Amazon Extends Its In-App Purchasing Option to Mac, PC And Web-Based Games

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Amazon today announced that it would extend its in-app purchasing API to cover games for Mac, PC and Web platforms, letting players purchase virtual currency and goods in games using its back-end billing for titles that appear in the Amazon Digital Games store, extending a service it made available for apps in its Android Appstore last year.

The move speaks to two important trends: the first is how Amazon is targeting ever more platforms, beyond Android devices, where it can generate revenue through its billing system; the second is how strong a role gaming is playing in that strategy, with developers increasingly working across different platforms and look for solutions that can be implemented across all of them.

“We’ll continue to build services that make monetization easier and remove undifferentiated heavy lifting from developers,” said Mike Frazzini, Director Amazon Games, in a statement. “Game developers build games that are used across multiple platforms and mediums. 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. For years, Amazon has focused on making the online shopping experience as frictionless as possible, and we are excited to share this expertise and technology so that game developers can offer customers this same great experience.”

That also means a new line of revenue for Amazon and another link into developer communities to subsequently develop more for Amazon-native platforms like the Kindle Fire. The Amazon Digital Games store currently has some 3,000 titles, Amazon says.

As with the in-app purchasing that Amazon turned on in Android and Kindle Fire apps last year, users will be able to use regular credit cards, as well as Amazon’s own “virtual currencies” like Amazon gift cards and other Amazon credits to make in-game purchases on the new platforms.

Amazon is also sweetening the deal for developers by way of some marketing opportuntities. It promises that the in-app items on games that incorporate Amazon’s IAP “can show up on best seller lists, recommendations and merchandising campaigns, helping customers discover new games and items.”

Amazon has over time been growing up as a kind of one-stop stop for developers and publishers that are working in the cloud, starting with web hosting and storage via Amazon Web Services, to Amazon Dynamo for database storage and its Game Circle software to incorporate leaderboards, achievement rankings and other lists into the games. It also offers A/B testing, so adding billing to the Digital Games Store to complement billing in the Amazon Appstore fills out that portfolio. 

Release below.

Amazon Introduces Another New Service for Game Developers: In-App Purchasing for Mac, PC and Web-based Games
Mac, PC and Web-based game developers can now increase reach and monetization by offering customers the ability to use their Amazon account to make in-app purchases of virtual goods and currencies

Amazon’s In-App Purchasing for Mac, PC and Web-based games joins a family of Amazon services that help developers move more quickly, increase engagement, sell more content and reach new customers

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 22, 2013– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Further expanding its multi-platform, end-to-end offering for game developers, Amazon today announced a new In-App Purchasing service that enables developers to let customers use their Amazon accounts to purchase virtual goods and currencies from within Mac, PC and Web-based games. With today’s announcement, Amazon now provides In-App Purchasing services for Mac, PC and Web, Android and Kindle Fire developers, enabling them to offer Amazon’s millions of customers a convenient, trusted and secure buying experience. To get started developers can visit: http://developer.amazon.com/games/in-app-purchasing.

Benefits for developers with Amazon’s new In-App Purchasing for Mac, PC and Web-based games include:

Customers can use any credit card, gift certificate or promotional credit associated with their current Amazon account to purchase in-app items—making it simple and low friction for customers to purchase content and leading to higher sales and increased conversion.
Developers automatically have access to Amazon’s proven fraud detection technology, thereby reducing their exposure to fraud.
All transactions are supported by Amazon’s world-class, top-rated Customer Service to provide customers with the very best purchasing experience.

To help developers with game discovery and marketing, in-app items will automatically be available on Amazon.com, and in-app purchases can show up on best seller lists, recommendations and merchandising campaigns, helping customers discover new games and items, while adding another point of engagement for existing players.

“We’re passionate about making game developers successful, and we’ll continue to build services that make monetization easier and remove undifferentiated heavy lifting from developers,” said Mike Frazzini, Director Amazon Games. “Game developers build games that are used across multiple platforms and mediums. 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. For years, Amazon has focused on making the online shopping experience as frictionless as possible, and we are excited to share this expertise and technology so that game developers can offer customers this same great experience.”

In-App Purchasing for Mac, PC and Web-based games is a part of a larger family of end-to-end services for game developers. From Amazon Web Services (AWS) building blocks like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Dynamo DB used for backend infrastructure, to services like Game Circle (which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends, and Whispersync for Games across devices) that enable developers to create more engaging gaming experiences, to services like A/B Testing and Game Connect (which lets developers marry the ease and security of shopping on Amazon with the convenience of having virtual goods delivered directly to customers’ game accounts), to providing distribution to millions of Amazon customers via the Amazon Appstore for Android and the Digital Games Store on Amazon.com, Amazon provides the most complete platform for game developers.

“We were excited to work with Amazon on integrating In-App Purchasing into Forsaken Planet,” said David Sterling, Vice President of Sony DADC’s LOOT Entertainment. “Giving gamers the option to buy in-game goods using their Amazon account makes it easier for them to get what they want without ever having to leave the game environment.”

“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. We think it will help minimize buying friction,” said Chris Scholz, CEO of Free Range Games. “We also feel good knowing Amazon is very trusted and secure, and we think it will give our players the same degree of confidence that they have when purchasing any other item on Amazon.com.”

“When we discovered that Amazon was offering In-App Purchasing for PC, Mac and Web-based games, we were eager to participate. Amazon has worked closely with our publishing platform team and gone the extra mile to make sure our implementation will be fast and easy for our upcoming action-RPG game KingsRoad,” said Mark Spenner, GM, Rumble Entertainment. “Amazon’s In-App Purchasing creates an opportunity for increased discoverability, and we are excited that our in-game items will be offered to the very large Amazon customer base.”

About Digital Games Store for PC, Mac and Web-based Games

The Amazon Digital Games store offers customers more than 3,000 games including free-to-play and massively multiplayer online games, and makes it easy for developers to distribute their Mac, PC and Web-based games. Developers can visit the Getting Started Page to find out more information.

About Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fire and Android

The Amazon Appstore for Android is where customers can find, discover and buy tens of thousands of apps and games using Amazon’s convenient and trusted shopping features, including personalized recommendations, customer reviews and best seller lists. Amazon Appstore has a broad selection of paid and free apps and games, including established best sellers and new apps from top-tier brands. To learn more, developers can visit the Mobile App Distribution Portal at https://developer.amazon.com/welcome.html.