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Amazon launches games download service

By on February 3, 2009

Following its acquisition of Reflexive last year, Amazon has launched its own games download portal.

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.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: