Amazon App Store: The Shifty Jelly saga continues

You may or may not have heard about the whole Shifty Jelly saga that has been going on for a few weeks between them and the Amazon App Store. Specifically it was regarding the free app of the day promotion and how it failed them miserably.

The quick and dirty recap of the whole situation is this:

  • Shift Jelly agrees to be a part of the free app of the day promotion on Amazon’s App Store
  • Shifty Jelly makes zero money during that day even though 110k copies of their app is downloaded
  • Shifty Jelly thinks they should have made money
  • Shifty Jelly has to buy new servers to support all the new users and loses money
  • Sales of Shifty Jelly’s app dwindle back down to sub-200 per day levels after the free game of the day promotion
  • Shifty Jelly complains and Amazon says tough luck
  • Amazon points to various parts of developers agreement which is always worded in some way to not make complete sense and confuse the average person


That’s about the basic rundown of the entire scenario. For those of you wondering, Amazon does not pay developers to join their store or be apart of the free app of the day promotion. In the end of all of this, it’s just a mess of confusion. Not pleased with Amazon’s App Store, and there is plenty that Amazon could fix/improve on with it, Shifty Jelly has asked to have their game removed from their App Store. Now here is where it gets interesting and as someone in the beta I didn’t even know this. According to the developer agreement, if you request that your app/game be removed from Amazon, you are also required to remove it from any other markets it is on including the Android Market. Here is the section being quoted by Amazon that addresses this in the developer agreement:

3.a. Delivery Commitment for Apps. You will deliver electronically to us and continue to make available during the Term all versions of all software applications, games or other digital products (including any special or collector’s editions) (i) that are designed for the Platform, (ii) for which you have the rights required under this Agreement, and (iii) that are the same versions and editions (except as otherwise provided in this Agreement) that you or your affiliates make available directly or indirectly to any Similar Service….


There is an obvious workaround regarding this and that is to update your app or game to a new version and release it back onto the Android Market. This clause above only states the current version and so if you update the version number you should be fine. The disturbing part about all of this is just the fact that this is even included in the agreement really. Amazon responded to Shifty Jelly after their request for removal from the Amazon App Store if Shifty Jelly had removed their app from the Android Market. This was followed by quoting the above section in the developer agreement.

Let this be a lesson to developers. Make sure to read the contracts you are signing. They may be long and dry but at least you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Website Referenced: Packet Explorer

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