IGDA Attacks the Amazon Appstore for Hurting Games Prices

Posted by at 11:03 am on April 14, 2011

An International Game Developers Association e-mail on Thursday attacked the Amazon Appstore for hurting the prices for games. A no-better-price rule that prevents even temporary price drops at rival Android app stores is believed to be forcing an unfair choice on game writers, who either have to avoid price cuts and risk losing sales or else hurt profits by cutting the price everywhere at the same time. They also criticized a familiar Amazon practice of discounting an app price on its own, which they saw as punishing developers by taking the profit out of a strong-selling app.

The IGDA said Amazon had been receptive to some issues for now but noted the store had “little incentive not to use a developer’s content as a weapon” to grab share from Android Market or any other store. Amazon could just as easily clamp down if it became big enough that developers were dependent on the Appstore.

Its practices aren’t uncommon and have drawn fire from the book and music fields, where similar rules on best pricing and involuntary price cuts have left content publishers only reluctantly staying onboard.

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