mr. Jump will pop an advertisement up after every 4 or 5 lives lost, enticing you to play another game that, presumably, you might be interested in.  Except that's where the wheels come off.  Take a look at the ads that are showing up during Mr. Jump.

Give her a make-over?  The one on the left or the one on the right?  How about neither?  How do I make her less moody?  Is it good enough to just change her shirt?

Superstar Life?  That's the best you can do?  I suspect the made-over girl from the game above makes an appearance.  For a guy with hearts around his head, I'm not sure this guy wants to date anyone, especially not the thing on the left.

I like this one because it just blatantly rips off Pokemon.  I like to think this game is called Cease and Desist 2015.

Kill Shot?  First of all, you aren't even aiming at that guy on the other roof.  Are you shooting an invisible foe to his left?  I get that shooters are all the rage, but you'll probably want to do more than just have your hat in the ring.

Is the game called "Episode" or is this an episode of some other game, like maybe Superstar Life?  Furthermore, is this a game or a bad sitcom?

Look, I understand that shovelware is going to exist for EVERY gaming platform, even phones and tablets, but these redefine the genre.  What are the chances these are even fully programmed?  At least 3 of those games are by the same team and are likely the same game with extremely slight alterations.   And maybe the worst part, is that absolutely no effort is being put into marketing these games to me.  They look like total crap, they likely are total crap, but these "ads" are only reinforcing that fact.  At no time is any effort made to disguise that these "games" were probably made in about 30 minutes with some kind of automatic game generator software.  If you are going to ask me to even think about playing your game, you might want to make it in some way appealing.

So I have to ask, who plays these games?  Is there a target audience for these things?  Or are CrApp developers just throwing as many terrible "games" as they can produce at the wall and hoping at least one of them generates some kind of revenue?  It reminds me a lot of Spam emails.  What is the business plan behind these schemes?  Is it enough if just one person clicks on the link?  Will you make your money back if just one person buys the game or makes an in-app purchase?  Or are you just hoping to capitalize on the lazy, stupid consumer?  Because that seems like the most likely answer.

In any event, it's damn shame that a fun little, harmless game like Mr. Jump has to shill shovelware like this to pay the bills, but I guess if it keeps them from directly asking me for cash, we are all good.

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