Unhappy Developer Pulls Popular Game from Amazon Appstore


The Amazon Appstore is a disaster. So says Bithack CEO Emil Romanus, explaining why he has decided to pull his game Apparatus from the third party apps market. Don’t be mistaken, the game was doing just fine for itself — Appartus reached the number three spot in Amazon’s rankings — but the Swedish development house’s distaste with Amazon’s way of running things has them shifting their focus to the Android Market.

Romanus details his complaints in a news post found on the Bithack site, taking issue with slow app review times and a lack of channels for easy communication between the developer and customers. Of chief concern is the inability to directly contact a customer or reply to a review in order to clear up any troubleshooting issues that may be leading to bad gaming experiences. In short, Romanus believes the Amazon Appstore is not set up for smaller, independent developers to succeed.

Customers who downloaded Apparatus from Amazon will need to buy the game again from the Android Market in order to receive future updates. The good news is Bithack will refund the cost to anyone buying the game a second time (if you paid full price the first time around — free downloads won’t be honored fro a refund). Amazon will no doubt continue to refine their appstore, though whether or not it can lure Bithack back into the fold is anybody’s guess.

[via Bithack]

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  1. Didn’t Amazon just give away this one for free recently? Maybe I’m cynical, but my first thought is that this might be a way to get some of those people that downloaded it for free to pay for upgrades to the game.

    1. Exactly my thoughts…

    2. Yup, they made almost $100,000 off the free downloads, unless they stupidly agreed a modification to the market agreement.

      This just seems like another money grab.

      1. Mike, we made $500 on Amazon in total over the course of a month, including time before and after the Free App of the Day.
        We were prompted to sign an agreement for 0% revenue during this 24 hour period, which I assume all other devs of apps in this campaign have. If this is not the case, and they asked us to sign these papers simply because we are a small, easily fooled, team, then that just makes this an even bigger issue.

        1. Consider Mike DG pimp slapped.

        2. Excellent Move. I applaud you! I HATE the Amazon appstore and unistalled it Immediately. ANDROID MARKET FTW

          1. Once again, you’re proving yourself to be an idiot. I guess the phrase freedom of choice means nothing to you, or you have no understanding of the concept.

          2. Da Fauq? I never mentioned choice at all, you pompous asshole. You go ahead and download that shitty Apple “app store” wannabe, I’m wont stop you. I said I hate it, I didnt say everyone else should hate it too. Once again, you’re proving yourself to be an idiot.

        3. You did sign it, didn’t you? You were given a choice of not signing it if you didn’t agree. If your “chief concern” is not being able to reply to a review, how is the Android Market going to help you?

          1. Agreed.

        4. That’s a crappy biz model for Amazon to push on small devs, or any devs. I got the app. I love it. Knowing how you are treated by Amazon makes me want to get it from the Market and pay you for your work.
          Educating the people about how this truly works is the best weapon for motivating change.

        5. Damn that sucks. I never pay for apps from the Amazon Appstore, I only try them out then buy them from the Android Market. I’m buying your app right now.

          1. Good Man

    3. This certainly does appear to be the case… his argument is that the Amazon App Store does not enable communication between the developer and the commenter… Android Market doesn’t allow this either.

    4. If I remember correctly Amazon pays the developers retail price for each of the free downloads.

  2. “free downloads won’t be honored fro a refund” No refunds if you have a fro

  3. he should offer it for free on the android market for a day so that they guys who got it for free on the amazon store can download it again.

    1. Good idea, will email Google and ask if this is possible.

  4. I use the Amazon Appstore once a day. Check the free app and download it if I want it. The store never gets a 2nd thought for anything else.

    IMO its a cancer to Android app market success.

    1. So it’s a cancer that you’re supporting? No seriously though, this is exactly my daily routine with the Amazon App store.

