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Amazon launches games download service
Amazon’s games download service, which is in beta and currently appears to be available only in the US, offers a range of casual, downloadable games. Amazon forces you to install the Amazon Games and Software Downloader and to register a credit card, even to download the free trials of Jewel Quest II, Build-a-Lot and The Scruffs that are on offer for the rest of the week.
Amazon is entering a crowded sector, but it has accelerated its route to market through the acquisition of Reflexive. It is a logical step for a company that has incredibly powerful distribution muscle but has historically been reliant on physical goods.
It remains unclear whether Amazon will start offering hardcore titles (in competition with Steam) or browser-based titles (like those offered by Jagex and Bigpoint) in the future. My money is that it will go head-to-head with Steam, not the browser titles, since Amazon is by nature an ecommerce retailer, not a content destination in its own right.