This year, Marmalade Technologies teamed up with Amazon to encourage more developers to release their games on the retailer’s app store.
The duo gave studios a $50 Amazon voucher (or the local equivalent) for every app released via the Amazon App Store through Marmalade. Devs will also be entered into a grand prize draw with $75,000 worth of prizes, ranging from Marmalade Plus licences to Kindle Fire and Fire TV devices.
While the promotion will raise awareness of the opportunities the store offers, Marmalade is keen to emphasize the support its SDK already provides.
“Most Made with Marmalade apps for Android can be submitted to the Amazon App Store without any modification,” says the firm’s head of SDK Tony Waters.
“Developers may need to modify their apps if using Google Play services such as In App Purchasing or Game Services, and Marmalade simplifies this process by providing many of the Amazon equivalent services directly within the Marmalade SDK, making switching over in many cases trivial.
“In fact, if a developer uses Marmalade’s billing middleware then the switch over for In App Purchasing is largely automatic.”
The Marmalade SDK, even the free version, supports the Amazon App Store and its APIs, meaning devs already have the tools needed to release games on this growing marketplace.
“And unlike many of the other app stores, Amazon doesn’t charge devs to join their developer program which means they can get started with Marmalade and deploy to the Amazon App Store for no cost,” observes Waters.
EXPLORING THE AMAZON
But with Google Play seemingly dominating the Android market, why should studios even both releasing games on an app store run by a retailer?
“The simple answer is because it’s really easy,” Waters says. “If a developer already has an Android app, it’s a very straightforward process to repackage the app into an APK that can be submitted to the Amazon App Store.
“The store is a fast growing marketplace. It’s pre-installed on a substantial number of Android devices – including, of course, the Kindle family – and its size has nearly tripled in the past year.”
Having such effortless tools at their disposal has helped a number of up-and-coming developers to get their games noticed, as Lady Shotgun Games’ design director Anna Marsh points out.
“Amazon was an important part of our Android strategy – we didn’t want to rely on Google Play alone, and Amazon has been active in supporting indie developers with feature spots, which is of course a huge help with discoverability,” she says.
“Our feature spot on Amazon boosted our downloads and helped a great deal with the overall visibility of the game.”
Double Stallion co-founder Daniel Menard adds: “Big Action Mega Fight (pictured) recently changed from freemium to premium, and we used the Amazon App Store to soft-launch the latter version. Amazon customers are used to paying for content, and Amazon makes that extremely easy, so we felt it was a good fit. When we saw the success on Amazon, we brought the premium version to our other platforms.”