      1. No offense taken. I’m guilty, but honestly I probably wouldn’t download too many Android phone apps with or without the store. I download iPad apps until I get around to that Ice Cream Sandwich tablet with 10’s of thousands of apps to choose from.

      2. Haha. I wake up, before I even get out of bed, I check, and the Amazon app store for the free app.

        1. lmaoo..that’s exactly the same thing i do every morning as well.. ahahaha.

          1. Ditto, only instead of woot its teemagnet. But thats essentially the same thing.

    2. “IMO its a cancer to Android app market success.”

      AGREED. I’ve been saying that from the start!

    3. Do you only do your grocery shopping at a single store? When you buy a car, do you only go to a single dealership? Do you ever price compare?

      Competition in the marketplace is a great thing. Arguably its the reason why Android is successful in the first place.

      1. Amazon is diluting the price of Android apps and making everyone think that the value of quality apps that pop up (like Apparatus) is $0.00. This is part of why Android app users think a well built app/game for $2.99 is high and $4.99 is absurd.

        I’m not AT ALL mad at there being multiple stores for Android apps but come on, they are giving away shit that should be paid for. NOT GOOD FOR BUSINESS.

  5. Bithack’s loss. Seems a bit selfish. Include your email address in the program – that’s a direct link to give customers support! What other channel do you want?

    1. What if you can’t get the app to load?

      1. He can provide an email address in the description.

        1. He can’t because the description is not written by the developer. It is written by Amazon and they filter such stuff out. Also the description is not always correct and making them correct it can take ages.

  6. Amazon app store is good for nothing more than the free app of the day. Updates to Amazon are terribly slow. Certain apps can have 3-4 updates before Amazon decides to push out an update already 3 updates behind.

  7. Sorry but I call bs. Anyone has the ability to respond to a customer’s review or question if they write a review. Devs like this remind me of the guy who sees a snake by the river; The snake pleads for him to carry him across. The man says, promis you won’t bite. The snake promises and halfway across the snake bites him anyway.

    “Why’d you do that?” the man asked.
    “You knew what I was when you picked me up.” the snake responds.

    1. Bithack can’t because they are from Sweden, where the Amazon Appstore is not available.

      1. I’m gonna have to call BS on that excuse as well. I live in Indonesia and I can write and reply to reviews all day long. While I don’t live in Sweden and this doesn’t 100% mean its the case, if its available in Indonesia its available in Sweden.

  8. The biggest drawback to me is that there is no changelog for any of the apps updated. Not to mention you have to manually check for updates every single time.

    I only use Amazon Appstore for the free app of the day. Any other app purchase will be from the Market.

  9. Honestly it is his content he may do what he likes with it.

  10. Way to punish the consumer. If you don’t like what the store is doing that’s fine, then don’t sell your next apps through Amazon. In the meantime you sold through Amazon, your customers bought through Amazon, it’s up to you to support that.

    Maybe you could have kept the app in Amazon but had an updates pimp your next app which was available “Only through the official Marketplace” or some other subtle slap towards Amazon. Otherwise, it does sound like a way to get those of us who got the game free to pay for it – reeks of a money grab.

  11. the best thing about the amazon market place is that i can have multiple devices logged into the same account. meaning if i do buy an app i only have to buy it once and all my accounts can download it. with android each market is tied to a gmail account. we have several gmail accounts (between phones and tablets) but all share the same amazon account.

  12. I hate the Amazon App suite, and because of it, I won’t but any app through it, just the free ones.

    Amazon makes way to many apps free.

  13. I’m sticking to the Google Market because of its ability to remotely remove malicious applications. I haven’t ever been able to find information that confirms or denies the ability of Amazon’s Market to do this.

  14. I bought the game on the android market (it’s a pretty good game too). The big fail for Amazon for me is that it’s not available in my country. Amazon can ship me books, so how hard is it to ship me bits? I’ve found a few apps now that I would have paid a few bucks for that are only on Amazon, not in the market, so that’s revenue they’ll never see.

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