Publishers Angry at Amazon’s $9.99 Game Download
February 15, 2009 at 3:58 pm by Ruibo
Last week Amazon announced their launch of their new game download service with games starting at only $9.99. I thought this would be an extremely good deal and that at economic times $9.99 would be a great way to have some fun, unfortunately the game publishers certainly did not agree. VentureBeat reports Publishers such as PopCap and IWin finds it “completely unacceptable” and has pulled all their games from Amazon.
At the Casual Connect conference in Hamburg, long-brewing pricing tensions are coming to a head. Developers are not happy, because they see Amazon’s price-point as an attack on the industry.
Ernie Ramirez, the chief financial officer at Amazon’s Reflexive Entertainment said he doesn’t want to chop up the existing casual games market. “It’s our goal to bring a lot of new people to the space.”
PopCap Games has dropped Amazon, declining to participate in the new service, says Dennis Ryan, an executive vice president of the company behind Bejeweled.
During a panel discussion, iWin.com’s production director Andy Hieke said, “We pulled all our games down from Amazon when we found out what they were doing.” Speaking of the new price-point he adds, “We find that completely unacceptable.”
Hieke added that, while he supports the $9.99 price point, it shouldn’t be done at launch and that games should be given the best possible chance of making higher sales — $19.99, for example.
And he believes that publishers can’t take a game to Wal-Mart if it’s priced too cheaply online. Each game has a value. Jewel Quest is $19.99, says Hieke, “And that’s the price it should be.”
As an Amazon affiliate, I was even thinking of adding up some ads myself. The thought of games starting at $9.99 sounds like a great bargain until looking through the game list. I was a bit turned off with the titles as a hardcore gamer, I expected something much better. Either way, I’m sure it would be a matter of time before Amazon becomes a leading platform of video game downloads.