Less than 2 days passed since the results of the first phase, the Simulator Testing, had been published. After the initial excitement and hope for some kick-ass applications, the presence of a good amount of disappointment is not deniable within the bada community regarding the quite.. unexpected winners.
Taking the LaughingBaby App, for example. This application plays 5 sounds, contains 6 buttons and has approximately 6 other images. According to Samsung, this deserves to win a Samsung Wave S8500 and $8.000 in cash. Or check out Bloxter and RelaxPuzzle, a Tetris clone and.. well.. a sliding puzzle.. Now, you might ask yourself, how could such apps come this far and win several grands?
To be honest, I can’t tell you either, but its certainly not because there were not enough developers participating or some weak competition. Have a look at the full fledged hotel simulator game Hotel Tycoon Resort which received 4 of 5 stars in the Blackberry Store with almost 200 reviews. This got sorted out beforehand.
It leaves room for assumptions. Perhaps Samsung tries to address the many private developers instead of corporate groups. But again, this doesn’t seem to make too much sense either, since they scare away the larger corporate developers who actually add the major part of application revenue.
300 Apps, 280 Winners
And this is not even the end of it. If you properly examined all the 300 winners, and added everything up, you might find out that there are actually only a total of 280 winners instead of the actual 300. How did this come? It’s simple, there are in fact 210 apps who won the simulator prize and the 90 left-overs who are still competing for the bada champion’s title. But on a closer look you find several duplicate entries of developer names. Check out FlagsQuiz and hangman, or Copter1_1 and Sudoku2 (for the heck! hangman and Sudoku, such ever-greens just deserve to win, right?) – both apps each are from the same person (assuming the last name and the beginning of their registered email address are enough to identify a person).
And let’s just pretend we haven’t read the judging criteria like:
- Uniqueness – unique and creative usage of the bada platform (because there isn’t a “menstrual cycle calendar” app in the Appstore yet.. or.. is there?)
- Commercial potential – usefulness for the mass-market? Would customers use it? (who cares how small the target group of a baby app is [especially in times of current demographic change] as long it can play the sound of a television! (??))
- Design – a professional feel and user experience that integrates well with the device? (Matter of taste, i suppose)
Samsung may, of course, do as they please when carrying out such contests, but I cannot see much logic behind this all. You might say, those developers, in fact there are 16 (sixteen!), created 2 apps that beat the remaining participating apps in whatever twisted judging criteria Samsung chose. What is the point of it, if developers with multiple winning applications are yet still restricted to a prize for just one of their winning apps? That is, if you scored 2 apps in the Simulator Phase, you still only get one Samsung Wave S85000 like the other 174 single winners. The execution of this contest appears quite flawed, because the only direct consequence of nominating multiple winning apps by the same developer would be that Samsung needs to hand out one less Samsung Wave handset. After all, they managed to save a total of 20 phones, that makes about $8.000
But what are $8.000 compared $300.000 as the grand prize? Or the fact that by not handing out the left-over 20 phones, Samsung is denying 20 further developers, with possibly great potential or resources, the means to continue their development, as they might be missing the Wave as a testing device. Also, rumors are afloat, stating that according to developers’ server logs, their application files had never been touched for an actual simulator test. This appears to apply to many apps submitted shortly before the deadline.
In the end, Samsung scares off developers without a particular gain for themselves nor for the multi-awarded developers. Wouldn’t an email to those have sufficed, mentioning that they are interested in their 2nd app project as well? At least, we find only unique winners within the 90 final contestants.
Anyway, let’s just congratulate the winners, and especially Moon, who apparently managed to get through 4 of the 210 Simulator Phase Winner Apps. Kudos for all the hard work.