The launch of Amazon Underground was front and center this week, and we’ve seen a lot of excitement about apps and games that are #ActuallyFree. Amazon Underground customers will find 100% free versions of popular premium titles like Office Suite Professional 8 and Fruit Ninja and popular titles with in-app purchases like Frozen Free Fall, Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, and many more.
Tom’s Guide wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so they tried out the Amazon Underground game Jetpack Joyride, and says “The real magic comes in the form of free in-app purchases” and “There is no limit on the number of in-app purchases you can make, and you can buy items repeatedly, depending on whether the app allows it. That’s a huge perk.” Some developers wonder: what’s the catch? There is no catch. An article on TechCrunch hits this home when it notes, “…the “actually free” program isn’t a one-off promotion and that the company is committed to this program.”
OK, so now you’re wondering: why is Amazon doing this? In an article on CNBC, mobile Analyst Jack Kent says, “By paying for the apps, Amazon is showing that the app store's role is part of a bigger strategy to drive users into its ecosystem”. Developers like Amazon Underground too. Alok Rodinhood Kejriwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Games2Win says, “I believe Amazon Underground is a massive game changer for the Casual Gaming Business…” and then notes that Amazon Underground “…validates that 'time spent' is the most 'scalable, relevant and indexable' metric to reward mobile games consumption.”
VentureBeat thinks this is good for developers too, noting, “If the new model takes off, it could provide an interesting path to revenues for companies that are struggling with microtransactions in the free-to-play business model, where players can get a game or app for free and then pay for in-app items.”. We agree. One of the most important objectives of this program is to help developers make more money.
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