Apple’s Game Center: What Does It Spell For OpenFeint and Gang?
One of the tentpole features of iPhone OS 4 is Apple’s new social gaming network, Game Center and it’s bound to cause more than just buzz among game developers. At the moment, the iPhone is home to a bunch of social gaming networks, each of them doing almost the same thing but require you to maintain separate username and passwords for each. Some of the more prominent ones include OpenFeint, Plus+ and Gameloft Live.
These networks provide add-on services to the games that they are attached to and this includes achievements, friends lists and leaderboards. While the need to log in each time you start up a game can be annoying, each of these networks offer radically different interfaces. And these two factors alone will make Apple’s Game Center a real threat to their current hold on iPhone games.
Game Center aims to provide some familiar features that are normally found on modern consoles like the Xbox 360 and Sony PS3. This includes the ability to invite friends to play a game, start multiplayer games through matchmaking, track achievements and provide online leaderboards. With a single unified interface and (I’m assuming here) and perhaps single sign-on when coupled with iPhone OS 4’s multitasking, do I hear an end to OpenFeint and gang?
I don’t suppose they can leverage on their current user base to see them through. I myself feel that there are too many disparate interfaces providing social gaming networks and while you may liken Game Center’s introduction to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer launch, it is really the matter of convenience here. And if Apple thinks it can do a good job (which it would likely will), they are by all means welcome to pwn the rest of the competition.
Perhaps it’s also high time for OpenFeint and gang to consolidate as one single entity to overcome future challenges that Game Center is going to pose.Powered by Sidelines