Once Apple announced its own baked-in Game Center for iOS, OpenFeint — the previous go-to mobile social gaming network — seemed to lose a bit of its luster, but the guys Aurora Feint seem to have a plan and they’re falling through with it: starting today, OpenFeint is now available on the Android operating system.
But Aurora Feint’s strategy in dealing with Game Center isn’t to abandon iOS. Oh no: this news is very relevant to iOS gamers because now that OpenFeint is on Android, you can now take part in cross-platform multiplayer games, achievements, leaderboards and friending in Fruit Ninja, MiniSquadron, Super Slyder, The Moron Test and Tic-Tac Toe… with fifteen other titles to follow this month.
At the very least, the relevance here to iOS gamers is they now have twice as many people to play Tic Tac Toe against… I just can’t wait for iOS vs. Android OpenFeint deathmatch tournaments.
To their credit, Aurora Feint has always been remarkably blase about iOS 4.1’s built-in Game Center, even though they currently run the business of the App Store’s biggest gaming social network and match-making service, OpenFeint. In fact, they went as far as to say they were “thrilled” about Game Center, boasting about big future plans for the service… despite Game Center’s seemingly direct competition.
OpenFeint’s plans in an iOS ecosystem with Game Center preinstalled on every device are now becoming clearer, and it seems like Aurora Feint have figured out a killer feature that only their service can provide to gamers: the ability to play cross-form multiplayer matches in games that are available on both iOS and Google Android.
The OpenFeint PlayTime network will not only let you play your buddy even if he is shackled to his Android phone, but the software supports real-time video chat, as well as bot support. That latter addition is particularly interesting, as it means that if a player drops in a multiplayer match, an AI-controlled opponent will seamlessly take his place.
This is a smooth move on the part of Aurora Feint giving developers who have titles on more than one mobile platform a strong incentive to bake both Game Center and OpenFeint support into their titles. I just wish, as a player, I could keep my achievement points in both networks synced.