OpenFeint – Putting Developers in the Spotlight

Since its 1.0 release back in March, OpenFeint has been helping to mitigate the distribution problems on the iPhone and its oversaturated AppStore. Already, the platform improved the lives of developers by providing a simpler means to integrate social features such as leaderboards, achievements and profiles as well as increase distribution through social discovery, friending, invites, and Facebook and Twitter integration. Now, OpenFeint is adding to its service with a brand new “developer spotlight.” A feature that requires no additional sign-up, and will actually provide a little extra marketing by displaying games on the OpenFeint web site.

The company will choose games for the spotlight based on elements such as game play, presentation, and overall quality. Granted, the prospects of what makes a game “good” is subject to opinion, but the three measure, above, generally encompasses the most breadth. If your game is fun, creative, and looks/sounds good, then you have a chance of being chosen. Furthermore, the folks behind the highly popular RPG Aurora Feint: The Beginning will be directly involved in the selection process.

We spoke with Jason Citron, founder and CEO of Aurora Feint to learn more about the new addition to the OpenFeint platform. According to Citron, they are looking to feature spotlighted games relatively frequently – anywhere from weekly to biweekly – and will showcase them on with a case study on how OpenFeint was integrated. Moreover, Citron also told us that there may be other possibilities as well in the future such as paid ad placements, editorials in selected press, as well as possible contests and/or promotions. Of course, he added everything is subject to change, and they’ll be moving forward with what they feel is working best. Either way, a little extra marketing footwork is always handy, regardless of whom you are.

Already there are three spotlighted games: Fame, Finger Physics, and Must.Eat.Birds.

  • Fame, developed by PikPok, is a rhythm, “finger-dancing” game based on the movie that has you tapping and sliding your fingers around the screen to dance music.
  • Finger Physics, published by PressOK Entertainment, is a physics-based puzzle game. Here, players move around a myriad of different physics-enabled objects in order to solve over 80 puzzles.
  • Must.Eat.Birds, developed by Mediatonic, is a faux-Japanese-style game that has you defending a picnic from invading birds as a bizarre looking… monster… thing….

Thus far, OpenFeint has over 250 titles live in the AppStore with another 500+ in development. Hailed by its users as a “30 Minute” exercise, the cost-free platform has grown greatly in the past eight months, and with yet another incentive to its merit, it is unlikely to stop any time soon.