Amazon has announced an extension of its in-app purchasing API for developers that will allow users to purchase virtual goods and currencies from a Mac, PC or Web-based game using their Amazon account.
It means that players can now use their stored credit card details, as well as gift certificates and promotional credit tied to their Amazon account to carry out micro transactions. It’s a trend that has proven remarkably popular not only in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), but also mobile games and free-to-play games where the price of admission is very low.
From the developer side, they now have a greater chance of users clicking the “purchase” button next to a new character costume, weapon or level pack, increasing their monetization opportunities as a result.
In a press release issued by Amazon today, the Internet retailer also emphasized that developers would now automatically have access to their fraud detection technology, which should help cut down on fraudulent transactions.
Amazon, who will presumably get a cut of every transaction or payment that’s placed, has said that these in-app items will also be available on Amazon.com automatically, to help increase the chances of a developer’s game being seen. These in-app purchases will therefore show up on best seller lists, recommendations and future merchandising campaigns, thereby increasing the chances of a player buying the content too.
“Game developers build games that are used across multiple platforms and mediums,” said Mike Frazzini, Director of Amazon Games. “In-app purchasing for Mac, PC and Web-based games is our latest service that helps game developers grow their business and increase their customer-base. For years, Amazon has focused on making the online shopping experience as frictionless as possible, and we are excited to share this expertise and technology so that game developers can offer customers this same great experience.”
The new in-app purchasing functionality joins a number of other Amazon services designed to help game developers reach more customers and inevitably sell more content. These include parts of the Amazon Web Services (AWS), such as Amazon Dynamo DB for backend infrastructure and services like Game Circle, which offers easy support for achievements, leaderboards and “Whispersync” across multiple devices.
Amazon wants to be the vendor for all types of digital content, including books, films, music and video games. It’s already created an ecosystem for this on its Kindle Fire tablet, so it’s not too surprising to see it inch out towards other platforms too. Micro transactions are a huge part of games now, so capitalizing on this early could be a wise move for the Internet retailer.
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