Amazon is shutting down their Underground Actually Free program. If you were on Android, it was a pretty cool service where, by using the Amazon app, there was a wide variety of games that could be had for no cost to you...ever. Paid games were free, and free-to-play games included some premium currency for you to play without ever paying. The whole thing was kind of like digging through the $5 DVD bin at Walmart. You're digging through a lot of unrelated, uninteresting to you stuff to find the gems, but there are some real gems in there if you dig. Developers got paid based on time spent in the app, and I'm sure Amazon got a bunch of analytics data and found a way to draw non-Fire users to their app, which isn't on Google Play, and developers got paid for their library content.

But I guess either the program wasn't driving enough people to the Amazon app, or it wasn't making financial sense for neither Amazon nor developers, so Underground is going away. New app submissions are closing on May 31st for Amazon Underground Actually Free, though updates can be made until 2019. Users will lose access to the Actually Free store in the summer, though those apps will still work.

  • http://wizodd.tumblr.com Wizard of Odyssey

    Do Android developers keep the Amazon Underground versions of their apps up to date? That ecosystem always seemed like it had a great start, but wasn't curated/cared very well ... many app reviews seem to imply that their software was abandoned.

    That is certainly the case with Humble Bundle mobile apps.

    As much as we hate the way iOS breaks old games with each update, at least Apple is trying to force developers to commit to some degree of long-term support.

    The Kindle Fire hardware is so cheap, though "good enough," but without care and feeding of the app ecosystem, it's not very compelling.

    • KickIt77

      I think some developers do, I own Broken Sword 5 on my New Kindle Fire HD 8 and that version appears to be more up to date than the one on Google Play, another of the games I own, Final Fantasy 9 also got updated recently, both these games are paid mind you, I'm not sure what the state of the free Underground apps is... though I also have Google Play installed (pretty simple to do) and I generally buy Android games through there, plus the Kindle becomes more of a traditional Android tablet due to Google Play as you can get all of Google's apps like the Gboard, Youtube, Chrome etc which all work great.

      I mainly game on my iPhone but the Kindle's are good value Android tablets, I wouldn't use the Kindle for anything graphically demanding, but it's nice for stuff like the Broken Sword and Final Fantasy franchises, much better than playing on a smaller iphone screen..

  • YankeeBlue000

    That sux. I also own a Kindle Fire HDX, & Fire TV, along with my Ipad. It was a pretty cool service to have for those devices. Although I always had a feeling that at anytime it would soon end because of poor game sales.

  • lifeat78

    That's too bad. My kids have Kindle Fires, and there have been some pretty good games available through that system. It's certainly saved me some money.

  • korossyl

    If you've never heard of "Underground Actually Free," this headline is really confusing.

    • Zaraf

      Yeah, I was like "What is that....?"

  • Michael Habel

    Well there goes my navigone navigator, then... 😫