The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Board of Directors has taken to their blog to voice concerns over the new Amazon App Store. Whereas many casual developers might look to Amazon as a terrific alternative to the Android Market, the IDGA advises them to think things through. As they see it, there are at least five “potentially problematic scenarios” to consider, largely centered around the terms of agreement. As many of already know, Amazon has a pretty strong set of guidelines for developers looking to offer their apps or games through their distribution model. In their eyes, a small upstart Amazon could potentially end up as the “Walmart of the Android ecosystem” if developers don’t get involved.
The problem, as history has repeatedly demonstrated, is that things tend to change when a marketplace achieves any degree of dominance. The terms of Amazon’s distribution agreement give it significant flexibility to behave in a manner that may harmful to individual developers in the long run. Any goodwill that Amazon shows developers today may evaporate the minute Amazon’s Appstore becomes so big that Android developers have no choice but to distribute their content via the store.
The IGDA has reached out to Amazon to express this opinion but so far has yet to see any formal action. We definitely think the open letter is worth checking out, especially if you’re a developer looking at potential distribution options.