It might not be what some would describe as 'true multiplayer', but the launch of Nextpeer's SDK for mobile games could prove crucial for studios looking to add a social element to their single-player games with minimal effort.
The idea behind Nextpeer is very simple: by building the platform's code into the game, players can challenge friends via Facebook to real-time contests or compete in established tournaments.
Though they can't see their rivals on screen, the engine keeps them regularly updated as to their own progress and that of their friends via pop ups at the top of the screen.
But though one of Nextpeer's selling points is undoubtedly its simplicity the possibility of existing single-player games adding Nextpeer via an update seems likely the company behind it is also looking to turn it into a tool for visibility.
Games that use the SDK will feature on a dedicated Nextpeer app, where players will be able to buy virtual currency to enable them to challenge their friends across the platform's library of games.
Similar to the approach social mobile network Scoreloop had before it was bought by RIM, according to TechCrunch, Nextpeer CEO Shai Magzimof has suggested the revenue split for such purchases could be as high as 90/10 in the developer's favour, transforming the platform into a one-stop shop app discoverability, monetisation and multiplayer all covered with one SDK.
Expected first in beta form on iOS in the next couple of weeks, Nextpeer has confirmed it also has Android in its sights, though no official launch date has been given.
Those keen on implementing the SDK beta in their iPhone or iPad release should register on the platform's website, with only limited spots available.
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.
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