the first Kindle paid app is out – it's Scrabble

Amazon has released the first paid Kindle App. It’s Scrabble and it’s for $4.99.

You must have Kindle 3 or Kindle 2 or one of the Kindle DXes. It does not work on Kindle 1 and it works only for US Kindle owners.

Scrabble is actually a really good choice though it’s the third word game in a row and makes you wonder why Amazon is fascinated with word games.

Here’s the write-up –

With SCRABBLE for Kindle play the game you know and love – anytime, anywhere.

Simple controls make it easy to play any way you want, whether you’re a casual or experienced SCRABBLE player. Pass N’ Play with a friend, challenge the Kindle, or play a solo game. If you need help, use the Best Word feature to create the highest scoring word possible. You can even pause the game anytime and pick it up later.

Thanks to The Little Professor for the update. Check out his blog – It’s a work of genius.

Quick Thoughts on Scrabble

Well, will update this after playing the game.

  1. $4.99 is a bit high. At this price, especially after the free apps, it’ll be hard to sell much.
  2. Electronic Arts gets to have the first paid app out. C’est la vie.
  3. It’s been released today – September 23rd, 2010.
  4. To the best of my knowledge Amazon hasn’t yet started actively promoting it.
  5. Haven’t found any mention of it on any sites.
  6. It’s around 600 kb in size. Impressive that they got the game in using just 600 kb. 
  7. The first review is very positive –

    Absolutely amazing! This is a great game that looks and plays perfectly. Scrabble on my Kindle. It doesn’t get any better

How customers respond to this app will be interesting. Of course, we aren’t going to know since Amazon will probably talk in vague sentences – We sold as many as there are Cirrus clouds on a non-rainy day.

My suspicion is it’ll sell around 20,000 units and then EA will realize they need to hit $2 or $1 to sell more and they’ll go down to $2 and sell around 200,000 copies. That ‘200,000 copies sold at $2’ estimate assumes that with the influx of Kindle 3 owners there are around 3 to 5 million Kindles in circulation.

13 thoughts on “the first Kindle paid app is out – it's Scrabble”

  1. I can be mistaken, but what’s the difference with all other kinds of games available for the Kindle, like Sudoko? It’s on Amazons Kindle store…

    1. This is the first paid app. It’s not a book that’s using clever tricks to be more than a book.

      You’ll see as we get more apps how apps are different. They allow a lot more.

  2. Since Words with Friends is free as an app for smart phones which many people have and there is also a fee (but cheaper than $4.99 app) , I am not sure where Amazon is going with this.

  3. Since I have Scrabble for my iPod Touch, I think I’ll pass on this one. I can’t imagine how slow the game-play would be using a 5-way and cursor versus a touch panel…

      1. Okay, thanks. Most reviews say it’s fast. Still I chafe at buying games for my K3 when I got it to read and games on my iPod Touch are one of the reasons I didn’t read as much on that.

  4. As to the difference between this and other games that have been available for a while, this is a software app designed to be run completely on the Kindle. Amazon is calling these apps Active Content. They’re much more robust than a “cheater book” and they don’t require connecting to a website where the game is actually played via the primitive browser.

    As to where Amazon is going with pricing, this is the first paid app and as mentioned, it’s from EA, not Amazon. (The first two games were from Amazon and are free.) If you look at the price listed on Scrabble’s product page you’ll see the notation that the seller has set the price. (Amazon will get a cut of course, but didn’t set the price.)

    If I remember correctly from when the development kit was announced, I think Amazon will have suggested price ranges for the various types of apps, but mostly sellers can sell for however much they want. The exceptions would be apps that require Amazon resources, such as 3G access. I think pricing for those apps will have minimums (some with monthly fees) set by Amazon, and then the developer can charge more if they wish.

  5. Pricing for downloaded content is a tricky issue these days, because of the iPhone driving down prices to 99 cents.

    Scrabble on the PSP (Playstation Portable) is basically the same thing as this (or the iPhone version), but will set you back a cool $20.

  6. “It’s around 600 kb in size. Impressive that they got the game in using just 600 kb. ”

    600k? Impressive? I remember playing Scrabble on a Sinclair Spectrum 48K. Very good version it was too.

    1. There’s a full dictionary in there. That’s why I’m impressed.

      Though, of course, Scrabble on the Spectrum is far more impressive.

      They have skimped on graphics in the Kindle version. They could have gotten in much better graphics for the board. Plus the entire app, including Help, uses just one background. that’s rather stingy.

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