OpenFeint 2.0 social community platform released
Building on feedback over 400 developers (and 3 million gamers) already using the technology - as well as the new games it's developing internally - company co-founders Jason Citron and Danielle Cassley highlighted new features in terms of increasing social stickiness as well as easy of use.
One is combined on-device sign-in for all games using OpenFeint. This means that if you log into a game that uses OpenFeint on your iPhone or iPod touch, you won't have to log in again for similarly enabled games.
Integration with Facebook and Twitter have been boasted with features such as the importing of friends lists to further encourage social interactions within iPhone games.
Adding to your own status within the OpenFeint world, your profile will include details such as Xbox Live Arcade-style achievements. Developers will be able to create 100 per game. And achievements will also be linked to Feint Scores.
Your profile will detail the games you're currently playing, while OpenFeint's leaderboard system has been enhanced with global and friend-based lists.
These all combine into perhaps the most significant addition. Labelled One Touch iPromote, it's a new channel to help people discover games using the OpenFeint platform. For example, any game listed in your gamer profiles will link directly into the App Store to encourage in-app purchasing. The feature will be accessible from lobbies and chat rooms and through Facebook too.
"People drive the sales of games," pointed out Citron.
Despite the release of v2.0, the developers at Aurora Feint have plenty more to be getting on with however. Theres no support for the iPhone 3.0 SDK as prior to Apple's WWDC keynote, it was unclear when it would be released.
Still it will certainly be interesting to see how the 2.0 features are used.
For one thing, it should encourage further use of OpenFeint as fans of such connected and socially engaging games will increasingly be funnelled into the platform. This in turn will make them more open to find out about and hence purchase new games that use OpenFeint.
Of course, it's also good news for Aurora Feint as it picks up a small affiliate commission on each game sold. This could be vital for the company's health as the terms for using OpenFeint are fairly liberal.
The SDK - which is open source - is free while games with less than 100 users can also use the tech for free, while the one-off cost per user for more popular titles ranges from 4-8 cents.