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Amazon launches in-app buying for computer and online games

Developers can now offer in-app purchases for people playing a PC, Mac, or Web-based game via Amazon.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Those of you who play games from Amazon on your computer or over the Web will now be able to buy virtual items directly in the game.

Unveiled today, the new in-app purchasing service allows developers to set up their games so players can pay for virtual goods and currencies using their Amazon accounts. Previously, only Android and Kindle games in the Android Appstore were able to offer the in-app buying option. Now the feature extends to Amazon games for Windows PCs, Macs, and the Web.

Gamers wil find titles for the PC and Mac at Amazon's Digital Games store. They'll also discover a variety of games they can play online by linking their Amazon account.

Amazon plans to give both developers and customers a helping hand with the new service.

Any in-app items will automatically show up on Amazon's Web site on best seller lists, recommended items, and promotional campaigns. That boost is designed to draw customers to new games.

Users can pay for virtual items within a game using any credit cart, gift certficate, or promotional credit connected with their Amazon account.

"We were excited to work with Amazon on integrating in-app purchasing into Forsaken Planet," David Sterling, vice president of Sony DADC's Loot Entertainment, said in a statement. "Giving gamers the option to buy in-game goods using their Amazon account makes it easier for them to get what they want without ever having to leave the game environment."

Developers can learn how to outfit their games with the new feature by visiting Amazon's In-App Purchasing page.