Yeah, that’s right. Amazon.com is now selling indie games. Here’s what they had to say about this:
Game development is an art, like any other. It can be personally rewarding, and like other forms of artistic expression, great games can come from anywhere. Powerhouse game studios don’t hold a monopoly on inventiveness or creativity, and some of the best games of all time were created on a shoestring by two or three people with a shared vision.
It’s hard to get noticed, though. If you’re an indie game developer, it’s usually a headache to get your game in front of people, both gamers and reviewers. Amazon recognizes this. As part of our commitment to independently developed games, Amazon is launching the Indie Games Store, a new category on Amazon in the Digital Video Games Store, designed specifically to address this problem.
Indie Games on Amazon
They’ve already opened with an impressive catalog of indies, and Amazon is currently running a promotion offering a discount of up to 75% on over 200 independent titles.
I hope this will lead to more games bloggers, taking on reviews of indie games. A lot of smaller sites rely on the sales from Amazon affiliate links in order to stay open or make any profit on their reviews. With indie games, it’s more difficult to set up an affiliate link, quite often you’d need to reach out to the developer, propose a sales portal, work out the percentages, set up a billing cycle and payment method, and so forth — and that’s assuming the developer was even interested and there was enough of a profit margin on the game’s sale that the developer could offer a percentage to the site’s publisher. Amazon affiliates, on the other hand, just require a quick cut-and-paste, so it makes a lot more sense for a blog that relies on affiliate sales to work with Amazon.
I hope now that Amazon will have affiliate sales of indie games, more sites and blogs will be interested in reviewing indie games, which means more visibility for great indies and more sales for indie devs! I feel like I should be snarking about mainsteam publishers and sales portals, but I think this is a very good move for both publishers of games magazines and indie developers.
I’m a little worried that this might mean competition for the awesome Humble Bundles and Indie Games Mag’s pay-what-you-want IndieGameStand, though. (Disclosure: I write for Indie Games Mag as well as for Geek, and I’m an unbashed fan of IndieGameStand) But anything that makes a creative indie game as easy to acquire as the next derivative click-and-wait mobile game is good for our industry!