Amazon Opens Indie Games Dept, But Only For The US

By John Walker on June 6th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Well this seems rather fantastic, unless in my doe-eyed naivety I’ve missed how it is instead sinister and terrible. Amazon US have launched an Indie Games channel. They say,

“The Amazon Indie Games Store helps independent game developers reach more customers, and helps customers learn about more creative games and the people and processes behind building those games.”

Which is great – if you’re in North America.

Accompanying this launch are a bundle of bundles, with 100% of the sales going to the developers. There’s a Double Fine bundle in there, a Cavern Of Fire pack containing Galaxy On Fire 2, Little Inferno, The Cave, Sol Survivor and Strike Suit Zero, and lots of other selections. That latter pack costs only $10, the same for the seemingly unofficial Double Fine collection. Ten bucks!

All the BIT.TRIP games are in there, for $5 each at the moment, or all four for 10. But it’s not all bundles. Think of a indie game of note and chances are you’ll find it on there. Hotline Miami is currently $5, Don’t Starve is selling for $12, and the mighty McPixel is $2.50. Oh, and FTL for $5.

You also get a copy of Huntsman: The Orphanage, Dynasty Of Duck, and The Curse Of Nordic Cove if you buy anything at all before the 10th.

The catch (that everyone else seems to have missed) – this is currently for US customers only. Try to buy from outside there, and it’ll refuse. Even if you’re just buying a download code for a different store. Hopefully we’ll see other nations’ stores catching up soon, although history tends to suggest it’s a very slow process for Amazon.

, , .

33 Comments »

Sponsored links by Taboola
  1. Wodge says:

    Or just change your shipping address to somewhere random in the US like your very own LewieP has been telling people to do in pretty much every Bargain Bucket.

    • Gnoupi says:

      And then you get a call from your bank asking why you are suddenly being billed in the USA on your recent card transaction.

      Or most likely a cancellation of the transaction without further explanation, to protect you from card fraud.

      Depends on your bank, obviously.

      All in all, remember though that if you don’t pay EU sale tax on your purchase, it’s most likely in a law grey area.

      • DPB says:

        Yeah, my bank are very protective about what I do with my credit card, I wouldn’t expect to be able to get around this.

        • Premium User Badge

          Aninhumer says:

          Last time I did this, I used a kind of US PO box service, so it’s definitely a valid US address which links back to me, and it was free as long as they didn’t have to store anything. I’m not sure if that’s any more legal with regards to taxes, but I didn’t have any trouble. I used Borderlinx, but there are probably others.

    • darkath says:

      I’ve been living in a certain hotel of Anchorage for quite a long time, but i’m only there when i click on “buy now”.

      Protip : use Gift Cards, so that you pay tax on that, then shop the game without your credit card.

      • BooleanBob says:

        I guess you could call yourself… an Anchorite!!!

        ! ! ! :D :D ! ! :D ! :D :D :D ! ! ! ! ! :D :D :D :D :D ! ! ! ! ! ! :D ! :D :D :D D :D :D :D ! ! :D ! :D :D ! :D ! ! ! ! :D :D ! ! :D ! :D :D :D ! ! ! ! ! :D :D :D :D :D ! ! ! ! ! ! :D ! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D ! ! :D ! :D :D ! :D ! ! ! ! :D :D ! ! :D !

  2. razgon says:

    There are ways around that, though, that are quite simple and while probably not encouraged, at least isn’t being done anything about.

    The principle about it though, is pretty annoying.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    As these guys said, just need to make up a US address and zip code and downloads ahoy.

  4. treeroy says:

    Runner2 is $11.24, not $5.

    I’d like to see this in Europe soon.

  5. Premium User Badge

    golem09 says:

    Well, as far as I remember, all those games were already in the store, they just added the indie category so people can find them.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Pretty much this. I’m quit positive that 99% of the games now organized under the “Indie Games” category have been available through Amazon previously.

  6. Vodos says:

    They’ll release very cheap bundles soon, their marketing manager Tony is very active on CAG, reddit, SA and other places. I think he said they’ll do bundles with 5 games for 5$.

