"Best game ever!" -Acram Digtal

Looks like Acram Digital’s been a naughty, naughty boy

iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux •

Acram Digital made their digital name with a well done port of Steam: Rails to Riches and, later, Ryan Laukat‘s Eight-Minute Empire. Both games nailed what made their cardboard cousins so much fun and presented everything polished to a glistening shine. Even better, their releases weren’t just for mobile, but the PC/Mac/Linux crowd could get in on the fun as well via Steam. Looks like those salad days are behind us, however, as all of Acram’s titles have been removed from Steam due to the folks at Acram being naughty.

Last week the powers-that-be over at Steam posted a rather shocking announcement in regards to Acram:

We’ve received a number of reports for Steam review manipulation on the titles Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight-Minute Empire, from Acram Digital. After investigating these reports we have found that the developer, Grzegorz Kubas, has been trying to inflate the user review score for his titles. This is against our policy, and something we take very seriously.

Because of Grzegorz’s actions, we have removed all games/DLC developed by Acram from our store, and will no longer be doing business with him. Existing owners will be able to keep their titles.

Woof. Now, I don’t have any of Steam’s data regarding what they found but, if true, is pretty damning. First of all, as someone who had to deal with this kind of crap when PT had its previous owners, pumping up your own game without making it clear that it’s you doing said pumping is pretty slimy. Secondly, I don’t think you would need to read the small print on any agreements you made with Steam to know that the act is slimy. None of this makes Acram look good.

Acram was about to enter into Early Access and beta with their port of Istanbul. How will this affect them going forward? Not positively, I’m sure. They aren’t a huge company so losing a portal for sales has to hurt. How many sales were via Steam vs. mobile is something no one is going to tell us, so maybe it doesn’t hurt as much as it sounds like it will.

We’ll try to get a hold of Acram and see if they can fill us in on any details regarding the accusations and how Istanbul will be affected. Stay tuned.

 

 

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Notable Replies

  1. js619 says:

    Yeesh

  2. "Other than my six fake accounts ..."

    Jesus wept.

  3. Wonder why they stopped at six. I mean, it seemed like the perfect plan... :expressionless:

  4. js619 says:

    I lol'd hard enough at this that it deserved more than a heart.

  5. While I don’t condone the practice of fake reviews, there is a problem with idiot reviewers. Just looking at the App Store, there is someone who said TTA is terrible at first (because he didn’t understand how to play) and someone who gave 1 star because he gets overwhelmed by military every game and clearly doesn’t have a strategy. There is a 1-star review for Race for the Galaxy because they claim there is no working multiplayer.

    I don’t know what the solution is but when people are using reviews to vent their frustrations over things that aren’t actual problems then I can see how it can be amazingly frustrating for a developer, especially a small one whose games don’t get many reviews. Maybe there is not solution.

  6. I stayed at a hostel and the landlord gave out a free pint of beer to anyone who would leave a good review. Sadly most apps cost less than a pint of beer, so the devs would be making a loss for every good review.

    In this case I can’t help but wonder here if the punishment fits the crime. That’s a lot of time and effort wiped out for one silly mistake.

  7. I love all the Civ VI reviews who rate it a 1 because it's $60. Fuck off.

  8. There are also a ton who give it one star because “you can only play one civilization and it ends after 60 turns” or something like that.

    Reviews are as bi as cesspool as the store itself.

  9. you all have a point here. my heart is bleeding when stumbling upon those idiot honk reviews again and again :head_bandage:

    i can only guess how a developer must feel when reading s&¡# like that.

  10. User reviews will never be perfect ... mostly because people are idiots. How we ever managed to become a dominant species is just baffling.

    One step in the right direction is Apple's "developer response." I've seen a lot of smart developers respond in measured tones to unwarranted criticism, often gaining a new fan (who then edits their review, too) in the process.

  11. when i edited and upgraded my original review and 2-stars-verdict for Ubongo after the broken multiplayer had been fixed at last, the publisher's response was to thank me for fairness and for taking care to address their efforts.
    i must say that was a pleasant surprise.

  12. Ouch...the stupidity of mankind.....

    A reason why I never read any user reviews of games AT ALL. The "professionals" are sometimes borderline idiots but I don't have the time to sift through 3 dozen pages of crap to find one random diamond some sane person dropped in there.

    Also something you should consider:

    "Thes game have no Germann language Optrion. 1 Star unless German option"
    lifted verbatim.

    This practice is mindboggling in its reach and size... games done by one-dev-teams barely a hundred downloads where their life*ahem* success hangs on a thread and then they get such crap "hostage" reviews?

    or the million "this game does not work on iPad 2. 1 Star" (released in late 2017, resource intensive, common sense alone dictates powerful hardware)
    or
    "This game does not work on iOS 9 and iPad Mini 2gen. I want my money back" (App description clearly states iOS 10 or higher, iPad Air 2nd gen or higher)

    I cannot condone what the person did there....but I can understand perfectly well why he is triggered

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