Launched in February of 2009, OpenFeint was the first useful leader board and multiplayer matching service for iOS games. It was originally developed by Jason Citron’s Aurora Feint development team, and went on to become an SDK that iOS, and later Android, developers could include in their mobile games without having to build their own multiplayer, leader board, or achievement system.
In 2011, social gaming company GREE purchased OpenFeint for a reported $104 million.
Today, GREE announced that OpenFeint will no longer be supported, and that the service will end on December 14, 2012.
In a report today, TouchArcade pointed out that developers who have been relying on OpenFeint will need to retrofit all of their apps that utilize the SDK and change all the code that referenced the social gaming service, replacing them with Apple’s Game Center, or even GREE’s new similar service, which it also announced today.
“Assuming that doesn’t take too long,” wrote TouchArcade Editor Eli Hodapp, “compiling, uploading, and crossing their respective fingers might result in no downtime for their users.”
While it may not seem like GREE has done much with the OpenFeint platform, it’s more surprising how quickly the end has appeared, and how little notice OpenFeint developers were given.
“Moments ago,” writes Hodapp, “developers were given less than a months notice that the service would be shutting down. Keep in mind, that while OpenFeint as it existed may not have been that amazing (especially as Game Center has picked up steam) it worked, and tons of developers have it implemented in legacy iOS titles that leverage the OpenFeint services in one way or another to make (potentially vital) components of their games work.”
iOS game developers have until the 14th of December, of course, but after that, it’s game over for the OpenFeint system and service. It’s got to be a huge stress at this time of year, as well, as many developers get ready for the end of year sales, updates, and the annual iTunes App Store closure.
GREE is offering help to developers to migrate to its own multiplayer leader board system, but how can it expect developers to trust that it won’t also just disappear without much warning?
Source: Touch Arcade