Ailing Finnish mobile game developer Rovio has said its revenues on the Amazon Appstore have tripled after joining the platform's Underground program.
"We included four of our popular titles in Amazon Underground at launch, aimed at reaching as many fans as possible in the Amazon ecosystem," said Tero Raji, SVP of Game Business at Rovio, on Amazon's Developer blog. The four games were Angry Birds Rio, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, Angry Birds Space, and Bad Piggies.
"In the first month since launch of these games, the Amazon Underground model has brought us up to three times more revenue compared to the same games' user revenue in the Amazon Appstore previously," Raji continued.
However, the company hasn't stated how much money it has actually made before and after joining Underground. Amazon pays game developers for the amount of time consumers spend gaming while keeping all in-app purchases free. Considering how most of Rovio's games are known to be massive time sinks, it's not surprised to see a surge in revenue from Underground.
What's important here is how little room for manoeuvring developers have on the App Store and Google Play. If a company the size of Rovio has to look at other platforms to sustain growth, it indicates that all is perhaps not well with monetisation on platforms like Google Play, an issue faced even by local developers both big and small.
With EA partnering with Samsung to improve monetisation on Android, and Rovio seeing initial success on Underground, it's just a matter of time before we see more game companies looking outside the comfortable confines of Apple and Google to turn a profit, if not simply break even. Apple and Google may also have to reconsider their app store models.