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OpenFeint‘s mobile social gaming platform is now available to Chinese gamers thanks to a partnership with Chinese online game maker The9.
Branded as The9 Game Zone, the platform lets Android mobile gamers socialize with each other, player multiplayer games, and share games. The move is an important one for OpenFeint as it tries to establish its platform on a global basis. This kind of international move is one reason Japan’s Gree agreed to buy OpenFeint last week for $104 million. It also shows that China is becoming a battleground for mobile game ecosystem players.
Burlingame, Calif.-based OpenFeint says The9 Game Zone will expose more than 800 million phone users in China to OpenFeint’s game platform. The9 Game Zone is thus a brand new distribution channel for mobile game developers who want to break into China. Overall, 5,400 games use OpenFeint’s platform, and those games have more than 77 million users. The9 publishes online games in China such as Soul of the Ultimate Nation and Kingdom Heroes 2. The9 had an investment stake in OpenFeint before Gree bought OpenFeint.
Rivals include Scoreloop, which has deals with Asian carriers in competition with OpenFeint, as well as PapayaMobile, which is based in Beijing.