Ryu’s MacHeist pulls a heist of his own

June 10, 2008 at 10:18 pm (shareware) (, , , , , )

Well, there’s been quite a little uproar at MacHeist today.

The new and improved bundle was released today, ostensibly to increase less-than-stellar sales of the MacHeist Retail Bundle. The Retail Bundle was released a couple of months ago and has been sold online, plus there is a boxed version that is being sold in brick and mortar stores like Apple.

The bundle was essentially a “greatest hits” compilation of favorite applications from previous bundles. As such, many of the MacHeist faithful did not jump onboard to purchase this bundle as they had in the past because they already had most or all of the applications. They bought some for gifts, but the sales were nowhere near what previous MacHeist events have been.

So, the MacHeist “Directorate”, Phill Ryu and John Casasanta, decided to jump-start things with a ‘new and improved’ bundle, with a few new applications. Vector Designer was added to replace Wallet (the developer supposedly had a prior commitment and only contracted for a short amount of time). TextExpander and Sound Studio were added as “locked applications”, which would be given to buyers once a certain amount was raised. TextExpander was unlocked quickly, and Sound Studio probably won’t be too far behind. There was also a “Bonus App”, the highly popular Voodoo Pad, for people who bought during a specified 24-hour period.

Always in the past, people who had already purchased the bundle were given the additional applications as sort of an “early-buyers bonus”. Well, the early adopters, who supported MacHeist by buying a lackluster bundle, were given the added apps…except Voodoo Pad.

There was a lot of talk and angry postings over at the MacHeist forums. Things got worse when Ryu suggested that Voodoo Pad could possibly still be had…provided customers buy the bundle again during a 24-hour period when the bundle is advertised on a collaborating-but-yet-unnamed “interesting, highly trafficked site”.

So, early adopters, some of MacHeist’s best and most vocal supporters, essentially got screwed by buying early. Fence-sitters were rewarded with a premium application. One poster stated that “it’s a shame that people who bought in through a random promotion got a better deal than people who were loyal from the beginning.”

Ryu commented on the criticism about not including Voodoo Pad by saying, ” We try to be fair, but quite frankly, we’re in the red right now, mostly due to the decision to try to improve this bundle for you guys, and MAINLY because we wanted to reward any previous customers with the three main additional apps. There’s no way we can afford to do that. Sorry.” Another poster shot back, “If you’re in the red, it’s because most of the loyal MacHeist people already had most, if not all, of the apps in the bundle; therefore there wasn’t much incentive for us to buy.”

True enough, previous MacHeist bundles have resulted in enormous sales. Also, it isn’t a problem with the applications themselves. They are very good. The problem is just that the overwhelming majority of people who support MacHeist already have one or more copies of most of the programs. Even two of the three bonus programs that were added were in previous bundles, one in a MacHeist bundle and one in a MacUpdate bundle.

It doesn’t look like Ryu is going to change his position on this. However, it will probably hurt initial sales when the next bundle is up for grabs. A lot more people will likely wait to see what special deals will be offered before committing their support, and their money, to MacHeist.

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