Amazon Underground: A New Plan to Compensate Developers While Giving Consumers Free Games
Android users can start playing "actually free" games now.
It’s probably been a strange couple of weeks for everyone at Amazon HQ. After The New York Times slammed the tech giant’s questionable workplace practices, this morning, Mashable reported that the company will be shuttering its Fire phone department. While smiles might be scarce around the water cooler right now, there is a sliver of hope coming out of the behemoth’s games and app sector.
Amazon Underground—a brand-new Android app storefront focusing on new mobile games—is set to take out the frustration of surprise in-game purchases by providing consumers with “over ten-thousand dollars” worth in value, all for free. No more having to buy credits to continue your excellent run on Minion Rush or, you know, whatever other games people play on their phones… By taking away the hassle of money-sucking app games, players can continue to get lost in whatever glowing world they want to without hesitation.
And that’s why this offering works for the game developers who put out Candy Crush, Bejeweled, and so many other time-suckers. For every minute that someone plays your game via Underground, Amazon will pay the developers $0.0020. That that doesn’t seem like a lot (or, really, like an actual monetary amount at all), but there are no more financial reasons for gamers to stop playing, so the compensation could build quite quickly. Amazon says that its goal for Underground is to get developers to “focus less on monetizing and more on creating great user experiences.” Sounds noble enough…
Now, while it isn’t completely clear what Amazon gets out of this (besides some well-timed good vibes, of course), getting Android users to switch from using the Google Play store might be good enough to boost their rank in the app world, making this all worth it. Free games for all!