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Amazon discontinuing Underground Actually Free initiative

Android version of store will close this summer, with full shutdown planned for 2019

Amazon has announced it plans to close its Underground Actually Free program, which offers users a mixture of free-to-play and premium games at absolutely no cost and with no in-app purchases.

The service launched in 2015, with Amazon promising to pay developers based on the amount of time players spent with their games - thus removing the need for studios to monetise through microtransactions. At the time, Amazon claimed this was a "long-term program rather than a one-off promotion".

However, the company has announced this past weekend that Underground Actually Free is to be shut down.

The Underground section of Amazon's Appstore on Android devices will be closed this coming summer, although users will still be able to enjoy previously installed games. Fire tablet owners will be able to access the store and any games they have already downloaded until the service shuts down in 2019.

Developers that are still interested in using the service have until May 31st, 2017 to submit their apps or games. Those with titles already accepted into the program will continue to be paid for every minute customers spend playing them, and will be able to submit and publish updates until 2019.

Amazon pledged that it will "continue to expand the Amazon Appstore experience", so this is by no means a sign that the firm is planning to pull out of the mobile space.

The company did not elaborate on its reasoning for this discontinuation.

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James Batchelor avatar

James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006