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Amazon Pricing Terms A Sore Subject For Game Developers

April 15, 2011

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA), which represents individual video game developers, has accused Amazon of setting pricing terms that could hurt developers over time.

IGDA also charged the online retailer with trying to win a monopoly selling video games made on Android software.

In an email to its members on Thursday, IGDA took issue with Amazon for requiring developers to permanently lower prices on Amazon if they offer a discount on another site or outlet.

“Amazon has little incentive not to use a developer’s content as a weapon with which to capture market share from competing app stores,” the IGDA said in the email.

Amazon, which launched its “App store” last month with games developed using Google’s Android software, has been willing to address the concerns of the IGDA, the group said. However, it said that could change once its app store “becomes so big that Android developers have no choice but to distribute their content” through the store.

But Amazon’s market position could prove to be irresistible to developers.

“The Amazon ecosystem is controlled where we don’t find too many pirated versions of our games or malware games, so for the consumers, it will be a safer place,” Gameloft Chief Executive Michel Guillemot told Reuters in an interview last month in reference to Amazon’s store.

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