While Google was launching Twitch competitor YouTube Gaming, Twitch parent Amazon was cracking a bottle on its latest Google Play Store Rival, Amazon Underground. The new app store promises that free means free, even from previously premium properties.
Amazon Underground offers access to everything the retailer has to offer, from its cloud services to apps that are actually free -- and that's how Amazon is promoting the new app store.
Amazon has taken the confusing "Free" label off of freemium apps and has taken the in-app purchases out of them as well. Such apps, in Amazon Underground, are now branded "Actually Free." And it's the "Actually Free" section that distinguishes Underground from the primary Amazon App Store.
"That means unlimited lives, levels, upgrades and more," says Amazon. "Just look for apps and games marked with an 'Actually Free' banner."
There are already over $10,000 worth in previously freemium and premium apps that are completely free to play in full, says Amazon. The new app store is home to tons of HD games, such as Goat Simulator and DuckTales: Remastered, along with robust productivity and lifestyle apps and more.
For those wondering why devs would give away their apps and games for free, Amazon says it has worked out a new business model for mobile software. The developers will be compensated, it says.
"We're paying them a certain amount on a per-minute played basis in exchange for them waiving their normal in-app fees," says Amazon. "To be clear, we're the ones picking up those per minute charges. So for you, it's simply free."
Over on its developer site, Amazon offers a bit more detail about its new compensation model. Amazon will calculate the amount of time an app runs in the foreground and will track start, pause, resume and stop times.
"To determine the usage time, at the end of a 24-hour reporting period, Amazon calculates the total time aggregated (in milliseconds) multiplies it by the royalty rate, and rounds this number to the smallest unit of currency for your marketplace -- for example, in the US, this number will be rounded to the nearest cent," says Amazon.
So feel free to load up thousands of dollars' worth in apps on Amazon's dime. We are looking forward to some Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Trial games.