Unnecessary permissions on Android are KILLING sales (still)!

DigiChainDigiChain Member, PRO Posts: 1,266
edited November 2013 in Working with GS (Mac)
This has come up before. Gamesalad said an opt-out of permissions for PRO customers would be coming... and months later we still have nothing!

My game hit the number one spot on the German Amazon Store this week. Great news except for the negative reviews that these permissions always bring.

Here are 2 negative reviews I've received in the last 24 hours (translated from German):


* It started already announced that my avg virus scanner that If the program is adware.


* Was classified as a threat by my virus scanner (Trend Micro)). This hasn't happened to me with any other app. I paid for the app and expect an answer!


Seriously Gamesalad - how much longer do we have to put up with this? I'm a paying customer of your product and this is a known problem that seriously damages sales potential.

If you've received bad reviews due to these permissions please post them here too. Maybe it'll convince Gamesalad to finally do something about it!


  • DigiChainDigiChain Member, PRO Posts: 1,266
    And here's some reviews from my game 'Escape from the Dead' (Amazon App Store):


    AVG Intrusive Adware Alert
    I deleted the app file as soon as I received the AVG Intrusive Adware alert. I do not want to take the risk.


    This app contains the following spyware and adware, according to Addons Detector:

    - MobClix
    - Flurry Analytics
    - Google Analytics
    - Localytics

    This game wants to be able to access the internet (the game has no purpose for this), to access your wifi information (including the network name you're using), and more. There's no need for this!


    Item was scanned by Norton and determined that it contanied ad/malware

    Never played the game for the reason mentioned in the subject above. I immediately deleted it once it was determined to be ad/malware


    Spyware and such!!!

    all they did was slap a game together then slap some spyware on the back! Digi-Chain Games is a con! And liar that wants your phone number


    Norton mobile detected EIGHT! adware and spyware programs/concerns!
    There is no need for any of this. Amazon needs to remove this program from the sales list, let alone the FAOTD.


    contains spyware!

    this app does not tell you about how it collects your phone number and sends it to third parties! spyware detected by trustgo security!


    8 risk in this app

    Downloaded and installed this app and my Norton mobile protection advised me to uninstall right away. Norton found 8 problems that would be bad for the security of my phone.

    Despicable. Uninstalled right away, didn't even play it with so many risks involved!


    I could go on.....
  • HoneyTribeStudiosHoneyTribeStudios Member Posts: 1,792
    Yeah i agree that should be fixed. Congrats on hitting no.1 in the german store though :)
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    edited November 2013
    Congratulations - and yes, it's pretty appalling that this hasn't been resolved.
  • mounted88mounted88 Member Posts: 1,113
    Truthfully we can't even do a privacy policy for our stuff because we really don't know what's going on with the info. That's going to hinder things like the kids category on the apple store.
  • EOSEOS Member Posts: 74
    Yikes. There goes my plan to release on Android for the next while.
  • BazookaTimeBazookaTime Member Posts: 1,274
    Congrats and sorry to hear this is still an issue.
  • DeepBayGamesDeepBayGames Member Posts: 93
    I surely hope that GS takes this seriously. This will clearly have a major negative impact to the sales of any game experiencing the same issues. At a time when the Amazon Store seems most enticing, this is very alarming to say the least!
  • CrazybreadmanCrazybreadman Member Posts: 674
    I agree, this has been a problem for far too long. Most notably for me this effected my rating for a game I had featured as Amazon Free App of the Day several months ago. I received many 1 star reviews being accused of using unnecessary permissions to sell user information. People absolutely notice this and will avoid our apps because of this!
  • EOSEOS Member Posts: 74
    Seeing as how the metrics opt-out is literally at the bottom of their list (www.gamesalad.com/roadmap) I don't think this will be addressed any time soon.
  • DigiChainDigiChain Member, PRO Posts: 1,266
    @Crazybreadman - Sorry to hear about your experience with FAOD. I had the same experience a couple of months back when I was selected for FAOD, and I know for a fact that we are not the only ones.

    Amazon approached me about another of my games for FAOD a few weeks ago. I declined the offer (but would have loved to take it if GS had sorted this issue).

