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Amazon Appstore director defends pricing model

Aaron Rubenson explains why Amazon's promotional and financial strategies are so different

Aaron Rubenson, director of the Amazon Appstore for Android, has spoken about the company's controversial pricing structure.

"We certainly recognise that it’s a different model," said Rubenson in an interview with VentureBeat.

To be featured on the Amazon Appstore for Android, developers must hand control over pricing to Amazon, and cut prices to match the lowest price on other platforms. It's a set up that drew negative attention from the IGDA.

"The reason we made that decision was that it gives us the broadest amount of flexibility in terms of marketing and merchandising and proactive promotional activities we were talking about, which we think is a real value for the customers."

He argued that the tactic had been successful, and pointed to marketing as a major factor in the decision.

"We decided that it was the one that made the most sense for us so that we could do the best job of marketing developers’ products effectively. I think if you look at the site today, what you find is that the vast majority of the products are simply priced at list price."

He also spoke about collaborating with developers to ensure maximum exposure.

Unsurprisingly, Rubenson refused to comment on rumours that Amazon is planning to develop its own games.

"So here is where my answers have to be very boring unfortunately. We haven’t announced anything and I can’t speculate before we have, unfortunately."

The Amazon Appstore for Android launched in March and currently has 14,000 apps.

"Games is our biggest category both from a selection standpoint and from a sales standpoint," said Rubenson. Currently Plants vs Zombies is the Appstore's biggest seller.

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.