    • frightlever says:

      Kinda awesome that a corporate manager is hanging around Something Awful.

  7. ghling says:

    Knowing amazons negotiation practice when buying items for resale, I’m hoping the indie studios won’t get screwed over to much. On the other hand, amazon is not the main place to buy games (or at least not yet), let’s hope it stays that way or this can become very very bad for small studios.

    • GuybrushThreepwood says:

      As opposed to the various Indie Bundles and that pricing model? At least this way the devs get everything from the bundle pricetag. Even the mighty HiB takes some of the money, and gives some of the money to “charities”. If the Amazon indie store is even moderately successful, it’s got far more potential to put money in the pockets of devs than all of the indie bundle projects combined.

      • Tatourmi says:

        You choose EXACTLY what you give to each in the HiB. And you can choose to not give money at all to one or more of the parties involved: You can go full dev if you wish, or full charity, or full humble tip. I personally always go full dev and tip as I don’t agree with the choice of charities here (Which are mainly U.S centric as well as being all round weird).

  8. Dominic White says:

    Amazon UK are about five years behind the US version. However, Amazon US quietly waive the normal requirement for your billing address to match up to your payment source for digital purchases, so they probably know this and want to give customers an unofficial-official back door in.

    • frightlever says:

      I’m quietly waiting for my UK Amazon Prime subscription to become useful for something again. Free NEXT DAY delivery and Yodel are not a match made in heaven. Oh, and I can borrow an ebook once a month. Which is kinda handy. But not as handy as free streaming TV and movies would be.

      We got the Android store about 18 months after the US.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      There’s so much stuff Amazon UK carries that I can’t get through the US store, or at least it seems that way whenever I’m specifically looking for something.

  9. The Random One says:

    I don’t care if there are ways to bypass it, if Amazon doesn’t want my funny-coloured non-gringo money it shan’t have any. I’ll stick to GoG and the Humble Store, thanks.

    Though I kind of like how their featured game is Mutant “Steam thinks we’re not good enough for them to tell us why we’re not good enough for Steam” Mudds.

    • Dominic White says:

      Amazon US quietly (and almost certainly deliberately) waive their normal regional checks on their digital games store, so that people outside of America can buy very easily, assuming they have some manner of internationally accepted debit or credit card.

      Just enter a US address (don’t make it something stupidly conspicuous like the White House – ask an American friend for theirs if you really want to be sure) for ‘delivery’ of your downloads and Steam codes and you’re good to go.

      It’s not that they don’t want your money. It’s more due to Amazon UK being a mismanaged pile of crap.

      • MacTheGeek says:

        JAKE: How are you gonna get the band back together, Mr. Hot Rodder? Those cops have your name, your address…

        ELWOOD: They don’t have my address. I falsified my renewal. I put down 1060 West Addison.

        JAKE: 1060 West Addison? That’s Wrigley Field!

  10. Kadayi says:

    This is an OUTRAGE!!!

  11. S Jay says:

    I am really confused by digital products that can be bought only in certain parts of the world. Why is this a good thing for stores like Amazon?

    • Tatourmi says:

      Laws regarding digital products apparently vary wildly in different countries. So that may or may not be what motivates them.

  12. dustin says:

    Curse you redcoats for conflating “North America” and the “US”. This bitter indie game dev Canadian curses you for ignoring me!

  13. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    On that note, another indie-games-only digital distributor has popped by the name of http://www.shinyloot.com/

    I’m sure they won’t make a fuss about buying games if you’re on the other side of the planet.

    • ChrisatShinyLoot says:

      Thanks for the mention! Just to confirm LTK’s comment, ShinyLoot sells all titles worldwide (though hopefully our other features are notable too).

  14. engion3 says:

    Get your own games Europe.

  15. BurningPet says:

    Amazon has one of the worst store fronts for games. its just not suitable for showcasing games.

  16. Premium User Badge

    jrodman says:

    GUYZ don’t complain too much. It’s really tough when there’s too many people trying to buy your products. Limiting the number of potential customers is just good business practice.