Amazon today announced that it would extend its in-app purchasing API to cover games for Mac, PC and Web platforms, letting players purchase virtual currency and goods in games using its back-end billing. The move speaks to two important trends: the first is how Amazon is targeting ever more platforms, beyond Android devices, where it can generate revenue through its billing system; the second is how strong a role gaming is playing in that strategy. As with the in-app purchasing that Amazon turned on in Android and Kindle Fire apps last year, users will be able to use regular credit cards, as well as Amazon’s own “virtual currencies” like Amazon gift cards and other Amazon credits to make in-game purchases on the new platforms. Amazon is also sweetening the deal for developers by way of some marketing opportuntities. It promises that the in-app items on games that incorporate Amazon’s IAP “can show up on best seller lists, recommendations and merchandising campaigns, helping customers discover new games and items.” It means a new line of revenue for Amazon and another link into developer communities to subsequently develop more for Amazon-native platforms like the Kindle Fire.
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