    I'd suggest that no one does the FAOD promotion with a GameSalad built game - YOU WILL GET BAD REVIEWS if you do, and your future sales will suffer.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    Tizen !
  • mmzbrmmzbr Member Posts: 311
    edited November 2013
    I have the same problems with Bloody Mary Lite, almost 300k downloads (lite version) and I ´ve checked a lot of 1stars reviews because this virus warning. ;(

    Also I sent a second email to Gamesalad Support (about a billing propose) with no response (5 working days already in the second email). I think they just treat well who keep pro subscription on, total disrespectful. I will probably remake bloody mary lite using Unity and get this virus bug off and add ADmob banner, I getting good revenue with Tower of Evil Lite using ADmob (u$6-8 day). For me its good for a passive thing and this have only 20k downloads already.

    Gamesalad team lose me forever, I dont have more interest in this tool, sadly I loved every game I made with Gamesalad, the community is awesome but its time to move forward.

    I will keep my eye on your future games @DigiChain for sure ;)

    Sorry my english.
  • mmzbrmmzbr Member Posts: 311
    edited November 2013
    Some examples:



    Like DigiChain said, not good for business.
  • VolontaArtsVolontaArts Member Posts: 510
    does this problem also come up with iPhone???
  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKMember Posts: 1,894
    does this problem also come up with iPhone???
    I don't think there's any real anti virus software on the App Store and if there is I can't imagine many people have one installed.

  • KevinCrossKevinCross London, UKMember Posts: 1,894
    edited November 2013
    Seeing as how the metrics opt-out is literally at the bottom of their list (www.gamesalad.com/roadmap) I don't think this will be addressed any time soon.
    I myself have no near future plan to release to the Android market but I can see how this is quite a big issue and should probably be given a lot more priority, maybe even more priority to Creator improvements because it seems pointless releasing to the Android store if you care about your brand/games reputation.

    This makes other development tools that offer publishing to different devices/stores look a little more attractive than GameSalad. Something that can't be good for GameSalad

    I think the least they could do is look at what in particular they're doing wrong for anti virus software to flag it as an app with viruses. I'm guessing other non GameSalad apps on the store have metric gathering code in them that's not being flagged as a virus
  • DigiChainDigiChain Member, PRO Posts: 1,266
    @mmzbr - good luck with your future projects. I'll keep a look out for your games too.

    It's a great shame to see good developers who produce quality games (like mmzbr) feeling they're forced to move away from GameSalad because of issues like this. Issues that should have been nipped in the bud as soon as they became problematic.

    Gamesalad surely should want to hold on to these good developers too - after all our games act as a good representation of what can be achieved with this tool.
  • imGuaimGua Member Posts: 1,089
    Wow... Now I don't know what to do with Android release. If it was not on the bottom of the list, I would probably just wait, but it is.
  • solnikasolnika Member Posts: 132
    This is a very big issue, and should not be ignored.

    I'm not a pro member nor do I participate in the forums.

    I can honestly say that the only reason I haven't bought a pro membership, is of that single significant reason. and it is important enough for me to come out from the shadows and comment on that.

    I also sent a mail a few weeks back to support, waiting 2 weeks for a reply saying
    that the legal team is working on compiling a disclosure statement with no ETA.

    I don't think I have the privilege to make demands as I'm not a paying customer (will buy pro the second this is solved, try me).
    But I do think that those of you who are pro, really needs to be on top of that in
    order to get this solved.

    Few little people as comment on this.


    Sorry for my bad English, It's not my first Language.
  • SocksSocks London, UK.Member Posts: 12,822
    edited November 2013
  • fogartyfogarty Member, PRO Posts: 181
    I just became aware of this problem, and it is going to keep us from submitting to Amazon. I hope it gets fixed SOON!
  • BlackCloakGSBlackCloakGS Member, PRO Posts: 2,250
    @fogarty we are working on this issue.
  • imGuaimGua Member Posts: 1,089
    @fogarty we are working on this issue.
    This is a super awesome news! Keep it up!
  • fogartyfogarty Member, PRO Posts: 181
    Thanks, @BlackCloakGS!
  • CodeWizardCodeWizard Inactive, Chef Emeritus Posts: 1,143
    Indeed we are. I'm in contact with AVG to understand why their product is being so daft about all GameSalad apps. I've sent them some APKs and they're taking a look for us. Hopefully we'll get this cleared up soon.
  • DigiChainDigiChain Member, PRO Posts: 1,266
    @CodeWizard @BlackCloakGS - Thanks, it's great to hear you guys are looking into this.

