Over the weekend, “Peggle” on iPhone was lowered from five dollars to just one. (Sorry if you missed it, the price is back up to five.) As I mentioned previously, it wasn’t just PopCap being nice. No, it was just their way of “hacking” the iPhone AppStore, which is overly biased towards best-selling titles, listing those apps with the highest sales right at the top.
The issue with this method is that the top-selling list is determined by the number of times that app has been purchased, not the total amount of money that app has made. Therefore, more expensive apps are at a huge disadvantage, getting pushed down by the myriad of fart simulators that sell for a buck.
PopCap’s solution to this problem? Go incognito as a cheap app! Before the sale, “Peggle” was hovering around #60 of the top-selling apps. After the sale, which lasted four days? “Peggle” was at number one. Not only that, according to a PopCap spokesman, they sold nearly as many units in those four days as they had in the 3 weeks afters the game’s launch.
While it’s awesome that a solid game is getting the attention it deserves on the AppStore, Apple really needs to take another look at how the store is structured. Discouraging higher priced (and potentially more premium) apps is only going to bring the average quality down, thus giving the store the reputation that it has (with fart and baby-shaking simulators running rampant).