Kongregate Arcade Removed from Android Market for Violating Non-Compete Agreement

300 free Flash games on Android sounded too good to be true, didn’t it? The GameStop-owned Kongregate game portal had launched an Arcade app in the Android Market yesterday, only to have it taken down today. How come? For violating a non-compete clause in the developer agreement, which stops developers for launching their own app portals within the Market. Just because it’s not on the market doesn’t mean Kongregate Arcade is dead, though; they’re hosting the APK themselves, which you can download for free here from your phone.

Kongregate Arcade is still only available on Android 2.2 handsets with Flash installed, with the selection of titles ranging from action, sports, puzzle, racing, and RPG genres. The cool thing about the app was that it plugged into Kongregate’s existing social network and achievement system, so you could still earn points and win exclusive mobile badges. You could also leave ratings, comments, and post your high-scores, even if playing offline.

The one thing that strikes me as snakey about the Kongregate deal is that though they might have a web distribution deal with the original developers of the games, those devs might be looking to independently sell their games on various mobile app markets (like those listed below for iOS), but if Kongregate is just giving them away, then those devs are out of luck. Of course, I have no idea if Kongregate still offers some kind of compensation to the original developers for whatever is rolled out through the Android Arcade as well, but it would seem grossly unfair if they didn’t. There’s also the issue of how well Flash performs on mobile for gaming, which I suspect won’t be adequate until dual-core processors become the norm in handsets.

In any case, if you still want to give Kongregate Arcade a shot, you can find more info here.

[via Joystiq]

  • We developed Vector Runner and Vector Conflict that are part of the Kongregate app. Regarding the last section of your article, I can answer a couple of questions. Having your game be part of the mobile app is something you opt-in to, by specifying that you are uploading a game meant for mobile. So a regular web game wouldn’t get put into their app without your permission. Also, Kongregate is sharing the app’s ad revenue with developers, just like they do with their web portal.

    We released Vector Runner as a stand-alone paid app along side the free Kongregate version. The standalone performance is still much better than the Flash version, and it also runs on 2.1, which the Flash version can’t. But in another year these might not be factors anymore.

  • Hey, thanks for covering this. To be clear, the Kongregate app simply plays Flash games inside an embedded web browser. It doesn’t install anything – it’s very surprising to us that this is considered competitive with Market.

  • Martin

    My SE X10 mini runs only android 2.1 :C

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