Enlarge (credit: Amazon)
Amazon Underground, the company’s experiment in “actually free” smartphone apps and games, will soon go even more underground.

As in, dead and buried.
A developer blog confirmed the news on Friday, saying that the program will stop accepting new software on May 31 and that its download service will be fully shuttered in “summer 2017.”
The Underground app store launched just shy of two years ago with a weird sales pitch to developers: let us give your downloads away, and we’ll pay you a penny for every five minutes someone uses your app.

The idea is that Underground versions of games and apps would not only be free to download but also have all in-app purchases removed—which might mean that players get hooked and rack up enough hours to get developers paid by Amazon’s weird system.
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