June 7, 2013
Amazon Opens New Shop For Indie Games
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Amazon just opened shop on an Indie Games Store. The new store will give Indie games developers -- primarily casual games -- an opportunity to get noticed. Amazon's Peter Heinrich announced the new storefront in a blog post.
"Game development is an art, like any other. It can be personally rewarding, and like other forms of artistic expression, great games can come from anywhere. Powerhouse game studios don't hold a monopoly on inventiveness or creativity, and some of the best games of all time were created on a shoestring by two or three people with a shared vision," wrote Heinrich.
While Indie games are often rewarding, they are often undiscovered under the shadow of larger games. "It's hard to get noticed, though. If you're an indie game developer, it's usually a headache to get your game in front of people, both gamers and reviewers," he wrote.
The Indie Games page will have several functions. An Indie Spotlight will offer developer Q&As and featured bios to get people interested in the games. Indie Bundles will package interesting titles. From now until July 23rd, Amazon will offer Indie Bundles made up of five, six or ten games for $9.99, a 90 percent discount over separate game purchases. A 'Gift With Purchase' will go on from now until July 17. Customers who purchase any Indie title from the Indie Games Store will get codes to redeem three pre-selected titles for free. Each purchase entitles customers to three free games, which change daily. Indie Gamer's Choice will let gamers vote on games to move them up in the ranks.
An addition of an Indie Games page comes nearly a year after Amazon set up its game studios. To date Amazon Game Studios has three titles including "Living Classics," "Air Patriots," and "Photo Agent." The move benefits gamers, developers and of course, Amazon. Developers get a platform to showcase their games. The market is dominated by developers such as Rovio ("Angry Birds") and Zynga ("Farmville"), making it difficult for a small developer to get noticed. Gamers will gain access to some of the gaming gems from smaller developers.
Amazon stands to benefit by merchandising its game offerings, and building its ecosystem. If Amazon is able to build up the number of games it offers, it can become a destination for gamers. The online retailer can also advertise the Indie Games section to attract gamers shopping on Amazon.
If Amazon fosters Indie developers, it might just foster the next breakout title that competes with the "Angry Birds" franchise, or other popular titles.
The Indie Games Store will promote games for PC, Mac and browser-based games. Some of the early titles include "Don't Starve" by Klei Entertainment, "FTL: Faster than Light" by Subset Games, and "The Bridge" by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild.