Reflexive bought by Amazon

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by DrWilloughby, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. DrWilloughby

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    http://www.reflexive-inc.com/press releases/amazon_acquires_reflexive.html

    I didn't see this topic elsewhere, if it is, please delete this! I'd really like to hear in concrete terms how this will help developers and affiliates. I'm all for rewarding the owners of the company for a job well done, but I really do hope it doesn't hurt our little industry. IMO, the big portals are getting narrower and narrower and Reflexive was one of the more open-minded portals with a more open-minded audience. I'd hate to see a degradation in services due to the acquisition.

    That said, I'm open to being sold on the idea. I'd just like to hear in concrete terms how this will help, aside from a vague pitch about how it expands the audience.
     
  2. WickedEwok

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    Ah, so they just changed some policies with their affiliate system too, I'm not sure I'm allowed to say what specifically though. But I wonder if they might start doing general discounting similar to how other portals are doing now. Not going down the path of discounting has likely provided value for developers but probably has hurt their earnings, growth and customer retention as well.
     
  3. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well, it explains all the hoop-jumping we're having to do with US Tax IDs and download hosting (or restrictions placed upon).

    As for the acquisition itself, I got the shitty end of the stick when Infogrames took over Gremlin Interactive. Sure, we're all smiles on day one and the free beer was marvellous. Wait til the dust settles and Amazon decide they don't need the entire Reflexive staff force, and want to put out games for stupidly low prices.

    The developers are going to feel the full force of that, right in their pocket. Companies who acquire other companies don't give a damn about the people who already work there. Don't ever kid yourself otherwise.

    Excuse me for being a lil apprehensive about this, but from past experience (and not just the example above), I'm not expecting good things. Always happy to be proven wrong, though.
     
  4. Maupin

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    I agree. I'm nervously awaiting more details.

    I think the acquisition is probably pretty good news for game developers, unless Amazon starts dictating that Reflexive games fit into a "casual only" space similar to Big Fish Games' catalog. Developers of shooters or more complex/offbeat games might lose a good distribution outlet in that case.

    However if I was a Reflexive affiliate (which I may or may not be... according to the new terms of agreement if I was by some crazy chance an affiliate I couldn't reveal it) I would be worried about Amazon's distribution system overshadowing affiliates and/or possible changes to the affiliate program that remove its appeal, such as affiliates no longer retaining customer email addresses, removal of game branding, removal of affiliate-created discounts (which has already happened despite what Lars Brubaker says in the press release you linked to), etc.

    I do wish to say congratulations to the Reflexive team, whatever happens.
     
  5. Jack Norton

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    Yes that could be the problem. So far I always found Reflexive the most "impartial" portals, not pushing any genre specific game (only those that sells). Hope it stays that way :)
     
  6. papillon

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    I'm definitely curious for more details. Amazon's original business, after all, was all about long-tails and offering EVERYTHING under the sun, even if it was obscure and long out of print and not actually available unless you waited patiently for a used copy to turn up. I don't think that's how they make the majority of their money now (although I don't actually know) but they still LIST everything, and allow the possibility of products clumping together on their own. I can point you to various sorts of niche small-press books that will never turn up in a major bookstore, but on Amazon they're not only listed but correctly inter-connected to other books in demand by the same audience.

    If they thought along the same lines and happily accepted anything-and-everything gamewise into the catalog and let it fall where it may... Could be interesting.
     
  7. Allen Varney

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    I don't understand the logic of forbidding affiliates from revealing themselves. Isn't that restriction counter to Amazon/Reflexive's own best interests? And if someone is selling Reflexive games through an affiliate link, doesn't that identify them as an affiliate right there?
     
  8. James C. Smith

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    Here is an interesting post I made back in January of 2005. 'Hard core' and 'casual' games on the same site? In there I talk about how game portals need to include a great verity of games and point to Amazon as the example we should all be fallowing.

    And this is from Yesterdays press release
    As a game developer, I am personally excited about getting all kinds of downloadable games in front of the real masses, not just the few people who go to game portals. This could be a real chance to grow the industry.
     
