The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) remains unimpressed by the terms imposed on developers who publish games on the the Amazon Appstore, despite the retailer’s attempt to clarify its stance on app pricing.
The IGDA last week made public its concerns about the Amazon Appstore, specifically the control that Amazon insists on having over an app’s price. While developers are free to set their own minimum or “list” price, they have to guarantee Amazon that they will never offer the app at a lower price elsewhere, and the retailer is free to discount prices as it sees fit. In the event that it makes an app entirely free – which it is able to do without prior warning or approval – developers are guaranteed just 20 per cent of their list price.
The IGDA’s argument was that Amazon’s terms were designed solely to enable it to increase its share of the Android download market, with scant regard for developers themselves. Its statement prompted the retailer to issue a brief response on its website pointing out that the terms and conditions that to which the IGDA referred were out of date.
“There are both PDF and plain text versions [of the developer agreement] on our developer portal, and these versions didn’t agree,” the firm wrote. “The PDF version was correct; the plain text version was old. This has now been fixed.
“The old plain text version was outdated and didn’t show the updates we made to the agreement last November, including that the definition of list price applies only to the app’s current price on a similar store. Thanks for making the store a success.”
Responding on its blog, the IGDA said: “The IGDA is pleased that Amazon has shown willingness to clarify its distribution terms so that all versions on the Amazon site are consistent. However, the majority of our concerns remain unaddressed.
“Amazon is still reserving the right to pay developers just 20 per cent of their minimum list price at any time, without notification or advance approval. Additionally, Amazon is still unilaterally preventing developers from ever making an exclusive promotional deal with another marketplace.
“In summary, Apple’s terms enable it to steeply discount a game developer’s content without permission – a tactic Amazon could easily use to force game developers to absorb the cost for Amazon to compete with other app stores.
“We are not impressed with Amazon's recent gesture, nor is this matter the result of a misunderstanding. We believe that Amazon's terms, as they currently stand, represent a threat to game developers.”