Developers devote countless hours of their lives on a quest to crack the secrets of the App Store in hopes of a huge payday. For some like Dong Nguyen, creator of Flappy Bird, instant success is too much to handle. For others, dollar signs are enough reason to cheat the system. TechCrunch has exposed one such scam artist for what he really is.
Along with Flappy Bird, another seemingly brainless app has recently rocketed up the App Store charts. Called simply Red Bouncing Ball Spikes, it turns out the game originates as a template for aspiring developers, readily available for purchase via GameSalad at a price of $10. The template is meant as a starting point for further development, but Mateen Pekan (likely an alias) uploaded the game as is. How did it rise to prominence, earning Pekan as much as $10,000 per day in the process?
The most likely explanation is that Pekan manipulated his gross sales figures by funneling his own money into the app. Using a cadre of iTunes accounts and plenty of cash, Pekan pushed the app up the charts, or so it is assumed. Most believe it takes about $20,000 to do so, but once the app is displayed among the best on the App Store, eager buyers help to recover that cost and then some. Pekan hoped to really score when he listed the rights to the app on Apptopia for a price of $250,000.
While Apple has yet to take any action against the potentially manipulative developer and his shamelessly promoted game, Red Bouncing Ball Spikes has slowly been dropping back down the charts. Pekan likely pocketed thousands in the process, but his app is finally headed to the place it belongs.
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