Game Developers Express Distaste with Amazon Appstore Pricing Policies

An email sent to members of the International Game Developers Association today, the organization took issue with the pricing of games on the Amazon Appstore, claiming the retailer is using “developer’s content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare from competing app stores.” The statement contends that Amazon’s pricing policies will have a negative impact on developers in the long run.

Amazon requires that developers lower application pricing permanently to match discounted prices in competing app markets, even if the discount is only temporary. The IGDA doesn’t believe Amazon should lower prices on games that are selling well, thus reducing income for the developer. Amazon is currently working with the IGDA to address these concerns, but the organization fears that as their Appstore becomes increasingly popular, developers will have little choice but to submit to whatever terms the retailer requests lest their games miss out on sales from the app market.

The IDGA’s concerns are only the most recent in a long history of developer complaints about the profitability of Android apps and games. Game distributor Gameloft is one company which flat-out skipped over the Android Market due to fears of software piracy and now offers their titles via the Amazon Appstore, a big win for the retail giant. The IDGA is primarily focused on independent developers. Amazon has yet to issue an official response.

[via Reuters]

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  • Bela

    If you don’t want to sell your game on the the amazon store you don’t have to. WHy on earth are you complaining? You found another venue to peddle your wares and are displeased that they want to sell them for less?

    • Madrenergic

      Because Android Market offers zero protection from piracy, while the Amazon Appstore offers adverse terms on pricing. It’s a lose-lose situation for them.

      • Jon

        Then go to Apple. Nobody is forcing anyone to make Android games.

      • YamiYaiba

        I’ll be the first to admit that Android has piracy issue, but El Goog has offered up sever forms of copy protection that, frankly, most devs don’t take advantage of. I’ll admit as well that I’m not a dev, so I’m speaking out of ignorance as to its effectiveness. Can anyone inform me on this one?

        • ari_free

          It’s not just about copy protection. Google allows anyone to submit an app even if it is pirated. They only act after the fact if they get around to it.

  • ari_free

    “The IGDA doesn’t believe Amazon should lower prices on games that are selling well, thus reducing income for the developer.”

    Reduced income for developers means reduced income for Amazon, which gets a 30% share. That doesn’t make sense. Reduced pricing, on the other hand, may lead to increased income for both parties.

    • greatone_pro

      It makes perfect sense when Amazon is in this business attempting to increase their volume of selection in comparison to the Android Market Place..

      Decreasing the price has no real negative affect on a company the size of Amazon.

      • ari_free

        Developers also need that volume of selection because people won’t buy their apps from Amazon if people won’t go to Amazon in the first place.

  • Rustam

    Wish motorola would let its customers use amazon and do away with locked bootloader. Feels like we are missing out on more and more things. Unless this changes my next phone will not be from motorola.

    • BulletTooth_Tony

      AT&T prevents installing of 3rd party apps, not Moto’s locked bootloader. But stay tuned on the AT&T end, they’re trying to figure it all out to allow it.

      • alephxero

        Because obviously backing off and letting users have non-crippled Android access isn’t an option for the Death Star.

        • YamiYaiba

          You assume ATT wants Android to succeed. Most of their eggs are still in the iOS basket

    • tjpeco

      My Droid X and my Xoom both install apps from the Amazon Appstore just fine.

      I think its your carrier that has, and always will, suck balls.

  • NoBug

    Amazon requires that I have to have Amazon’s App Store installed AND I have stay logged in my account in order to use apps that I download from Amazon. FUCK THAT!

    • myamid


    • Brad

      How is that any different than the regular Android Market? It has to stay installed, obviously, and you’re logged into your Google account at all times. I fail to see any logical basis for your complaint.

      • YamiYaiba

        It leaves the appstore running in the background. I, like many users, am anal about what runs on my phone and when. I get tired of killing the appstore constantly

        • ScottColbert

          Again, as Brad said, how is that any different from having the market running at all times and being constantly logged into your Goggle account. The footprint for the amazon appstore is so miniscule, it won’t make a difference if its running or not.

          • monlosez

            It uses 0 battery in background anyways.

    • ScottColbert

      And no you don’t have to be constantly logged in to use apps. I just killed the appstore from running and can still use apps I’ve dl’ed from there. Ignorance is no excuse for faux righteous indignation.

    • Anthony

      Except that isn’t true. The Amazon App store doesn’t even have to be installed to use a installed app from the Amazon App store.

      Trust me. I have uninstalled the Amazon App store.

    • Isaiah Everage

      I’ve completely disconnected from my cell phone data and had no internet, thus meaning I’m not logged in. You just need to be logged in to download the apps, but its not a DRM server of any kind. Once it’s on your phone, you don’t need the app store anymore.

  • Keller

    Android Market or GTFO

  • Jens Zalzala

    I keep hearing that Gameloft is using the Amazon App store instead of the Android Market, but the only game I can find is Asphalt, which is also on the Android Market.
    So what gives?

  • Treefq

    This is an easy fix, don’t use amazon app store. Wow, lets move on to something more important, like world hunger.

  • Rustam

    Sorry still kinda new to android just switched from iphone, I thought motorola blocked apps from outside sources didn’t realize it was at&t.

  • Papa

    I like that Amazon is doing something to fight piracy. Too many cheap ass people want to get stuff for free. Same goes with iOS though where I beleive piracy is an even bigger issue than it is on Android. You can download an app store that gives you access to all the paid apps on iOS, it lets you search, rate, etc for free (its called installous).

    • YamiYaiba

      Kinda like Applanet? And to a degree, Amazon is doing this too. Most of my Android owning peers use the Amazon Appstore for the free app of the day and that’s it.

    • Bobbyzio36

      Nut exactly true. Not all Apple apps are available using Installious; just those apps that have been hacked and made available by others..

  • Whap

    Motorola allows you access to the amazon store……i would assume it’s your carrier blocking your access.

  • ScottColbert

    I’m still not sure how dev’s can whine about Amazon’s pricing policies when 2 months ago it was making them nothing. Everything they get from Amazon and Opera store sales is in addition to their market sales, not in place of, there’s a difference.

  • presto117

    I’m in the middle of making a new app that I’ll be submitting to the Android Market, and I plan on submitting it to the Amazon Appstore also for two reasons only. The first is that the first year is free, and the second is just because I can. I’ll have the Android Market for most of my income, and anything from Amazon will just be a little extra. I understand that they don’t want to use the Android Market out of fear of piracy, but it’s either you make all the money you would be making from the popular Android Market and suffer a few illegal downloads every once in a while that you will never, ever even know happened, or you just sit in one app store that’s marginally less popular and accessible and complain about the money you’re not getting. Piracy is a problem, but I don’t consider it a big enough problem to completely forego the Android Market.