In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
The e-retailer’s ‘In-App Purchasing’ ties to Amazon accounts.
A new service from Amazon.com Inc. enables consumers playing online video games to use their Amazon accounts to buy virtual goods, currencies, expansions for new levels or challenges and other items. The feature, called “In-App Purchasing,” enables game developers to put those capabilities into games consumers play on the web or on their Apple Macintosh, PC, Android or Kindle Fire mobile devices.
Amazon, No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, says items available for sale in games will also be available on Amazon.com, and that in-app purchases will appear in best seller lists, product recommendations and other marketing campaigns, Amazon says. Customers can use any credit card, gift card or credit in their Amazon accounts to buy in-app items, with all transactions supported by Amazon customer service and Amazon’s fraud detection technology.
“We love that Amazon will allow players of FreeFall Tournament to buy virtual items using the same login credentials and payment information they already have on file with Amazon.com,” says Chris Scholz, CEO of online and video game development company Free Range Games, maker of the multiplayer action game FreeFall Tournament. “We think it will give our players the same degree of confidence that they have when purchasing any other item on Amazon.com.”
Amazon will take a cut of in-game sales, with the percentage varying by case, except for Kindle Fire and Amazon Appstore for Android developers, who will each retain 70% of the purchase price for transactions made through the service with Amazon taking 30%, the retailer says.
“Game developers build games that are used across multiple platforms and mediums,” says Mike Frazzini, director of Amazon Games. “In-App Purchasing for Mac, PC and web-based games is our latest service that helps game developers grow their business and increase their customer base.”
Amazon says it offers a range of services to game developers, including tools for data storage, delivery and distribution and A/B testing before launching games to consumers. The Amazon Digital Games store offers more than 3,000 games and the Amazon Appstore has tens of thousands of apps and games for purchase, the retailer says.