GamesBeat

OpenFeint Connect lets gamers socialize across different smartphones

If your friend has an Android phone and you have an iPhone, it isn’t that easy to play a mobile game together. But with today’s launch of OpenFeint Connect, that could change. The software is like social glue, allowing gamers to play games with friends on any platform and enabling developers to write social games on any platform.

Much like Scoreloop’s announcement last night, OpenFeint‘s new initiative will make it easier for mobile phone users to interact with each other in a multi-platform world. OpenFeint’s move is part of a trend to unleash games from consoles and allow them to be played anywhere.

“This is the first year that a platform other than the iPhone really matters,” said OpenFeint chief executive Jason Citron. “We think this will be the year of cross-platform games.”

Game developers are creating games that run on a variety of devices and app stores. But they haven’t had a social gaming network that connects players across the platform divides.

Citron (pictured) says OpenFeint Connect resembles Facebook Connect in that it allows users to connect with their friends across platform barriers.

OpenFeint Connect means that developers can now make games that work across platforms such as the Mac App Store, the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Palm Pre 3, Windows Phone 7, Android and other platforms. Players can compete to get achievements and leaderboard rankings that work across platforms. The OpenFeint platform lets developers communicate directly with their fans by setting up forums and getting feedback.

Burlingame, Calif.-based OpenFeint has 65 million users spread across the games of 4,700 developers who have implemented the OpenFeint software development kit. The company has 50 employees, and its investors include Intel, DeNA, The9, and YouWeb. Rivals include Scoreloop, PapayaMobile, and DeNA/Ngmoco.


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