    #8 James C. Smith, Oct 21, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  9. tolik

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    Congratulations, this looks like a good exit strategy in declining Atari 2600 space. Now you could play all Atari 2600 games on Intellivision aka the new audience from Amazon!
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    How to offend all developers that have their games on Reflexive, in 2 lines of texts. Impressive post, tolik :rolleyes:
     
  11. tolik

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    I wanted to write an expanded overview, but didn't feel like that.

    In my post I was actually referring to other distributors who could afford pouring a lot of funds into traffic and 2nd party products, cannibalizing the reach of smaller dev products and setting crappy pricing ranges. They have abilities to constantly expand their reach ("other platforms") and by providing pre-filtered feeds of best-selling titles actually make their affiliates happy "by default" without extra thinking.

    In a semi-open unfiltered portfolio ("it's all about developers") each affiliate gets a feed of new products. It's up to them to filter them. But most of them aren't following conversion rates - it's a developer-friendly "doesn't matter how bad it converts, it's a good game!" approach. It hurts everyone - players who are less likely to buy any game due to variety of trial versions out there and affiliate site that sees less sales due to developers not promoting the games that sell times better than others. In the end everyone's pissed, besides player who got a lot of free stuff ;)

    I've read a lot of stupid affiliate "how to set up affiliate site" guides that blackmailed Reflexive in favor of other programs, and all the conclusions were "others provide better content by default, we could just set up their default site and poor the traffic!".

    In a managed portfolio (with a high set bar), it's all about conversion rates and promotion of the products that'll poor more money into publisher's pocket. Their portfolios get cleared from badly converting products or stuff gets buried so deep, that it'll never pop up on front pages.

    I fully support Reflexive (and have released games through Reflexive in the past). Reflexive is the only rebel source where you can find A LOT OF UNIQUE games that aren't published elsewhere. I believe these games will receive a totally new way to reach reach customers by being recommended to players who bought retail titles of the similar genres through Amazon, as their "related/recommended" system is amazing. There's unlimited potential for bundling of products of similar genres as well.

    That is what I meant by Atari 2600 scheme (dumb affiliates who don't want to filter the content they sell) versus Intellivision (same games on a new platform, google for System Changer for Intellivision!).
     
    #11 tolik, Oct 21, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  12. Jack Norton

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    Ok now makes more sense :)
     
  13. Backov

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  14. Greg Squire

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    Congrats to everyone there! It sounds like this might be a good deal for everyone, both inside and outside of Reflexive. ;)
     
  15. HarryBalls

    HarryBalls New Member

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    Congratulations

    Congratulations to everyone at Reflexive.
     
  16. vjvj

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    Crazy, awesome news. Congratulations, you guys!
     
  17. electronicStar

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    The "long tail" is amazon's credo. So logically they shouldn't be too inclined to restrict their games to only a specific genre or demographic (but don't quote me on that)

    I thought you were making a reference to the first videogame crash here.
    I saw an interesting video about it saying how the crash was created by bottom feeders and people flooding the market with shit games And by big capitalists massively and suddenly investing in videogames companies.
    I don't know how (or if) that applies to Reflexive/amazon.
     
  18. MerscomMan

    MerscomMan New Member

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    This is great news on a sometimes very cynical forum. The people at Reflexive are really some of the best people and characters in the industry; it's awesome to see actually good things happening to good people. Reflexive had definitely been the most open company around, more than willing to share sales figures and trends while James opened their great Playlog technology to anyone who wanted it. I remember a friend telling me how naive Reflexive was for sharing all this info rather than keeping it proprietary, well the folks at Amazon obviously didn't see it as a problem.

    More than anything, I think this acquisition shows you can do business the proper way, treat people right and still succeed. Thanks to everyone at Reflexive for helping show how we all should be acting.
     
  19. Jack Norton

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    Yes, that's why I was pissed at his post. Everyone remember the 2600 crash because of a flood of very lowlevel games, which surely isn't the case now, especially at Reflexive.
     
  20. sound app

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    Honey to my ears, I couldn't express it better than you did, Lloyd.
    Congrats to all at Reflexive !
     

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