Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is Nothing Safe From Scamcom?

I was originally going to write a review for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood... But I recently stumbled across this little app on the iTunes Appstore and my head just hit the desk. The amount of attempted cash scamming/bleeding in this... a freaking iPhone App... is unbelievable...

The app in question is called Capcom Arcade. It's effectively a miniature attempt at recreating Microsoft's Game Room for XBLA. A virtual arcade with old and beloved retro classics from yesteryear, when games were great, and games were not vessels for scam locking and cutting of content for the sake of bleeding cash from the customer. The app is a Free* download from the App Store. That's the good part.

Unfortunately that's the only good part.

The app may be free to download, and in Scamcom's own words, they intended it to 'simulate the experience' of going to an arcade in the days when arcades still existed. So to allow for this to happen, guess what... Every game BA DUM TISS... costs tokens to play. You are given 3 free tickets for free plays per day. That entitles you to play any of the 4 games currently featured. On offer are Street Fighter II (the original World Warrior, not Champion Edition), 1942, Ghouls and Ghosts and Commando. All of these are great, great titles in their time, and their value has not diminished today. These are retro classics that really should be played by everyone.

Just don't use this app to do it.

When your 3 free tickets run out, you can go to the virtual counter and 'purchase more tokens' to play. Guess how?... Yep, $0.99... lets just say one dollar... per ten tokens. That may sound cheap as games back in the day were a quarter a play, but... That was at the arcade, that had running costs and all that. This is a freaking iPhone game... Having to pay per play on a freaking PHONE GAME is beyond ludicrous. If paying per play isn't your thing, you can always 'buy the arcade machine' for $2.99... which gives you unlimited plays.

So lets see now... For this 'free' game... In order to actually 'own' it, and play it as much as you like when you like, you have to shell out a total of $12. A small amount for a console or PC title but a very princely sum for a mobile app. Not even Street Fighter 4 for iPhone cost that much and SF4 is a VERY worthwhile purchase. Additionally, true to Scamcom's asspain cash bleeding norm nowadays... Included are also a number of 'special features' aka cheats for each title. Back in the days of yesteryear, cheats were unlocked by completing the game, or by entering in a button combination of some sort. In today's scam locked content age, they are unlocked only by Visa or Mastercard. Each 'special feature' costs another dollar, and there are 2 available for SF2, 3 for 1942, 4 for Ghouls and Ghosts and 3 for Commando. So to own this little Free* app outright and to own every aspect and feature of it, you must shell out the RIDICULOUS amount of $24.

So much for free app.

Again, to all the blind, brainwashed sheep going BUT IT'S OPTIONAL bla bla yadda yadda spare me your tired old rhetoric. The cheats may be optional but that is HARDLY the point. The point is they EXIST in a cash locked form, that they are even ALLOWED TO EXIST IN THIS FORM, should be a crime in itself.

Oh... Did I mention that even if you were to pay said princely sum... The app contains ADVERTISEMENTS, that cannot be disabled?... Words fail me at this point as to how low Scamcom have fallen in their attempt to scrape for the tiniest nickel from anywhere they can get it.

It's good however that the app is indeed a free download from the Appstore. On the Appstore, you are unable to review or comment on an app until you have purchased it. Free download means anyone can get it and review. Do feel free to get it and give it a one-star review, decrying this poor scam attempt for what it is and deny Scamcom any money from it.

For those of you with a jailbroken iOS device and feel like they absolutely must play the games in this form, there is a CCC.plist file in /var/mobile/Applications/CapcomGame/Preferences that controls the level of scam content locking. Edit the file to look like the example below, and everything shall be laid bare to your whim. The best part? Scamcom saw $0.00 from it as they so rightfully deserve. All is right with the world indeed.

PS: Please do NOT ask me how to access the file. Those with jailbroken iOS devices should know how to access the filesystem. If you don't, it's not my job to teach you. Level up your Google Fu and you will get there, young grasshopper.

*aka the 'Freemium' model. Should be called Feemium. There is no free.

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