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IGDA warns developers to think carefully before accepting Amazon's Appstore terms

IGDA warns developers to think carefully before accepting Amazon's Appstore terms
It may still be only available for residents of the US, but the Amazon Appstore for Android has certainly shaken up the Android ecosystem.

It was the first market to host Angry Birds Rio, and its Paid App for Free Every Day has distributed high quality games for free, driving downloads and visibility.

However, not everyone is happy.

The International Game Developers Association, a grassroots organisation, has released an open letter; what it calls a 'Important Advisory about Amazon's Appstore Distribution Terms'.

Misaligned goals

It claims, "Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer's content as a weapon with which to capture marketshare from competing app stores."

This argument is based on the terms that say Amazon can change the price of apps and games without the publisher's permission. It does guarantee however that it will pay publishers 70 percent of the purchase price or 20 percent of the publisher's preset list price; whichever is greater.

The IGDA also points out that Amazon's terms say "developers cannot set their list price above the lowest list price available or previously available on any similar service," limiting cross-platform business flexibility.

It then goes on to propose five scenarios in which Amazon could use price to its own advantage but perhaps not to the financial benefit of content creators.

Equality

To solve these concerns, the IGDA says Amazon (or any other app store) should be required to seek permission before discounting prices, and that developers should have the freedom to set a minimum list price, without regard to the price of their content in other app stores.

In this way, it calls on Amazon to response to its points, and developers to think carefully before submitting content to its store.

"It would be foolish to assume that because Amazon's Appstore is small today, it will not become the Walmart of the Android ecosystem tomorrow", the IGDA points out, warning that Amazon's terms could be copied more widely by other app stores in time.

[source: IGDA]
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at PG.biz which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.

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