Amazon Underground: site launches app store where games are 'actually free', without in-app purchases

Android app will let people have their ‘freemium’ games paid for by Amazon, rather than having to shell out themselves

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The Independent Tech

Amazon has launched a new app store, called Underground, to let people play games for “actually free”.

The app, which can be downloaded for Android phones, looks set to take on the “freemium” model that has become popular with games developers. That sees publishers offer games for free initially — but then asks users to pay up for extra in-game bonuses, or levels, or simply to play at all.

Instead of that model, Amazon will pay developers according to how long people play them for. That cost will all be picked up by Amazon, apparently paid for out of revenues generated by ads.

The store will offer “100 per cent free versions of popular premium titles like OfficeSuite Professional 8, Goat Simulator, 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”.

 

Google doesn’t let apps that are themselves app stores to be offered in its official App Store. So users have to head to the Amazon website to download the app, and they will be automatically available on Kindle’s Fire tablets.

Amazon said that the feature will be “a long-term program rather than a one-off promotion”. It said that it will “continue to invent and add more benefits to underground”.

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