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OpenFeint co-founder offers relief to those burned by Gree
OpenFeint co-founder offers relief to those burned by Gree
March 22, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

The new owners of OpenFeint, the game platform that dominated smartphones before Apple introduced Game Center, may have burned a few bridges when it made a surprise announcement late last year to pull the plug on the service.

While it has its own alternative -- the Gree Platform -- it provided developers less than a month to transfer their games. Worse, any game data stored in the cloud was deleted forever.

"For whatever strategic reasons, they decided to alienate a lot of their customers," OpenFeint co-founder Peter Relan tells us.

Relan is getting ready to debut OpenKit, a cross-platform alternative that builds on what he learned at OpenFeint, at GDC next week. Like OpenFeint, it offers cloud storage of leaderboards and achievements, handles push notifications, and eases in-app purchasing. Unlike OpenFeint, however, OpenKit is also open source.

"The two big asks [when speaking to developers] were: give us cloud services for our Unity games, and help us migrate off OpenFeint to OpenKit," says Relan. "So we did it. This is an open source project: developers are the voice of OpenKit."

To attract as many former OpenFeint developers as possible, OpenKit is partnering with a new company, Kitboost, to offer "free assistance and full service migration services" for developers to make the move.

"[Kitboost is] the old team that used to do OpenFeint integration for developers," says Relan. "They are effectively jumping on the bandwagon."

For those interested in checking it out, OpenKit will have a booth at the GDC expo hall. The platform currently has 50 developers in a private beta. A public beta is expected in April, and the full service is expected to go live in May. More information here.

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Pierre Xavier
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Hmmm, the problem is, as the article states Gree had alienated alot of OpenFeint customers, whose to say that it won't happen again with OpenKit. I was a former OpenFeint player, user, etc but as soon as Gree took over, we were left in the ditch. With Game Center I have no worries or concerns. Good luck to OpenKit I hope it takes off, it's gonna be tough out there.

Steve Cawood
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And how long is that going to be before you sell out with OpenKit? Sorry but I think you'll find a lot of devs won't put trust in to your next offering, myself included.

Daniel Burke
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@Pierre - Does Apples Game Centre provide what you need for Android?

@Steve - Fair enough, however it looks to be open source, so even if they decide to shut down their cloud, you still have everything you need to migrate by exporting all your data and importing to another cloud (or run your own server with the provided source).

I think my point is, irrelevant of what cloud service you decide to use, none of them will be around forever.

Personally I have not decided on any cloud service for myself, there will come a time soon when I have to and I still do not know who that will be yet, but this one will be on the list.

Pierre Xavier
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@Daniel - I don't play games on Android, as they come out first via iTunes, although I have both Apple and Android devices.