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Friday, April 15, 2011

Amazon's Android Appstore is bad for games developers

A GAMES DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION has slammed Amazon's Android Appstore for its restrictive pricing policy, saying it potentially will harm developers.

The International Game Developers Association (IDGA), an independent non-profit video games coders' organisation, wrote the open letter, which calls for Amazon to stop becoming "the Walmart of the Android ecosystem tomorrow".

The IDGA said Amazon has an unique set of terms and conditions that mean developers don't get a say in how their Android apps are priced. It said Amazon takes full control over the game pricing structure and claimed that could have a negative impact on the games development community.

In Amazon's price control-freakery, it pays developers the greater of either 70 per cent of the purchase price or 20 per cent of the listed price on Android Appstore.

"Under Amazon's current terms, Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer's content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare from competing app stores," the IDGA summed up in the open letter.

The IDGA also said it wasn't aware of any other games distribution service, online or offline, that paid developers a 20 per cent minimum without the developer's permission.

When Amazon launched the Android Appstore in the US last month, it said it was trying hard to verify the integrity of apps at the store, given the huge number of Android apps on the market. It would also have been good if, at the same time, Amazon had been prepared to verify the integrity and fairness of its pricing policy.


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