The Simpsons: Tapped Out is very popular on both iOS and Android. The brand alone was enough to earn EA millions of dollars in revenue. EA made this kind of money by littering the game with in-app purchases. Donuts, which serve as premium currency, are integral to progressing in the game in a reasonable amount of time. Donuts decrease quest and build times, and they’re used to purchase the best items. Simply put, you won’t get your ideal Springfield without buying donuts. The problem is donuts can get expensive. 12 donuts costs $1.99, 60 donuts is $4.99 and 2400 donuts is $99.99. The way this game is set up, you’ll be burning through donuts (and your money) like crazy. This has led to an uprise in hacks. These hacks are especially popular for Android since they’re quite easy to implement. iOS devices can also use these hacks.
Item and currency hacks are facilitated by applications such as Game Guardian. This application can’t be found on Google Play or iTunes, and only works on rooted Android or jailbroken iOS devices. Game Guardian lets users change specific numeric values within free-to-play games. For example, someone who only has 11 donuts, can use Game Guardian to get 30,000 donuts. That’s enough to buy every single premium item the game offers with thousands of donuts to spare. This app can also be used to acquire an unlimited amount of in-game dollars, instantly increase levels and pretty much alter any numeric value the game has. Unfortunately for EA, there’s little it can do about it.
EA can update the game to block hacking applications, but enterprising hackers will almost certainly find a way around that. As of yesterday’s update to The Simpsons: Tapped Out, currency hacks still worked. Even with currency hacks, The Simpsons: Tapped Out will continue to be profitable because the majority of players don’t root their devices or sideload applications that aren’t in Google Play.
So besides wanting things for free, why do apps like Game Guardian exist? Here’s a description of Game Guardian from its website:
Without it, you are played by games; with it, you play games in your own rules!
“Game Guardian” is a game hack/alteration tool. With it, you can modify money, HP, SP, and much more. You can enjoy the fun part of a game without suffering from its unseasonable design.”
Game Guardian is right about one thing. Many free-to-play games these days do suffer from “unseasonable design.” The Simpsons: Tapped Out is an offender of this. EA only gives away a negligible amount of donuts as a reward for raising your level. This generosity is offset when EA raises the amount of donuts needed to complete a task. Some things can take six donuts to complete instantly. When the game first released, two donuts could be used to speed up the majority of tasks. The Simpsons: Tapped Out is not a player-friendly game. It’s a money pit that takes advantage of Simpsons fans.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not right to use currency cheats, but EA is also guilty of cheating players by charging them an exorbitant amount of money to make very little progress. I don’t think any side is completely right in this situation.
What do you think? Do you use Game Guardian or a similar application?