Amazon’s Appstore for Android scored another coup today, grabbing an exclusive on the first two titles from PopCap to appear on the Android platform. The gaming powerhouse, which is looking at an IPO, said it will bring Chuzzle and Plants vs. Zombies to Amazon Appstore this month for separate two-week exclusive periods, with Chuzzle debuting Tuesday and PVZ appearing later this month.
PopCap said both games, which are already available on iOS, will launch on their first day for free before listing at $2.99. Garth Chouteau, VP of communications at PopCap, said in an interview that both games will be featured as Amazon’s free app of the day and will migrate to Android Market a short time later, though he couldn’t say exactly when. More PopCap games are on the way to the Android platform later this year, though it’s unclear if they will be Amazon exclusives.
The PopCap exclusive gives Amazon even more momentum for its Appstore, which launched in late March. The store debuted with an Angry Birds Rio exclusive and has featured a free app every day since launch. While significantly smaller than the Android Market, the Amazon Appstore continues to pull in top names in part because it offers a clean and efficient way to connect with customers. Chouteau said PopCap chose Amazon Appstore because of its ease of use, its reputation as a one-stop shop and its broad consumer reach. The company also believes listing on Amazon allows it to reach new customers.
“Our relationship with Amazon is pivotal to PopCap’s overall strategy in bringing a growing roster of mobile titles to the ever-widening base of smartphone users,” said Giordano Bruno Contestabile, PopCap’s senior director of global product and business strategy for mobile in a statement. “By making these titles available on the Android platform, we’ll significantly extend the reach of our top franchises to legions of new mobile customers and gaming fans alike.”
Even with the recently announced improvements to Android Market, Amazon’s Appstore holds a lot of appeal for many developers. Amazon has a big audience, a very good recommendation engine and it also offers things like the ability to test drive apps before buying. For developers, the platform is attractive because fewer apps vie for the attention of users. There is still some question about Amazon’s pricing rules, which give it wide leeway in how it discounts apps, something the International Game Developers Association said will have a negative impact on developers. But at least with bigger developers like Rovio and PopCap, Amazon’s rules don’t seem to be a deterrent.
Check out a video we did with PopCap Co-founder John Vechey and CEO David Roberts talking about how they incorporated more social features into the company’s games.