The world of iOS gaming has become big money indeed, and one independent iOS developer says big publishers are leveraging cash to influence their rankings. In an article with Gamepro.com, Ian Harper of Future Games of London claims that the big guys use cash and using it to purchase CPIs (“Cash Per Installs”) to drive their rankings up and make it look like more Ordinary Joes are downloading their product. Gamepro explains a bit how CPI works:
Cost Per Install is a marketing method where app developers partner with a larger publisher who will promote their title, perhaps in other apps, and then only pay when a user installs (or, in some cases, runs) their app as a result of discovering it via the large publisher’s marketing. A good example is games which use an in-game network providing details of other available apps, or when social game publishers offer users virtual currency in exchange for trying out other apps.[/quote]
Future Games of London offers a similar networking structure that Harper hopes will appeal to independent publishers because the contracts aren’t as restrictive as big publishers’ like Chillingo. The idea is that those business who want to increase their profile without selling their soul (or worse; their IP) to a major publisher will be attracted to the smaller but less invasive deal.