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Michael Ritter, Vice President Licensing & Distribution at Social Gaming Network, is our guest blogger for this post. SGN connects people around the world through great games, including Skies of Glory, Fluff Friend Rescue, Warp Rush, Bird's the Word, and Night of the Living Dead Defense.
We decided to participate in the Amazon Appstore In-App Purchasing beta program because Amazon is a ubiquitous and trusted ecommerce platform with disruptive devices, so we felt it was a perfect storm of opportunity. Amazon's in-app purchasing solution created a great way for us to reduce friction and drive more revenue from our games, as tens of millions of people already have made purchases with Amazon. Specifically, the Kindle Fire’s integrated storefront and marketplace work seamlessly and help drive mobile game distribution. Through in-app purchases we are able to add additional content to our games, which help deepen the player’s experience and increase their enjoyment.
With our games we have tried a mix of revenue models, including paid, paid with in-app purchase, and free with in-app purchases. Our strategy largely depends on the type of game and expected game play behavior. In our Amazon games, the model revolves around the use of in-app purchases of virtual goods, although we are starting to experiment with ad-based games whereby users will have the ability to purchase the option to disable ads. We feel the freemium strategy coupled with in-app purchases provides the greatest ability to delivery quality games to a large audience, while also providing free content for casual players and the ability to upgrade for those players looking for a richer experience.
From the consumer’s point of view, Amazon has done an exceptional job creating a natural and seamless purchasing process that allow users to easily make a purchase and continue playing the game. From a developer’s point of view, we found Amazon’s technical support team to be exceptional. They were attentive, helpful and very responsive to supporting and walking us through the installation process.
Overall, I’d say that offering IAP in your games/apps is a great way to drive revenue as well as provide enhanced content for users to enjoy. The Amazon Appstore SDK and In-App Purchasing APIs are well worth installing, whether your game is paid or free.