Published on June 6th, 2013 | by Adam DeMarco7
Amazon launches new indie game store
Online retailer Amazon.com has launched their very own Indie Game store.
In what is likely a move designed to compete directly with Steam’s Greenlight service, Amazon has set aside a section of their Downloadable Games department specifically for independently released games. In their own words, the new storefront “helps independent game developers reach more customers, and helps customers learn about more creative games and the people and processes behind building those games.”
In honor of the launch, Amazon has discounted a few hundred games. Among the reduced-price fare are the fantastic FTL: Faster Than Light, Hotline Miami, and Don’t Starve, a game our own Editor-in-Chief Andy Astruc raved about when he reviewed it last month. Several multi-game bundles are available as well, such as the “Oh So Fine and Dandy Bundle” which offers up six of Double Fine’s double-finest – including relatively recent release The Cave – for a measly $10.00.
To help you feel even better about your purchases, Amazon has said that 100% of the sales of the aforementioned bundles will go directly to the developers. While this may not be as heartwarming as helping out a charity by paying what you want for of one of the Humble Indie Bundles, you can still rest easy knowing that you helped support one of the little guys. If “feeling good about helping the underdog” isn’t really your thing, don’t fret, you can help yourself out too! Anybody who buys a game from Amazon’s indie store from now until July 17th will also receive three games completely free of charge.
The package of free games customers will receive is going to change every few days as well, so if you’re not interested in the current offerings (Dynasty of Dusk, Huntsman: The Orphanage, and The Curse of Nordic Cove) be sure to check back regularly to see what gets put up for grabs.
Amazon hasn’t stopped there, however, and also announced the Indie Developer Spotlight, a weekly feature that will educate consumers about the indie game scene by putting faces to the names. This week’s spotlight falls on Gaijin Games, creators for the Bit.Trip series.
Amazon has yet to officially release details as to how indie developers can go about selling their wares through the site, however interested parties are being told to contact Amazon via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details. Finally, for any aspiring devs out there who haven’t yet mastered the art of game production but are interested in doing so, Amazon also has sales on several game-development e-books.
Personally, I feel that any avenue given to independent developers that allows them to reach as many people as possible is a good thing. Regardless of how you feel about Amazon or Steam, allowing developers to get their work directly into the hands of the gamers, and thus cutting out the middle-man, is something that can only serve to benefit all of us.
Some of the best and most inspiring games of this generation have cropped up out of the indie scene, and while major publishers are often unwilling to take risks on untested design models, independent designers are free to follow their own artistic and stylistic choices, which ultimately means more variety in the games we get to play. I think that’s something to which we, as an industry and as a culture, should aspire.