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Game developer pulls app from Amazon Appstore over problems

Slates Amazon for disastrous Android experience
Tue Jul 05 2011, 12:44

A SMALL GAME COMPANY has decided to pull its app from the Amazon Appstore, slating its experience with Amazon as being a "disaster".

The Swedish company Bithack took its Apparatus game, which allows players to build objects and devices from wood, metal and other virtual things, out of Amazon's Android store, citing a number of difficulties it had encountered.

The first of these was an extremely slow review process. Bithack said it took two weeks for Amazon to tell it that Apparatus was rejected for lacking HTTPS. It resubmitted its app after adding the 's' to the code and it took another week for approval, only to find that it then could barely find the app in the store.

The second issue was that Amazon fails to filter out devices that should not be supported. Bithack said that it doesn't permit its game to be played on very small screens, because it looks and plays terribly, and yet Amazon allowed the unsupported devices to download the app, creating problems where some customers could not get the game to work at all.

The third problem was the lack of a means of contact through the Amazon Appstore. Bithack said that of the 180,000 people who downloaded the app through Amazon, only a handful were able to contact it, mainly through Twitter, whereas the Android Market has an easier contact system in place. Communication was made even worse by not allowing developers to respond to reviews.

The next issue was the lack of a refund option through Amazon. Bithack said it can easily refund users through the Android Market, but this is simply not possible with Amazon.

The final problem was that Amazon changed the price without consulting the developer. The price was cut to $0.99, only a quarter of its original price, which, while perhaps good for players, is not good for the developer.

Those who bought Apparatus through the Amazon Appstore can get a free copy from the Android Market instead by visiting Bithack's website.

Bithack said it couldn't see why anyone would choose to publish an app through the Amazon Appstore or why they would switch to it from the Android Market. While Google might have feared Amazon launching some competition, it seems that Amazon has a lot of problems to fix before it can become much of a threat to the Android Market. µ


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