Amazon Underground introduces new 'pay-as-they-play' business model

New venture by Kindle firm pays free-to-play developers based on the minutes gamers spend with their titles
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Amazon has launched an interesting new initiative, Amazon Underground, that looks to shake up the free-to-play space.

The app plans to offer games and software for Android and Kindle Fire devices that are 100 per cent free – no in-app purchases. 

This is accomplished by an intriguing new business model: Amazon has agreed with developers that take part in the programme that payment will be based on how much time gamers spend on these titles. 

In a letter explaining the new Underground venture, the firm writes: “We’re paying [devs] a certain amount on a per-minute played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees. To be clear, we’re the ones picking up those per minute charges, so for [consumers] it’s simply free”.

Amazon adds that Underground is a long-term proposition rather than a one-off promotion. Titles already available include Frozen Free Fall, Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella and Looney Tunes Dash.