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How did crappy game Red Bouncing Ball Spikes become the Top Paid app in 24 hours?

Something's fishy...

Summary News Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  
Product: Red Bouncing Ball Spikes | Developer: Louis Leidenfrost | Genre: Arcade, Platform
For: iPhone   Also on: iPad
Red Bouncing Ball Spikes iPhone, thumbnail 1
For the second time this month, a simple game with rubbish graphics has shot to the top of the App Store charts.

This time, it's the 69p / 99c platformer Red Bouncing Ball Spikes.

It rocketed up to the #1 spot on the US App Store literally overnight on January 30th, and has stayed near the top ever since.

Funny thing is, though, the game debuted way back in December 2012. It was then updated on January 30th, 2014, the same day it went to #1.

Template for success?

Over on Reddit, one eagle-eyed gamer noticed that Red Bouncing Ball Spikes is actually just a GameSalad template app that you can purchase for $10. It's called "Red Ball Template".

We emailed the supposed developer of Red Bouncing Ball Spikes, Louis Leidenfrost, to find out how his game shot to the top of the US App Store.

He told us: "I don't want to give my advertisement strategies away."

The question on everyone's minds is whether this game got to the top legitimately or whether the developer has found an exploit in the system to enable him to artificially boost his game's stats.

Top of the charts

Getting to the top of the three App Store charts (Paid, Free, and Grossing) is still an incredibly effective way to reach players. Discoverability is, after all, considered by many the key to success.

In the past, though, Apple has worked hard to prevent unscrupulous developers and publishers from cheating their way to the upper ranks of the charts.

Now, then, all eyes will be on the US Top Paid charts over the next few days to see if Red Bouncing Ball Spikes can remain at the top of the tree.

Your move, Apple?

Reviewer photo
Chris Priestman 7 February 2014
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Feb 2014
Post count:
Master Yensen | 01:09 - 11 February 2014
Nobody seems to understand the power of the internet. Websites like 4chan and reddit etc are usually responsible for these kinds of things. Flappy Bird was brought to the mainstream through reddit. This is how:

* One person got pissed off at the game and posted about how crappy it was.
* Someone else saw it and created a new post recruiting people to download and play the shitty game.
* Some of those people told even more people to play the shitty game. etc etc.
* Some of these people set up automated computational systems to spread the word, others will bypass security systems to download the software thousands of times on many different computers or devices, gaining interest or hacking official game pages and rigging votes or automating comments on websites or searches on google and the like.

Most of these people, spreading the information about the game, are doing it for one purpose or another: to show others how shithouse the game is or to trick people into thinking it is an adequate game. Few would naturally fall into this game's demographic in this day and age.. Most are directed here by word of mouth.

Pretty simple really. Either, games like these reach the top because of people attempting to trick other people into buying them, or, people are trying to warn other people about the fallacies involved. Either way, people become intrigued, sales skyrocket, media interest is gained, sales skyrocket again... unless the product is innovative fresh and timeless, eventually people get bored and that's what till happen with flappy bird and its predecessors. But, until then... It's time to find a way to make a shit game for income.
Nov 2011
Post count:
mr_bez | 11:24 - 7 February 2014
Flappy Bird is an inexplicable global phenomenon, like Gangnam Style. This is altogether more fishy.