    I'd like to point out though (and I'm sure you're already aware of this) that it's not just AVG, but also Norton and Trend Micro that are reporting ad/malware.
  • fogartyfogarty Member, PRO Posts: 181
    @CodeWizard, Thanks for the extra info!

    It sounds as if it may depend on other companies, but do you have any estimate of when it might be fixed? It would be nice to be able to be live on Amazon for the big holiday season.
  • artfishartfish Member, PRO Posts: 369
    @CodeWizard to reiterate....This is a HUGE issue. Thank you for looking into it. My game is doing very well on Amazon and I just received a review yesterday saying Norton flagged my game. We CAN'T have this happening. I hope there's some kind of solution in the works. Thanks for your prompt handling of this issue.
  • mataruamatarua Auckland, New ZealandMember Posts: 854
    edited November 2013
    I would like to bump this up BIG TIME too.

    @CodeWizard & @BlackCloakGS please take some time to read this rant if you can :)

    I would not risk releasing on Android due to these issues and the lack of anything substantial regarding this matter from the GS team has been worrying.

    It's good to hear that you are working on it - but if it was me in your shoes I would remove all the offending items from my software instantly - why?

    1. It saves my customers games from being flagged as a Virus, Adware and Malware hacker infested and untrustworthy.

    2. It is an issue between the services you use and the security companies - they need to sort this out - but they won't.

    3. Use a trusted service for analytics - to be honest I thought Google Analytics would not be flagged but what that does is illustrate this...

    Security is based on fear - and they will not change their policy to reduce the fear factor - that's their selling power.

    GameSalad gets hurt when everyone says 'It's built with Gamesalad I have no control over this stuff' etc. etc. etc.

    As a user of GameSalad I am sure a lot of us are worried about this - what it means for us using GameSalad, and then what steps you are taking. There's a lot of doubt. Add to this the security of our IP and the issues there.

    It shows one great benefit of the Apple App store and the approval process - it has it's own issues but this ain't one.

    Users are stupid 'AVG shows Google Play Movies app as Malware' which is a standard app that comes with the device - pre-installed and supplied by Google and the guy wants to root his device to remove it as it is Malware - this is not going to go away.

    The reply from nrm5110 makes perfect sense:
    All these mobile av's are nothing but scams, security blankets for people who lack the intelligence to actually think before they download. Their not pointing out malware but anything with suspicious permissions but it doesn't take the app into account. There have only been a couple of cases of actual malware most of which are in Chinese markets and on 3rd party sites the very few in the US that hit the play store were immediately removed upon discovery and often are knockoff apps that you can spot a mile away.
    This needs to be a top priority as I do not think the security houses will actually play ball - and who are you talking to?


    Do you get my point - the list of Security companies is long and growing.

    Do you want to deal with all these tracking companies, ad network companies and all these security companies and get them all in agreement?

    Seems a step too far to me.

    Regards, M@
  • dgackeydgackey Austin, TXInactive, PRO, Chef Emeritus Posts: 699

    The other way of looking at this is that these products depend on being accurate and effective, and if a security app is constantly triggering false positives, users are eventually going to tire of the shenanigans and uninstall.

    While individual app developers may not have the clout to demand that these tool companies fix their products, large app platforms like GameSalad, Unity and Corona certainly do. And all of these engines are in the same boat with regards to basic service-level metrics.

    In fact, the metrics and analytics being flagged by these so-called security apps are basically the heart and soul of the F2P business model, which has ironically been the primary revenue driver on Android for years.

    We're working the issue. Bear with us.



    Dan Magaha · COO · GameSalad, Inc · danm@gamesalad.com

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